Tag Archives: phoenix


Hundreds of pediatric physicians converge in Phoenix

Phoenix Children’s Hospital will play host to more than 750 physicians and health care professionals from across the U.S. for the 38th annual Melvin L. Cohen Pediatric Update at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix.
In the past four decades, the event has grown to become one of the largest pediatric health care conferences in the country. This year’s symposium will feature speakers from leading health care education centers and providers, including Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Harvard, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Mayo Clinic, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and of course, Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
This year’s Pediatric Update will build on the program’s long-standing tradition of educating pediatricians, specialists and pediatric nurse practitioners on the latest advances in evidence-based practices in pediatric medicine. Lecture and workshop topics will range from emergency medicine and infectious disease to gynecology, gastroenterology and psychology.
“As one of the leading pediatric hospitals in the country, we are well-suited to provide the best educational experience and timely pediatric information and practices for health professionals,” said Robert L. Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “The panel of medical professionals we present this year is unparalleled in its quality and commitment to excellence.”
Adding to Pediatric Update’s already robust series, the 2015 conference will also present two engaging symposiums exploring dynamic trends in pediatric neuroscience and obesity. 
Coinciding with Pediatric Update, the 19th annual Children’s Neuroscience Symposium, presented by Barrow at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, brings a dedicated examination of the latest information to assess neurological conditions and manage patient care. Sessions will focus on pediatric spinal disorders, the pediatrician’s role in neurological emergencies and neurosurgery, as well as advances in children’s headaches and sleep disorders.
“Pediatric neurological disorders impact thousands of families across the country, and at Phoenix Children’s we continue to provide the educational resources to improve patient care,” said Dr. P. David Adelson, director, Barrow at Phoenix Children’s.
In its third year, the Pediatric Update’s Childhood Obesity Symposium seeks to provide a better understanding of the complex causes of weight gain, maintenance and weight loss. Endocrinology, behavioral health, microbiomes, and diet and fitness will play a role in the learning.
“It’s estimated that more than a third of America’s youth are overweight or obese,” Dr. Don McClellan, division chief, pediatric endocrinologist, Phoenix Children’s Medical Group. “Phoenix Children’s takes this problem very seriously, because obesity creates a myriad of problems for youth, and often leads to diseases and serious health issues later in life.”
Booker Evans - Headshot

Booker T. Evans, Jr. joins Ballard Spahr

Booker T. Evans, Jr., a prominent white collar criminal defense attorney and commercial litigator with more than 25 years of experience defending multimillion-dollar cases for businesses and individuals, has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner in Phoenix, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Mr. Evans was Chief Deputy District Attorney in Las Vegas and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Nevada and Arizona before entering private practice. He currently serves as Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court.

“Booker’s standing as a trial lawyer, a bar and community leader, and an advocate for diversity in the profession means that he will fit in beautifully at Ballard,” Mr. Stewart said. “He shares our commitment to legal excellence and our values. We are absolutely delighted to have him.”

Mr. Evans has broad civil and criminal trial experience and handles post-conviction matters involving the federal courts and their sentencing guidelines. He is well known for his work in white collar criminal defense, RICO cases, product liability, insurance matters, and health law. 

He also has tried cases involving tax evasion, disputes over real estate holdings, copyright and trademark infringement, criminal bankruptcy fraud, and civil forfeiture. Mr. Evans is Co-Chair for the 2015 Arizona State Bar Convention and is the co-founder of the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association. He is licensed to practice in Arizona and Nevada. Ballard Spahr has offices in both Phoenix and Las Vegas.

“Booker is a highly respected litigator in Phoenix,” said Stephen M. Savage, Managing Partner for Ballard Spahr’s Phoenix office. “In addition to being the quintessential gentleman, he has the level of skill and experience to handle our largest and most complex litigation matters. He’s a terrific fit for the office and the firm.”

Mr. Evans’ arrival adds depth to Ballard Spahr’s national litigation and trial teams. Our litigators are prepared to take the largest and most complex cases to trial, as plaintiff’s or defense counsel. They are located in every one of the firm’s 14 offices, and try cases in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Members of our White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations Group conduct internal investigations and represent clients facing government enforcement actions. We have represented public figures, political leaders, and Fortune 500 corporations and executives in a range of high-stakes criminal and civil matters.

“Ballard is home to some of the finest litigators in the country and has the national platform I was looking for,” Mr. Evans said. “I look forward to being part of the firm’s growth in the West and to adding my own experience to the mix.”


Phoenix-area housing market sees uptick

The sluggish Phoenix-area housing market just got a pleasant surprise. New figures show a sudden uptick in buyer demand, with a significant boost in homes under contract since late January.

“I do NOT think this has anything to do with the crowds that came in for the recent Super Bowl in Arizona, but that is coincidentally when we started to see this rise in demand,” says Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Orr looked at statistics from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) for his W. P. Carey School of Business analysis. In 2014, the Phoenix-area housing market had relatively low demand, and sales activity even dropped 14 percent. However, the new ARMLS numbers show this year has already brought in more than the usual seasonal uptrend in almost every price range.

These numbers are for non-distressed homes under contract in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, on a typical day in late February 2015 versus the same day in 2014:

  • Under $150,000 – Up 7 percent
  • $150,000 to $250,000 – Up 35 percent
  • $250,000 to $400,000 – Up 38 percent
  • $400,000 to $600,000 – Up 33 percent
  • $600,000 to $1.5 million – Up 12 percent
  • More than $1.5 million – Down 10 percent

Overall, non-distressed listings under contract are up 26 percent. Orr says luxury homes aren’t seeing as much impact from recent changes in market conditions, but entry-level and mid-range homes are attracting far more buyer interest.

“The reasons for these increases include: 1.) that lenders have started to relax their previously tight loan-underwriting guidelines and 2.) that more people who went through foreclosure or short sale are now able to return to homeownership,” explains Orr. “These changes largely affect the lower and middle ranges of the market.”

Orr calculates that, in 2014, the median single-family-home price in the Phoenix area went up 5.4 percent. He now expects 2015 to be a much better year for home sellers, if the new trend continues. However, he does have one note of caution.

“The Phoenix area was already dealing with a relatively low supply of available homes for sale before this uptick,” says Orr. “If the higher-demand trend continues for several months, then that tight supply could become a bigger issue.”

Orr’s next regularly-scheduled monthly housing report will be out in mid-March. Meantime, those wanting more Valley housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.


Greenberg Traurig appoints 2 new shareholders

The Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP has promoted Nathan T. Mitchler and Dana L. Hooper to shareholder. Firm wide, Greenberg Traurig elevated 32 attorneys to shareholder in its 2015 class. In addition, the firm also announced record financial performance for 2014.

“Nathan and Dana are superior lawyers who are deeply dedicated to their clients and their profession,” said John E. Cummerford, co-managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office. “We are proud to welcome them as Phoenix Shareholders.”

• Nathan T. Mitchler focuses his practice on multiple areas of complex litigation, business disputes and intellectual property. He also is well-versed in all aspects of discovery and pre-trial motions practice.

• Dana L. Hooper works with clients in areas of commercial litigation, business matters and sports law. In 2014, she was named to the board of directors of the Phoenix Women’s Sports Association.

“Those named to our class of 2015 represent the firm’s commitment to excellence in the delivery of legal services,” said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig’s CEO. “They live the special culture that is Greenberg Traurig. Because of professionals like these throughout the firm, we have been able to remain committed to unmatched coverage of the United States. We also have a highly focused international expansion based on excellence and strength rather than simply geographical spread that in itself adds no value to our clients and which could dilute our quality, culture, and financial condition.”

Greenberg Traurig appears in The BTI Client Service A-team 2015, 2014 and 2013 reports among The BTI Client Service 30, an elite group of 30 law firms most recognized, by clients, for providing excellent client service. It also is among the Power Elite in the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard report assessing the nature and strength of law firms’ client relationships.

CityScape Downtown Phoenix_email

Orangetheory Fitness will open at CityScape

On the heels of the recent openings of GrabbaGreen, Fractured Prune Doughnut and EOS Fitness, CityScape Phoenix will welcome yet another new tenant in late April when Orangetheory Fitness opens its doors.

The fast-growing, national fitness franchise has 19 existing or planned locations across the Valley and this new 3,150 square-foot studio at CityScape will be the first in Downtown Phoenix.

“Orangetheory is one of the hottest fitness brands in the country right now and we’re excited to add them to the mix at CityScape,” said Jeff Moloznik, vice president of development at RED. “This is a great workout option for anyone who works or lives downtown.”

Orangetheory Fitness is a one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart-rate-monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. Led by skilled personal trainers, participants use a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX® suspension training and free weights, burning an average of 500 – 1,000 calories, including after-burn. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours post-workout. Orangetheory Fitness was recently ranked No. 399 in Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List and No. 403 in Entrepreneur’s 2014 Franchise 500® list of the top franchises in the world. 

For more information, visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com. For more information about CityScape Phoenix, tenants and to see what’s happening today, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com.


Take Charge America unveils Home Ready Counseling

Prospective homebuyers across the country now have access to a new service helping them receive approval for a mortgage. Take Charge America, Inc., a national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency headquartered in Phoenix, now offers Home Ready Counseling, a program specifically designed to address the top approval requirements for a home loan.

“With low mortgage interest rates and a recovering housing market, many consumers are taking steps to enter or re-enter the housing market, but lack the knowledge they need to get approved for a loan,” said Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America. “What’s more, people who have been turned down in the past may not know how to rebuild their credit and improve their chances of approval the next time around.”

With Home Ready Counseling, Take Charge America’s certified counselors provide one-on-one counseling sessions addressing mortgage requirements including down payments and debt-to-income ratio. In addition, counselors analyze credit scores and develop personalized action plans to help potential homebuyers rebuild their credit and meet home buying goals. Plans include:

• Custom overview of positive and negative factors impacting their credit scores

• Potential opportunities to increase point values with each of the three credit bureaus

• Detailed instructions on how to proceed with creditor disputes or issues

• A task timeline aligned with the customer’s home buying goals

Consumers enrolled in Home Ready Counseling also receive access to monthly educational emails and Take Charge America’s online homebuyer education course, which teaches them the terms used in the home-buying process, how loans are obtained, documents needed to close a mortgage, and how to avoid predatory lenders.

Visit Home Ready Counseling or call (866) 260-6751 to learn more about the service.


2 Arizona hospitals designated Ebola treatment centers

Hospital systems in Phoenix and Tucson are among 55 across the United States designated as Ebola treatment centers.

The two Arizona hospital systems designated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are Maricopa Integrated Health Systems in Phoenix and the University of Arizona Health Network.

MIHS President CEO Steve Purves says the CDC designation for his institution reflects many months of preparation and training by hospital personnel to develop and implement comprehensive protocols for treating Ebola.

There are no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in Arizona. Public health officials said the designation is precautionary and that the likelihood of an Ebola patient arriving in Arizona is remote.

Camelback Medical Plaza

Spooner Physical Therapy leases two Phoenix office suites

Commercial Properties, Inc., Arizona’s largest locally owned commercial real estate brokerage, is pleased to announce the lease of two suites for Spooner Physical Therapy. Spooner Camelback will be expanding and relocating to 5040 N. 15th Avenue, and Spooner Desert Ridge will be expanding and relocating to 20830 N. Tatum Blvd., in Phoenix, Arizona.  Scott Nelson of CPI’s Scottsdale Office Group represented the tenant, Spooner Physical Therapy at these properties.

Spooner Physical Therapy leased a suite in Camelback Medical Plaza, a ±47,755 SF medical building at 5040 N. 15th Avenue.  Camelback Medical Plaza is located just north of Camelback Road, on 15th Avenue and is listed by Colliers International.  Spooner Physical Therapy also leased space in Desert Ridge Corporate Center, a 137,225 SF office building at 20830 N Tatum Blvd.  Desert Ridge Corporate Center – Phase II was built in 2007, and is listed by Lee & Associates.

Scott Nelson commented. “My client, Spooner Physical Therapy offers outpatient rehabilitation services at their 16 locations throughout the valley.  For the last 25 years, they have transformed their communities through the founding principle of ‘health in motion’.  Moving into new suits allows Spooner Physical Therapy to better serve their clients physical therapy needs by offering the  surrounding communities services such as orthopedic rehab, hand therapy, breast cancer rehab, pelvic health therapy, ASTYM treatment, trigger point dry needling, and the AlterG Anit-Gravity Treadmill. The therapists work closely with their patients in setting individualized, goal driven care, dedicated to helping individuals of all ages and abilities achieve their maximum physical potential. Visit spoonerphysicaltherapy.com for more information on locations and services.”

The combined square footage taken by Spooner Physical Therapy was ±11,666 SF and resulted in nearly $2.5 million in total consideration.

Scott Nelson may be contacted for additional information at snelson@cpiaz.com, or 480.522.2790.


Re-Bath of Phoenix named Franchise of the Year

Chosen from more than 200 franchises, Re-Bath® of Phoenix was named Franchise of the Year by Re-Bath, LLC, America’s largest bathroom remodeling franchisor, during the Home Brands Group™ Reunion on Jan. 19, 2015, in Orlando, Fla.

Owner Kurt Kittleson accepted the award, which is the most prestigious of any presented to franchises internationally. Franchise of the Year is the honor given to franchises that represent the brand by embracing the Re-Bath® Code of Values and sales system at all times while growing their businesses with proper training, management, high sales, customer service and professional service.

According to Re-Bath, LLC, President, Marty Rasmussen, “Kurt has been a successful entrepreneur his entire life. He is committed to developing his team and giving them the opportunity to excel. Above all, he is a leader and team player with the Re-Bath organization’s best interests in mind. He encourages all to work not only harder, but smarter.”

The Home Brands Group™ Reunion is an annual convention of hundreds of Re-Bath®, 5 Day Kitchens℠ and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain® franchisees and vendors.


Super Bowl generates record revenues for hotels

In addition to being the most-watched televised event of all time, Super Bowl XLIX generated unprecedented revenues for metropolitan Phoenix’s hotel industry.
According to Smith Travel Research, revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel performance, spiked at $324.87 for metro Phoenix on Jan. 31, the day before the Super Bowl. That’s the highest RevPAR ever recorded for metro Phoenix’s hotels for a single day, and represents a 318 percent increase over the same day in 2014.
Super Bowl Sunday saw a similar surge in RevPAR, at $320.55, a whopping 410 percent increase over the same day a year ago.
For the Super Bowl and the three days leading up it, RevPAR in metro Phoenix more than tripled from the same four-day period in 2014.
Super Bowl XLIX is now responsible for the three highest revenue performances in metro Phoenix history—and four of the top 10. (In all, metro Phoenix owes eight of its top 10 RevPAR showings to the NFL’s signature event, as four others occurred when the Arizona hosted the Super Bowl in 2008.)
“The Super Bowl’s power to generate revenue for our hotel industry is historically unrivaled, but this year’s game exceeded our expectations,” said Michael Mooney, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Visit Phoenix. “And the positive impact was felt across eight hotel submarkets in the metro area.”
The 2015 Super Bowl also boosted occupancy rates. Occupancy at metro Phoenix hotels for Jan. 31 was 95.7 percent, the seventh-highest on record.
For the four days leading up to, and including, the Super Bowl—Thursday through Sunday—occupancy at metro Phoenix hotels was 91.5 percent. That’s 40 percent higher than the same period in 2014.
The Central Phoenix submarket, which includes downtown Phoenix hotels, posted the highest occupancy rates in the metro area during Super Bowl week, topping out at 98 percent on Jan. 31.
“Occupancy rates were higher in downtown Phoenix than they were for the Super Bowl in 2008, even though that submarket has 2,000 more rooms than it did back then,” Mooney said. “That’s a testament to the Super Bowl activity that was centered downtown, including Super Bowl Central fan campus and the NFL Experience theme park.”

Phoenix home prices rose 5 percent in 2014

The final numbers are out for 2014, and the median single-family-home prices in the Phoenix area officially went up 5.4 percent. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Here are the highlights of that report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of December:

• The median single-family-home sales price rose 5.4 percent in 2014 – from $204,000 to $215,000.
• Demand for townhomes and condos is strengthening, and the median sales price for those types of homes went up a whopping 15 percent in 2014.
• Demand for rental homes also remains strong.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to summer 2013. Then, the median single-family-home price rose just another 5.4 percent — $204,000 to $215,000 — from December 2013 to December 2014. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up about 3 percent. At the same time, townhomes and condos really took off, with their median sales price up about 15 percent – from $123,900 to $142,000.

“The most promising signs in 2014 were for townhomes and condominiums, where both sales volumes and prices were higher than expected,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director or the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Demand is shifting away from single-family homes and toward smaller attached homes that are easier to maintain and to ‘lock and leave.’ Growing numbers of baby boomers, whose children have grown up and left, are downsizing. Many millennials also seem to show a preference for smaller, easy-to-maintain homes in central locations.”

Orr adds that mid-range and luxury homes continue to do relatively well in the Phoenix market, while it’s tougher to find homes priced below $150,000. The amount of single-family home sales overall was up 3 percent from December 2013 to December 2014.

Meantime, the supply level remains low. The number of active listings available on Jan. 1, 2015 was down 3 percent from the already low level of Jan. 1, 2014. Fewer “distressed” homes are coming onto the market, with completed foreclosures down 42 percent from December 2013 to December 2014. That lack of cheap inventory is keeping investor interest significantly lower than it was during the initial housing recovery.

Other home buyers weren’t filling the gap, but we may see a positive turn soon.

“We anticipate a modest increase in sales in 2015, as compared with 2014,” says Orr. “The primary increase in demand is likely to come from boomerang buyers who have repaired their credit after foreclosure or short sale several years ago.”

Multifamily units and rental homes continue to command local attention. The multifamily vacancy rate for the end of 2014 was at an all-time low, and multifamily construction permits have been on a strong upward trend. Rental homes are seeing relatively fast turnover and low vacancy rates. As a result, rents are up 6.8 percent in the Phoenix area over the past 12 months.

Lastly, Orr mentions that some Canadians may decide to lock in profits made on Phoenix-area homes bought since the housing crash. In 2014 alone, the prices went up an additional 15 percent when converted to the Canadian dollar.

Those wanting more Valley housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.


Tips to keep employers mindful of office romances

Mona M. Stone, of counsel, works in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Mona M. Stone, of counsel, works in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Love is in the air, and sometimes those amorous feelings lead to claims of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. As Valentine’s Day approaches, employers should be mindful about office romances in light of some interesting statistics:

• More than 20 percent of married couples met at work, yet nearly half of those employees reported that they did not know if their company had a policy on office romances.
• According to a recent survey, 59 percent of employees admitted that they have been involved in an office romance.
• An additional 64 percent answered that they would be willing to do so if the opportunity arose.
• This same survey reported that 75 percent of employers do not have a policy regarding workplace relationships.
AshleyMadison.com (a dating site for married people looking to cheat – yikes!) reports that 46 percent percent of men and 37 percent of women have had an affair with a co-worker. Among these cheaters, 72 percent of women and 59 percent of men say that they had their first encounter with the affair partner at a company holiday party … which means now is the time for employers to pay attention!
• A different 2013 survey indicates that 92 percent of employees feel they should not have to report their office romance to Human Resources.
• That same survey shows that nearly 85 percent of surveyed workers believe work colleagues should be allowed to have sex and 90 percent admitted being (or having been) attracted to a co-worker.

It’s Only Love, What’s the Harm?

While consensual office relationships are more commonplace than in the past, they can trigger business and legal headaches for employers when the relationship fizzles or is no longer consensual. Moreover, fellow employees may feel resentful, jealous, uncomfortable, or intimidated (especially in relationships between a supervisor and a subordinate), leading to complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

Importantly, claims may be brought not only by the individuals in the relationship, but even by third parties. Complaints of “paramour favoritism” are on the rise and are being filed by employees who allege they are overlooked due to preferential treatment towards a co-worker who is engaged in a romantic relationship with the boss.  While courts differ on whether such claims are meritorious, turning a blind eye to such relationships may result in business interruption and liability.

In 2011, for example, the EEOC reported that 11,364 charges of sexual harassment were filed, and 16.3 percent of those were filed by men. The EEOC recovered more than $52 million in damages for sexual harassment claims in 2011. Employers might not be able to prevent love in the office, but they can take action to mitigate potential liability. An important initial measure is to draft a good policy depending on your company’s size, structure, business goals, and culture.  If you implement an office dating policy, you must enforce it uniformly and take appropriate and equal action for violations of the policy.

What Does Company Policy Say?

Now is a good time for employers to update or create a policy governing dating among workers.  While some policies prohibit romantic relationships altogether, many employers recognize that employees will date each other regardless of policy. In fact, they might “sneak around” to avoid violating the policy, which could create even more tension if the relationship is discovered or known only to a select few.  In addition, strict no-dating policies may be difficult to implement and enforce, as they may not clearly define the conduct that is forbidden (e.g., does the policy prohibit socializing, dating, romantic relationships, or something else?).

Some policies interdict dating among management and staff, while others specify that there is to be no fraternization with outside third parties to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of impropriety.  Still, other organizations mandate that employees who date one another voluntarily inform the company about their relationship.

In such cases, the notification policies direct employees to report their dating relationships to Human Resources, the EEO officer, or a member of management, and they ask employees to sign a written consent regarding the romantic relationship. While this type of policy may seem intrusive, these documents are drafted to protect employers from unwanted complaints of future sexual harassment or retaliation.

When asking employees to sign consents, you should again advise them about the company’s sexual harassment policy and remind them about ramifications of policy violations. Document that the employees entered into the relationship voluntarily, were counseled and – if/when the relationship ends – include a memo in their respective personnel records that the relationship ended, and the employees were reminded about the company’s sexual harassment policy.  You should require the dating parties to make certain written representations to shield the company from future claims:

• The individuals have entered the relationship voluntarily and the relationship is consensual.
• The employees will not engage in any conduct that makes others uncomfortable, intimidated, or creates a hostile work environment for other employees, guests, or third parties.
• The employees do not and will not make any decisions that could impact each other’s terms and conditions of employment.
• The employees will act professionally toward each other at all times, even after the relationship has ended.
• The relationship will not cause unnecessary workplace disruptions or distractions or otherwise adversely impact productivity.
• The employees will not retaliate against each other if/when the relationship ends.

Tips for Employers

Employers should prepare and implement a clear policy regarding office relationships or update an existing one, and be sure to disseminate it and obtain employees’ acknowledgements. The policy should address to extent to which office relationships are permissible, and, if appropriate, require employees to promptly disclose the existence (or termination) of a romantic or sexual relationship to a designated member of Human Resources, EEO officer or management.  When the employees involved are in a supervisor/subordinate relationship, disclosure is especially critical so that the employer may effectively address the impact of the relationship (e.g., evaluating if it is necessary to change job duties or reassign the employee(s)).

If harassment occurs despite an employer’s best efforts to prevent and stop it, you will have a strong defense if you can demonstrate that you have done the following:

• Implement and enforce a sexual harassment and office romance policy that provides a clear reporting channel and prohibits retaliation for good faith complaints.
• Train new and existing employees on the sexual harassment policy and document the training.
• Train managers on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to handle complaints.
• Train employees to report inappropriate behavior.
• If a relationship develops between a manager and his/her subordinate, transfer one of them, if possible, to eliminate a direct reporting relationship.
• Promptly and thoroughly investigate complaints.
• Take appropriate corrective action to address prior incidents of sexual harassment.

Regardless of the type of policy your company adopts, be sure to customize it to the needs and actual practices of your business. Train employees and managers on expectations governing office romances. A well-drafted and uniformly enforced fraternization (or non-fraternization) policy will not prevent workplace relationships altogether, but it can protect you if you encounter office romances.
Mona M. Stone, of counsel, works in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.


Legoland Discovery Center coming to Arizona Mills

Global leisure giant Merlin Entertainments and The Mills, a Simon company, today, announced plans to open a LEGOLAND Discovery Center (LDC) at Arizona Mills. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Phoenix will be Merlin’s seventh LDC to open in the USA and reflects the success of the concept and the huge and enduring appeal of the LEGO brick. It will join Merlin’s popular SEA LIFE aquarium at Arizona Mills.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a unique indoor attraction, based on the popular LEGO brick. Specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three hour experience consisting of a range of exciting LEGO play areas including a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema, and of course, the popular MINILAND exhibit found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction.  MINILAND  is designed to reflect the iconic buildings of each individual attraction’s location – at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix this will include both buildings from the City’s impressive skyline and landmarks from the surrounding area, all nominated by the local community.

“The LEGOLAND Discovery Center concept has been a huge success across the globe, particularly as part of a family day out of shopping and dining. This, together with the fact that a large number of families with small children live within a 2 – 3 hour drive, makes Arizona Mills the ideal location for the attraction. We are sure visitors, both here and abroad, will embrace the Center,” said Glenn Earlam, managing director of Merlin Midway Attractions Operating Group.

This significant addition will mark a transformative time for Arizona Mills as it prepares for an upcoming summer renovation to its entertainment wing that will be centered around family friendly experiences and dining options. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix will expand Arizona Mills’ presence in the market as the state’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination.

Plans and designs are already in place for the 60,000 square foot attraction and construction will begin in June 2015. LEGO models for the Phoenix attractions will be made in Merlin’s specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction to be ready for the opening in late spring 2016.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Merlin at many of our properties and are very pleased to welcome LEGOLAND Discovery Center, their best global brand, to Arizona Mills,” said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills. “This, together with SEA LIFE, which Phoenix has embraced as its own special aquarium in the desert, will play a key role in our plans to create a family entertainment district within Arizona Mills. Our goal is to make it the premier destination for families who enjoy great shopping combined with high quality entertainment and dining.”

Merlin has grown significantly since it first opened SEA LIFE in Phoenix and now has more
than 20 attractions in the US.

“Our objective is to ‘cluster’ several complementary attractions together, as we are doing in Phoenix, offering even more reason for families with young children to spend an exciting day at Arizona Mills. Indeed, projects such as this play a very important part in our future growth strategy,” added Earlam.


Pango pay-by-phone app now available for Phoenix parking

Mayor Greg Stanton, City Councilmembers, representatives from Pango USA and the business community gathered today in downtown Phoenix to announce the Pango pay-by-phone app for on-street parking is now available in Phoenix.

“This cutting-edge innovation is helping to create a great urban core in Phoenix that makes life easier for our residents and businesses, and coming downtown even more attractive to visitors,” Mayor Greg Stanton said.

With Pango’s advanced new technology, residents and visitors are now able to pay for parking at meters through the ease of a mobile phone app, add more time to their parking session from a remote location, track where they parked and also receive discounts from local participating businesses.

The system also will allow restaurants, shops, and other businesses to provide complimentary parking validation to their customers via prepaid codes.

The use of the Pango app is available for credit and debit-card enabled parking meters and within a few weeks will also be available for coin-only meters. All existing forms of payment (credit/debit cards and coins) will continue to remain in place.

The service, which is operated by Pango USA, is available via the “Pango Parking” smartphone app, or by calling toll-free 1-844-Pango44 (726-4644).  The app is available for iPhone and iPad, Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile devices. Customers register their credit card and license plate information to create an account by visiting myPango.com. Each time a customer parks, the app or phone number is used to pay for parking by entering the parking space number found on each parking meter or pay-station sign. There is a seven cent fee for each transaction, which covers the credit-card-processing charge and other program costs. Customers may also select the option to receive text message alerts and reminders for $1.99 per month.

During the month of February, to support homeless veterans, Pango is donating $1 to Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) for every download of the Pango parking app and is also giving one hour of free parking to the first 5,000 to register for the Pango system.

As part of the program, Pango donated a check to Central Arizona Shelter Services.

“We look forward to being part of the transformation of Phoenix by making parking easier and more convenient for drivers in one of the top cities in the United States,” said Neal Edwards president of Pango. “We are also grateful for the opportunity to help the homeless veterans of Phoenix with the drive for Central Arizona Shelter Services, one of Maricopa County’s primary providers of services to veterans.”

“Phoenix works hard to keep our street and transit infrastructure safe and modern and this technology shows we’re using all the tools available to simplify getting around and encourage people to visit,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chairwoman of the City Council Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.

“This is the kind of initiative that demonstrates Phoenix’s commitment to innovation and  to finding and working with partners to make the city an even better place to call home, locate a business or visit,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski.

“This popular app has been working for years in cities in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. “It shows that we understand the value of our central city areas and are committed to making them better places to live, visit and do business.”

“This is a technology that will make it easier to live, visit and do business in our central city areas and builds on our reputation as a city that is using technology to be more efficient and responsive,” said Councilman Bill Gates, chairman of the City Council Finance, Efficiency, Economy, and Sustainability Subcommittee.

For more information about on-street parking in Phoenix visit phoenix.gov/streets or dial 602-262-6284.


Polsinelli recognized for real estate practice

A recent ranking of full-service law firms across the country revealed that Polsinelli is now one of the top ten law firms with the largest number of real estate partners in the country.  While many other law firms reduced the size of their real estate groups during the recession, some firms such as Polsinelli focused on growth and attracting lateral real estate attorneys who were looking for national platforms on which to build their practices.

Polsinelli’s Phoenix office recently hired Dustin Jones, a zoning and land use attorney who represents developers in obtaining land use permits in complex commercial real estate deals.  Jones, who works out of both the firm’s Phoenix and New York offices, also serves as a full-time faculty member in Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning where he is a senior lecturer on zoning and complex land use issues.  Jones’ hire added to Polsinelli’s continued efforts to expand its national prominence and local dominance.


Colliers International Hires Project Management Expert

Colliers International in Greater Phoenix has hired Bruce Herr to serve as its new Director of Project Management to streamline the design and construction of clients’ real estate projects.

From start to finish, Herr will oversee the scheduling and budgeting of projects and coordinate efforts of team members including architects, general contractors and vendors.

Herr plans to eventually expand the practice to serve as an independent, third-party project manager for interested businesses in the Phoenix area. Herr will provide the service for a fee, whether or not the business is using Colliers for its real estate transaction.

“Consistent and transparent communication is key to project management,” Herr said. “We quarterback the nuanced details so the client may focus on other business priorities.”

For the past 15 years, Herr has worked with Heery International in Seattle, a full service architecture, engineering, construction management and program management firm. During his career there, he led a team of 60 design and construction professionals and served as a project executive on projects in multiple Western states.

Most recently, Herr was Heery’s project executive for the $187 million Mariposa Land Port of Entry expansion in Nogales, Ariz. Earlier in his career he worked for Texas-based companies Brown & Root and Trammell Crow Company.

Herr’s skills include project, construction and capital expenditure management, strategic business planning, contract negotiation and management and team building.

“Bruce’s executive level experience and strong emphasis on serving the best interests of the client will propel business opportunities for our clients,” said Bob Mulhern, managing director of Colliers International in Greater Phoenix.

David J. Jacofsky, MD, chairman and CEO of The CORE Institute.

The CORE Institute celebrates 10th anniversary

Ten years ago, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Dr. David J. Jacofsky, along with Dr. John A. Brown and Dr. Mark D. Campbell, believed they could provide best-in-class orthopedic care to Phoenix area residents. Ten years later, it is clear that they have been able to bring that dream to fruition with 150 care providers, 700 employees and almost half a million patients in the practice.

In January, 2005, The CORE Institute was born and over the next ten years the practice grew from one small office in Sun City West, Arizona into a nationally recognized, innovation-leading, orthopedic and neurological practice with 700 employees spanning two states and 26 facilities.

“Our phenomenal growth has been built on a platform of evidence-based medicine and meticulous outcomes tracking managed by our proprietary IT platform,” said Chairman and CEO David Jacofsky, MD. “It’s very rewarding to see our innovative approach to patient care being embraced by hundreds of thousands of patients, from all 50 states and multiple countries. The one thing that has remained the same is our commitment to a proven, evidence-based, outcomes driven, standardized patient care approach. I am proud of what we have accomplished. We’re truly honored that patients and the medical community have entrusted us to care for them at The CORE Institute over the last 10 years.”

The CORE Institute has expanded from its early years to offer care in Orthopedics, Spine, Pain Management, Neurology, Rheumatology, Plastic Surgery and Physical Therapy.  In addition to its innovative evidence-based medicine IT platform, the organization continues to be a leader in payor-reform initiatives and hospital alignment strategies.

Unique within the industry, The CORE Institute has agreements to co-manage the orthopedic departments at several major hospitals, including at five Banner Health facilities in Arizona, Green Valley Hospital South of Tucson, and St. John Providence Hospitals in Southfield and Novi Michigan. In 2013, The CORE Institute teamed up with the Cleveland Clinic, OrthoCarolina and The Rothman Institute to form the first-of-its-kind clinically integrated Orthopedic PHO (Physician Hospital Organization), operating as the National Orthopaedic & Spine Alliance LLC (NOSA).

The CORE Institute was recognized as the #1 Orthopedic Group by Ranking Arizona three years in a row, one of the Best Places to Work by Phoenix Business Journal four years in a row, and was the 2014 recipient of the IMPACT Award by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, numerous physicians have also been recognized by Phoenix Magazine Top Docs issue, Hour Detroit’s Top Docs issue, and several other publications.

Of today’s 700 employees, many are celebrating their 10th year of employment at The CORE Institute. It is no surprise to see the continued expansion and growth of The CORE Institute because of their committed and dedicated team.

The CORE Institute is already looking towards the next ten years, with clinics planned to open in other states, as well as overseas, in the near future.

“We’re early in our journey as a company and I’m very excited about our future as we expand our efforts to give patients best-in-class care,” concluded Dr. Jacofsky.

Timeline of milestones:
2005: Opened The CORE Institute in Sun City West, Arizona
2006: Expanded locations to service patients in Sun City on the Banner Boswell Medical Center campus and Phoenix on the John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital campus
2006: Welcomed 7 new providers to the Arizona Market
2006: Expanded subspecialties to include comprehensive spine care
2007: Welcomed 6 new providers to the Arizona Market
2007: Launched CORE Ink publication
2007: Relocated Peoria and North Phoenix clinics due to increased patient demand
2007: Expanded subspecialties to include hand and upper extremity care
2008: Launched non-profit foundation, the MORE Foundation
2008: Welcome 3 new providers to the Arizona Market
2008: Expanded locations to service patients in Gilbert, Arizona on the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Campus
2009: Featured new treatment options for Rotator Cuff Injuries, Reverse Shoulder Replacement
2010: Welcomed 12 new providers to the Arizona Market
2010: Recognized Drs. John Kearney, Mark Campbell, David J. Jacofsky, and Steven L. Myerthall as PHOENIX Magazine’s Top Doctors in Arizona
2011: Launched first co-management agreement with Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West, Arizona
2011: Welcomed 8 new providers to the Arizona Market
2011: Recognized Drs. Ali Araghi and Eric Feldman as PHOENIX Magazine’s Top Doctors in Arizona
2012: Opened first Spine Center in Sun City, Arizona
2012: Recognized Dr. David J. Jacofsky as one of the “Top 26 Knee Surgeons” by Orthopedics This Week
2012: Recognized Dr. David J. Jacofsky as the “Surgeon of the Year” by Arizona Business Magazine: Healthcare Leadership Awards
2012: Welcomed 21 new providers to the Arizona Market
2012: Expanded co-management relationship with Banner Health to provide world-class orthopedic care at Banner Desert Medical Center and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
2013: Expanded locations to service patients in Mesa, Arizona on the Banner Desert Medical Campus
2013: Welcomed World-Renowned Spine Surgeon from the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mark Dekutoski
2013: Expanded into Michigan, first clinic expansion outside of Arizona
2013: Launched CORE Cycling Team to include a 50-member cyclist team
2013: The CORE Institute, is joined by Cleveland Clinic, OrthoCarolina and Rothman Institute to form the first-of-its-kind clinically integrated Orthopedic PHO (Physician Hospital Organization), operating as the National Orthopaedic & Spine Alliance LLC (NOSA).
2013: Built  prosthetic tail for alligator, Mr. Stubbs
2013: Welcomed Dr. Victor Nwosu to the Michigan Market
2013: Welcomed 24 new providers to the Arizona Market team
2013: Received #1 Orthopedic Group Recognition by Ranking Arizona
2013: Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in the Valley by Phoenix Business Journal
2013: Recognized Dr. David J. Jacofsky as one of the “Most Admired Leaders” by Phoenix Business Journal
2013: Recognized Dr. Mark Dekutoski as one of the “Top 28 Spine Surgeons in America” by Orthopedics This Week
2013: Expanded co-management relationship with Banner Health to provide world-class orthopedic care at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center
2014: Opened 70,000 sq. ft. Headquarters facility and Clinic opens in Phoenix, Arizona
2014: Expanded specialties to include Neurology, Plastic Surgery and Rheumatology
2014: Signed Orthopedic Co-Management Agreement at Green Valley Hospital in South of Tucson
2014: Welcomed Gina Ore as CEO of the MORE Foundation
2014: Welcomed 4 new providers to the Michigan Market team
2014: Welcomed 40 new providers to the Arizona Market team
2014: Reached 500th employee
2014: Completed first two-level disc replacement surgery in Arizona by Dr. Ali Araghi
2014: Received #1 Orthopedic Group Recognition by Ranking Arizona for second year in a row
2014: Recognized Drs. John Kearney, Jr. and E. Michael Lucero as PHOENIX Magazine’s Top Doctors in Arizona
2014: Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in the Valley by Phoenix Business Journal
2014: Recognized for the IMPACT Awards for Entrepreneurial Excellence by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
2015: Expanded Michigan Market to Grand Blanc, Michigan

For more information, visit www.thecoreinstitute.com or call 1.866.974.2673 to schedule an appointment

Phoenix construction costs expected to rise in 2015

On February 5, Mortenson released its quarterly Construction Cost Index report for Phoenix along with five other metropolitan areas in the U.S.  According to the report, non-residential construction labor, material and equipment costs in the greater Phoenix area are forecasted to increase 3% in 2015.While costs fell in the latest quarter and there was 6% decline in local, non-residential construction employment last year according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Phoenix is expected to experience labor shortages due to the effects of healthy construction activity in California, Utah and Colorado.After recording flat growth throughout 2014, a dip in quarter four brought the Phoenix index two points below the national average. This is the first time the local index has dropped below the national index since early 2011.

“I’m concerned about the upswing in costs in the surrounding states.  Those in California, Utah and Colorado have been and will continue to pull labor from Arizona,” said Ty Bohlender, chief estimator, Mortenson. “At some point we will be dramatically affected by the depletion of local labor as work picks up again in Arizona. Moreover, at some point the national trend for material price increases will surface here regardless of local market conditions.”

Currently prices of building materials and components for electrical systems in Phoenix experienced a decline. All other categories experienced remained flat or experienced a slight decline.

Mortenson tracks and reports on six metropolitan areas in the U.S. including Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and Seattle.  The Mortenson Construction Cost Index is calculated quarterly by pricing representative non-residential construction projects in various metropolitan areas. It is part of a portfolio of industry insights and market studies provided by Mortenson.  The Construction Cost Index is available for download at http://www.mortenson.com/company/news-and-insights/construction-cost-index.



Andy Warhol exhibit coming to Phoenix Art Museum

Andy Warhol: Portraits opens at Phoenix Art Museum on March 4, 2015. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol was at the forefront of the Pop Art movement and known for his brightly colored images. This exhibition examines Warhol’s interest in capturing the likenesses of celebrities, as well as himself. On display will be more than 170 objects, including more than 90 screen print paintings, and more than 30 drawings, videos, paintings and photographs from his student days in the 1940s to the New Wave-era 1980s. Also on view will be an installation of Warhol’s reflective Silver Clouds, helium and air-filled metalized balloons.


The portrait subjects range from Prince and Queen Elizabeth II to Jackie Kennedy and Sylvester Stallone, along with many whose 15 minutes of fame has since faded. There are also several paintings, photographs, photobooth pictures and Polaroids of Warhol himself that predate today’s fascination with “selfies.” In working closely with The Andy Warhol Museum, Phoenix Art Museum was able to secure this exhibition of portraits. “This is a great opportunity to explore a single aspect of Warhol’s art, that spans the entirety of the artist’s career,” said Jerry Smith, curator of American and European art to 1950 and art of the American West at Phoenix Art Museum.


More than 25 years after his death, Andy Warhol undeniably remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. If he was alive today Warhol undoubtedly would be heavily involved with the fame, celebrities, reality television, ”selfies”, blogs, the Internet and social media with which modern day culture is obsessed. “Warhol recognized early on the growing trend of celebrity worship in our society, and of the powerful cult of famous personalities that dominates popular culture today,” said Amada Cruz, The Sybil Harrington Director at Phoenix Art Museum. She added, “He documented his social circle of society swans, movie stars and the demimonde of the 1960s and 1970s, providing a glamorous view of that era.”

Andy Warhol: Portraits will be on view at Phoenix Art Museum from March 4 to June 21, 2015. The exhibition was organized by The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Support was made possible through the generosity of Sue and Bud Selig, JPMorgan Chase & Co., J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Contemporary Forum (a support organization of Phoenix Art Museum), APS, Cohn Financial Group, LLC, Sharron and Delbert R. Lewis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Sharon and Lloyd Powell, Heather and Michael Greenbaum, Cox and The Phoenician. For additional information about the exhibition please visit phxart.org/exhibition/warholportraits.

Sky Harbor warehouses sell for $6.3M

ViaWest Group is pleased to announce a new addition to its expanding portfolio, with the recent successful acquisition of the two multi-tenant industrial buildings located at 2950 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ.. The two buildings, 50,256 SF and 44,838 SF, are part of Broadway Crossing industrial park. The fully leased multi- tenant structures, which sit on 6.47 acres, were built in 2000. Phoenix-based ViaWest Group paid $6.302+M ($66.28 per foot) on the acquisition. The seller was CNA Enterprises of Los Angeles, a real estate investment and advisory firm. Lee & Associates Principal Matt McDougall brokered the transaction.

The buildings are fully leased and were sold on a 7% cap rate with a close date of January 30th. The property is located just south of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the very active Airport submarket.

ViaWest acquired the buildings through a fund it is managing that is expected to buy $75 million to $100 million worth of industrial buildings in the Southwest U.S. ViaWest industrial fund is interested in buying projects from 75,000 SF to 250,000 SF. In addition to the industrial property fund, ViaWest is looking for office and multi-family assests and land parcels that are ready for development.

Toscana Apartments sell for $1.75M

Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services has announced the sale of Toscana Apartments, a 24- unit apartment community located in Central Phoenix, Arizona. The asset commanded a sales price of $1,750,000 or $72,917 per unit.

Brian Tranetzki and Rich Butler, multifamily investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Phoenix office, had the exclusive listing assignment to market the property and negotiated the transaction on behalf of the seller, an investment partnership from Berkeley, California and the buyer, a local private 1031 exchange investor.

“Toscana Apartments is a boutique apartment community nestled between the prestigious Biltmore neighborhood and the Central Avenue Corridor in Phoenix. Toscana is one of the most unique properties in Central Phoenix in that no two floor plans are alike; there are numerous poolside units along with apartment units that are located in a huge, picturesque garden area not typical for a Phoenix setting. Select floor plans contain fireplaces, skylights and backyards.” says Tranetzki.

Built in phases beginning in 1949, Toscana Apartments consists of block construction, pitched roofs and covered parking for each unit. Situated at Bethany Home Road and 10th Street, the subject property is located in one of central Phoenix’s highest demand residential areas.

“Approximately one mile to the south of Toscana Apartments is the Camelback Corridor, one of the region’s premier urban centers with over 9 million square-feet of multi-tenant office space and approximately 951,000 square feet of shops and restaurants in two landmark shopping centers, The Shops at Town & Country and Camelback Colonnade. Biltmore Fashion Park is located approximately one mile from the subject property at the northeast corner of 24th Street and Camelback.” adds Butler.

ARA acquires 350-unit multifamily asset

American Realty Advisors, an institutional real estate investment manager with more than $6 billion in assets under management, has acquired a 350-unit luxury multifamily community in Phoenix, Arizona. The acquisition was made in partnership with Wood Partners, a national real estate company that acquires, develops, and manages mixed-use communities.

With this acquisition, the holdings managed by American Realty Advisors encompass more than 153 assets, including multifamily, office, retail and industrial properties throughout the U.S.

“The low-density layout of this asset, approximately 25 units per acre, coupled with its central location in the sought-after Camelback East submarket of Phoenix, makes it well-positioned relative to the newer high-density product,” says Stanley Iezman, Chairman and CEO of American Realty Advisors. “The acquisition is well-aligned with American Realty Advisors’ strategy to acquire well-located assets in major institutional markets nationwide on behalf of our investors, where we can implement enhancements through active management in order to add value to these assets and drive yields for investors.”

The asset, currently known as Pinnacle Towne Center, will be re-named “Altera Highland,” and will undergo a property-wide renovation program conducted by the partnership. In addition to the competitive physical attributes, the community is well located with immediate access to the large employment centers serving Phoenix with immediate proximity to strong retail, including Whole Foods, The Shops at Town and Country, and the Camelback Colonnade.

“By upgrading this asset, American will be able to increase rents at the property, capitalizing on the advantages offered by the asset’s larger townhome floorplans with direct-access garages relative to the newer luxury product which offers smaller average unit sizes and structured parking,” explains Iezman.

“This community reflects the demands of today’s renters, including amenity-rich living in a central location,” says Iezman, who notes that the property also features a luxury clubhouse, two resort-style pools with spas, and a fitness center, all of which will be upgraded as part of the planned enhancement program.

The Altera Highland community is located at 1601 E. Highland Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona. American Realty Advisors and Wood Partners represented themselves in the acquisition. The seller, a REIT controlled by Essex Property Trust, was represented by Tyler Anderson of CBRE.

With over $6 billion in assets under management, American Realty Advisors is an investment manager to institutional investors, and has provided real estate investment management services for over 26 years utilizing core and value-added commingled funds and separate accounts. American acquires assets directly or provides equity, preferred equity, mezzanine debt, debt and hybrid debt to primary investors and developers operating throughout the United States for office, industrial, multi-family, and retail properties. More information regarding American can be found at www.americanreal.com.

Fractured condominiums turns class-A apartments

The Phoenix office of JLL has completed the $18.1 million investment sale of Indigo, a formerly fractured Phoenix condominium asset that over 24 months was transformed into a high demand, 108-unit Class A apartment community.

JLL Executive Vice President John Cunningham and JLL Vice President Charles Steele represented the seller, Seattle-based Goodman Real Estate. The buyer was Belkorp Holdings, Inc.

“Goodman recognized the potential of Indigo as a rental versus for sale project, and simultaneously executed a development and buy-back strategy to ‘de-fracture’ the community,” said Cunningham. “This is a great case study demonstrating the recovery of our multifamily market.”

Indigo is located at 16160 S. 50th Street, near I-10 and Chandler Boulevard in Phoenix’s Ahwatukee submarket. Goodman purchased the property in 2013 as a fractured multifamily development, with 17 of its 30 Class A units previously sold as condominiums and with the infrastructure in place to build an additional 78 units. Over 24 months, the owner acquired many of the previously sold units and developed the additional 78 units to de-fracture the 108-unit community to 101 rental units and seven individually owned units.

Today, Indigo features one- and two-bedroom, open-concept floorplans ranging from 903 square feet to 1,524 square feet. Unit amenities include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, in-home washers and dryers, walk-in closets and personal patios or balconies. On-site amenities include a resident lounge, fitness center and resort-style pool and spa with cabanas and barbeques.

The project currently sits at 94 percent occupied.

“Phoenix added more than 55,000 jobs last year, which helped push the metro multifamily vacancy rate to 5 percent,” said Steele. “While single family home starts continue to lag the long-term trend, we feel that robust employment and population growth will be the catalyst for stronger absorption of multifamily units in the coming years.”

Sven Tustin named VP of Conor Commercial

John A. Dobrott, President – Industrial Division of Conor Commercial Real Estate, a member of The McShane Companies, announced that Sven Tustin has joined the firm as vice president of its Southwest regional office.  Tustin will be headquartered in Conor Commercial’s office in Phoenix, Arizona, managing development activities within a wide variety of market sectors throughout Arizona and the Southwest Region.  In his role, he will provide strategic direction and management of Conor Commercial’s land selection and acquisition, feasibility/underwriting, entitlements, holdings, speculative development, build-to-suit opportunities, financing, leasing and disposition activities.

With nearly 12 years of commercial real estate development experience, Tustin most recently served as Vice President, Development and Investment for Trammell Crow Company where he oversaw development activities within the industrial, office and mixed-use market sectors throughout Phoenix and Las Vegas, Nevada.  In this capacity, Tustin managed the development of over one million square feet of office and industrial properties.  His responsibilities included the detailed coordination of project team members and outside entities, establishing and adhering to project budgets and schedules, and the management of tenant improvement undertakings.  He was also responsible for identifying new development and investment opportunities through undeveloped land, non-performing loans and value-add acquisitions.

In addition, Tustin worked for Development Planning and Finance Group Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona, and Walnut Street Management based in Denver, Colorado.

“Sven is a highly-qualified and valuable addition to our team,” stated Dobrott.  “With his appointment to Vice President and his vast experience within the Phoenix and greater Southwest markets, Conor Commercial is positioned to deliver best-in-class development services to our clients.  Tustin’s years of expertise in providing development expertise across the industrial, office and mixed-use markets, among others, provides our firm with the resources and depth to immediately enhance our position within these sectors and geographical areas.”

Tustin earned a Master of Science degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver following a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He is currently a member of the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Tustin can be reached at:

Sven Tustin

Vice President – Southwest Region

Conor Commercial Real Estate

3131 E. Camelback Road, Suite 115

Phoenix, AZ  85016

602.845.5200 (main number)

602.515.0884 (direct dial)

602.508.6167 (fax)