Tag Archives: phoenix


Beazer Homes offers summer savings for buyers

Beazer Homes Phoenix, a Top 10 national homebuilder, is offering summer savings opportunities to buyers through the Come Home to More Event May 1-17.

“This is a great opportunity for homebuyers to see how they can get more out of a new home,” said Tim Little, Division President for Beazer Homes Phoenix. “All of Beazer’s high quality, ENERGY STAR® certified homes provide cost saving benefits through our Choice Plans program allowing our buyers’ to personalize main living areas of their home at no additional cost, and through our Mortgage Choices program where preferred lenders compete to earn our buyers’ business leading to great service and highly competitive rates and fees.”

During the Come Home to More Sales Event, Beazer Homes Phoenix will offer a free move-in ready package including refrigerator, washer/dryer and blinds on Quick Move-in homes. Interested buyers are encouraged to visit www.beazer.comto view offer details for their desired community.  Also available on the website are comprehensive galleries of homes in the area, an array of floor plan options, estimated average utility costs, community overviews,  reviews from other buyers and much more.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton talks about Phoenix Forward, which will help with business retention and expansion.

Phoenix Forward launched to spark business growth

Officials said local business expansion makes up 80 percent of new jobs.

Phoenix leaders plan to help facilitate that growth and support business needs through the Phoenix Forward initiative, which launched Wednesday.

The initiative is a partnership between the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, the city of Phoenix, the Arizona Commerce Authority and Maricopa County.

Phoenix Forward plans to meet with businesses to gain an understanding of their operation and help with retention and expansion. They will assist with developing policy issues, analyzing industry trends, overcoming regulatory barriers and promoting the region for new companies.

The initiative was funded by $1.5 million from private investors and will focus on companies in four key sectors: transportation and logistics, advanced business services, health care and bioscience.

Sandra Watson, CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the Phoenix Forward initiative is about communication, collaboration and commitment to enhance the state’s economy.

“The idea of Phoenix Forward is to really help support existing businesses in the state as well as in the city and to ensure that they have everything they need in order to continue to grow,“ she said.

“If they have workforce issues, we can assemble a team to address workforce. If they are looking to export to outside markets, we can assemble a team to provide information and intelligence on various market opportunities for businesses.”

Todd Sanders, president of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, said the idea for the initiative began two years ago in an effort to understand how to support local businesses. The first thing they learned was that it had to be a collaborative process.

“We decided it was time to stop admiring the problem and to do something about it,” Sanders said at a news conference. “It means that the data we’re all collecting is going to come back to one central spot. We’re going to share it. We’re going to know what’s happening, and we’re going to know what’s out there.”

Russ Yelton, CEO of Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, said his company has identified new talent, explored several spaces to build a larger facility and received workforce training grants through the Phoenix Forward initiative.

“The support helps us in staying focused on growing our business and adding jobs to our community,” he said. “We have doubled our workforce to over 70 associates in the last 18 months and plan on hiring another 30 by the end of this year.”

Stanton said the area of economic development and job growth had been too siloed.

“If we are really going to grow jobs in this community, most of it is going to come from existing companies deciding to reinvest here in our community,” he said. “We’re going to be a much better partner to the business community as a result of this coming together.”

The Phoenician resort is nestled in the Sonoran Desert, with the breathtaking Camelback Mountain its backdrop. Photo: The Phoenician

The Phoenician offers family-friendly summer luxury

The Phoenician, Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond resort destination, and its boutique hotel, The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, are welcoming summer with sizzling rates and signature activities.

Beginning Monday, May 25 through Monday, September 7, 2015, guests of the 250-acre Phoenician can take advantage of the best rates of the year, starting from just $159 per night.  At The Canyon Suites — Arizona’s only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel — a more personalized, intimate experience is available, with guestrooms starting at $219 and suites at $329 per night.  

Visitors to both properties will discover a diverse collection of activities, including Smartphone photography classes, special wine tastings with Arizona’s only Master Sommelier, dive-in movies, Glo at the Pho neon pool parties, Pop! Up movies, animal encounters and the Flight of the Phoenix, a mythological bird of prey show.  Exclusive Canyon Suites offerings are highlighted by culinary and cocktail demonstrations, complimentary Electra bicycles for touring the resort grounds or nearby communities, and a library presenting the latest New York Times best sellers.  

In addition, the two properties combined feature a total of eight spacious pools, full-service cabanas, a 165-foot water slide, the interactive “sprayground,” SURGE, a championship golf course, renowned spa and numerous award-winning restaurants offering select dining specials.

For more information and to make reservations, please call (800) 888-8234 and mention rate plan SUMMER, or visit www.thephoenician.com/offers  or www.canyonsuites.com/offers.

“We had a tremendous response to our summer programming last year, which has translated into even more events, activities and special offerings for 2015,” said Mark Vinciguerra, managing director.  “We look forward to sharing these many memorable experiences with staycationers and visitors alike in the coming months.”

During the summer holiday weekends, entertaining, themed programming and activities will be offered, sponsored by Infiniti on Camelback.   Memorial Day Weekend kicks things off with a Surf’s Up!  Block Party featuring the band Southwest Surfers; along with face painting; a sidewalk chalk art competition; and a Hawaiian shirt contest.  Following a Father’s Day “Weekend Off” event showcasing all things Dads like to do, the Independence Weekend gets under way with – IGNITE.  On Friday, July 3, fireworks on the Casita Lawn will be preceded by a live performance from the band Young Country.   An indoor carnival featuring a Shock Wave Obstacle Course, mechanical bull, a basketball shootout and football throw skill game will highlight the Saturday, July 4, activities.  To wrap up the season, The Phoenician will host “On the Boardwalk” during the Labor Day Weekend with food trucks, rides, a magician and a special concert.
Michael Shafer, director of the ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy and John Bentz, president of developer PAG-CDG.

ASU and Westward Ho launch innovative partnership

Residents who live in a landmark downtown Phoenix affordable housing high-rise will benefit from a new state-of-the-art clinic being built by Arizona State University (ASU) through its Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy. The facility will also serve as a valuable training ground for students working under faculty supervision.

 The new facility was made possible by a lease recently approved by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) between ASU and PAG-CDG (Westward Ho developers and property managers). John Bentz, president of PAG said, “This is a rare project for HUD due to the lease and the related programming in the facility.  We are proud that it is happening right here in downtown Phoenix.”

The College of Public Service and Community Solutions is leasing 15,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the Westward Ho building but this is not the beginning of the relationship. ASU nursing students currently provides residents with health services such as blood pressure checks, nutritional help, and disease prevention programs. The expanded facility will also give residents access to counseling, referral services, community assistance as well as educational and cultural enrichment opportunities. The clinic will provide hands-on experience and professional development training for students majoring in social work, nutrition, therapeutic recreation, and nursing.

“We could not be more excited about this unique opportunity to put the design imperatives of Arizona State University and our College into practice.  An integral part of our mission is to fuse research, service and learning. This innovative partnership does exactly that;  And the Westward Ho initiative exemplifies our dedication to developing collaborative solutions in our community,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

“Establishing an ASU presence within this historic landmark of our community is the embodiment of our university’s commitment to community embeddeness”, said Dr. Michael S. Shafer, professor of Social Work and director of the ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. 

The 16-story Westward Ho is a historically significant building. It opened as a hotel in 1928 with 600 elegant rooms. With the exception of one building in Long Beach, California, the hotel was the tallest reinforced concrete structure west of the Mississippi. Its famous Thunderbird Room was added in 1951. The 1,000-seat dinner theater was the site for many grand Phoenix society receptions. In 1979, the 600-room hotel was converted to affordable housing. Today, Westward Ho is a 289 unit ‘elderly preference’ affordable housing development within ¼ mile from a light rail station and close to downtown amenities.


“We are happy to have Arizona State University here providing health and social services, “ said Mildred Webb, an 84-year-old resident at Westward Ho. “They have helped me and others many times and now my life is better. I am very happy they are expanding.”


“It is great to have companies such as PAG-CDG investing in the community as they have done for over twenty years,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski, District 7. “Top that with ASU’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy running some of the most innovative social programs in the country, and we have a great one-of-a-kind neighborhood asset.” said Councilman Nowakowski.


In addition to renovating office space for the faculty, staff, and students that work at the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, Westward Ho plans to repair and upgrade various building components including central plant mechanical and plumbing system repairs and replacement of select in-unit features.


“The lease represents the culmination of years of discussions with ASU and will be a true community asset, not only to the residents of Westward Ho, but also the general public,” said John Bentz of PAG-CDG.  “Having ASU expand North of Fillmore Street for the first time will help activate this area of Central Avenue and improve its walkablilty. This is a great example of a public-private initiative between multiple organizations coming together to create a unique and special community asset.”

The clinic is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015.


Squire Patton Boggs partner helps found governance group

Squire Patton Boggs Phoenix partner Frank M. Placenti, along with a group of the leading corporate governance lawyers from the US and Canada, have founded the American College of Governance Counsel. The College is a professional, educational and honorary association of lawyers widely-recognized for their achievements in the field of governance. Mr. Placenti serves as the inaugural President and as a Trustee of the College.

Through its programs, the College will address the major governance issues facing business enterprises including developing challenges to traditional models of governance, risk management, shareholder engagement, and an increasingly complex regulatory and enforcement environment. Membership is extended by invitation only to lawyers who have practiced law for a minimum of 15 years, 10 of which must have been in the field of corporate governance. Additionally, the Board of Trustees has elected an inaugural class of 36 Fellow to join the 14 founding Fellows and has also admitted 9 Honorary Fellows. A complete list of the founders and Fellows can be viewed on the College’s website.

With more than 30 years’ experience in corporate governance and M&A issues, Mr. Placenti is no stranger to the boardroom, both as an advisor to some of Arizona’s largest public companies and as a member of numerous public and private company and non-profit boards of directors. He has also had leading roles in advising boards throughout the country and in Asia in connection with governance matters.

In addition to his leadership role in the College, Mr. Placenti currently serves as a Vice Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of the American Bar Association and as Lead Director for a private company based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mr. Placenti has had leadership roles in several non-profit organizations within the Phoenix community. He formerly served as the chair of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, Chair of the Metropolitan Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and as a member of that hospital’s Board of Directors. He currently serves as a member of the Board of the UTI Foundation.

Squire Patton Boggs Chair and Global CEO Mark J. Ruehlmann stated: “We are proud to see Frank take his place among America’s leading corporate governance lawyers and are pleased that our firm could provide much of the administrative support for the launch of the College.”

“Frank is a constant creator. He has innovated numerous non-profit efforts in the Valley and is frequently called upon by his clients to design or redesign their board and governance structures,” added Lew Clark, managing partner of the Squire Patton Boggs Phoenix office.

Architectural Photography by Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging LLC

Phoenix industrial markets continue to break ground

Source: Lee & Associates Q1 Report

The Phoenix industrial market continued to improve in the first quarter of the year, posting its lowest percentage vacancy (11.8%) since Q1 2008. In that 7-year time period, the Valley’s industrial inventory gained over 32 million SF of warehouse/distribution, manufacturing and flex space. The most recent seven quarters have yielded the most productive net absorption gains during this period as well. This all coincides with a strong return to market fundamentals and an improving U.S. economy.

Leasing activity has remained steady throughout the past seven years, but the activity level signals that there is quality product for lease throughout the Phoenix area. With all the available space, rental rates have yet to return to pre-recession levels, but have been gaining ground slowly each quarter.

Using available and inexpensive funding resources, built-to-suit and spec. projects have gained momentum in the market in which nearly 2.4 million SF of product is under construction. Over 2.8 million SF was delivered to market inventory this past quarter alone.

The entire industrial market has its bright spots in different areas. The Southeast Valley’s demand remains strong for data and call centers and manufacturing facilities, while the Southwest Valley continues as the center for large distribution buildings. Multi-tenant distribution and warehouse projects are currently in high demand for medium-sized space. Chandler and the Sky Harbor Airport area remain the strongest areas for new multi-tenant building activity.

The Valley’s industrial market closed Q1 2015 with a vacancy rate of 11.8%, 20-basis points lower compared to last quarter. Net absorption landed at 1,337,703 SF. The Southwest and Southeast Valley combined for nearly 1 million SF of that total.

Overall asking rental rates saw a minor drop of -0.4% which does not seem to be an indicator of any specific trend. Leasing activity was generally lower but within historical norms and quarterly fluctuations.

In the largest lease transaction of the first quarter, Tuesday Morning leased 593,600 SF at Liberty Logistics Center, 563 S. 63rd Ave. in Phoenix. The company is expected to move into the vacant facility by September of this year. The facility will be used as a Western U.S. distribution center for the discount retailer.

The largest sale transaction for the quarter was the $10.2 million sale of 651 N. 101st Ave. in Avondale. The 73,050 SF general industrial building was bought by Cummins Rocky Mountain and sold by Granco Enterprises. Price per SF was calculated at $139.63.


Mesa Airlines celebrates company’s 100th regional jet

Employees of Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines celebrated the arrival of the company’s 100th regional jet at its Phoenix hangar. The 76-seat E175, new from the Embraer factory in Brazil, was greeted by hundreds of Mesa employees, who enjoyed lunch and tours of the new aircraft.

“Taking delivery of our 100th jet is truly a great moment for our company,” said Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein. “I would like to thank all of our dedicated employees, our longtime partners at American and United, and my friends and co-workers, including President Mike Lotz, COO Paul Foley, and EVP and Captain Mike Ferverda, among many others. We have a lot to be thankful for, and I truly believe there has never been a better time for Mesa Airlines.”

Mesa Airlines is currently the fastest growing airline in the country, with long-term partnership agreements with American Airlines and United Airlines. Mesa operates under the American Eagle and US Airways Express brands from hubs in Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth and as United Express from Washington Dulles and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Mesa’s previously announced aircraft deliveries will bring the fleet total to 115 by the end of 2015. The company is hiring all positions, including pilots, flight attendants and mechanics in locations across the country including Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington Dulles, Houston and El Paso.

“Our continued success goes back to the principles established by our founders Janie and Larry Risley back in 1982 in Farmington, New Mexico,” said Ornstein. “We do our best each day to provide outstanding customer service to our passengers, opportunities and job security for our employees, and industry-leading performance and efficiency for our airline partners.”

Mesa currently operates 78 Bombardier regional jets and recently announced the purchase of seven factory-new Bombardier CRJ900 NextGEN aircraft it will operate for American. In addition, Mesa currently operates 22 Embraer E175s for United, with eight more entering service this year.


Super Lawyers: Stinson Leonard Street

Five attorneys from the Phoenix office of Stinson Leonard Street LLP were named 2015 Southwest Super Lawyers and five others were named Southwest Rising Stars.

The attorneys selected as 2015 Southwest Super Lawyers:

Carrie Francis, Employment & Labor

Jeffrey Goulder, Business Litigation

Michael Manning, Business Litigation

Michael Parrish, Business Litigation

Lonnie Williams Jr., Business Litigation

The attorneys selected as 2015 Southwest Rising Stars:

Jennifer Allen, Business Litigation

Craig Morgan, Business Litigation

Sharon Ng, Business Litigation

Stefan Palys, Business Litigation

Lawrence Wulkan, Civil Rights

Super Lawyers recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice. Selection is based on third-party validation of each attorney’s professional accomplishments. 


GPE Commercial Advisors sells 9,816 SF Phoenix school

GPE Commercial Advisors, one of the oldest privately owned commercial real estate firms in Arizona, secured the sale of a 9,816 SF one-story school located at 812 South 6th Avenue in Phoenix. The building sold for $615,000.

Executive Vice President, Nicholas A. Pelusio, and Senior Vice President, Kevin Helland represented the seller, Marie Maros Siblings, LLC. Benson Sainsbury with InSite Educational Facilities represented the buyer, Vista College Preparatory, Inc.

Vista College Preparatory has been in the building since 2013 and purchased the building in order to expand the school. Vista College Prep is a free charter school with a longer school day (7:40 am – 4:00 pm), small class sizes, and teachers who firmly believe that all students can achieve academic success if they have access to a high quality education.

Potato & Corn Chowder

Spice up summer with Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup

Enchilada cravers, soup sippers and salad munchers can rejoice. The new summer-ready menu at Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup is ready to serve.

Fork up some fun and spoon up some spicy new flavors at Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup, where they offer way more than just their signature build-your-own enchiladas. Did you know that Gadzooks also serves up build-your-own street tacos and house-made soups? Not to mention fresh-baked desserts, handmade margaritas and a special Sunday brunch menu featuring enchiladas topped with brunch-only ingredients such as a jalapeno potato hash or eggs any-style?

Plus, perfect for summer, every Gadzooks enchilada combination is also available as a salad. Simply order all of your favorite filling and fixings, and then watch as they are flame-fired in the 575-oven, and then fresh-chopped and dressed to order alongside a bed of leafy romaine lettuce. And putting the soup in Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup, chef/owner Aaron Pool recently rolled out an all-new spicy potato and corn chowder. And although this new soup is vegetarian, it doesn’t have to stay that way, says Pool. “It works just like our tortilla soup, where you add any of our filling and toppings to the soup ‘base.’ I highly recommend adding the guajillo braised short ribs, salsa verde, pico salsa, and jalapeño ranch sauce to it.”

38 Street Apts

CBRE completes sale of 38th Street Apartments in Phoenix

CBRE has negotiated the following multi-family sales transaction(s):

· Trinity Apartments, LLLP from Vancouver, B.C. Canada has purchased the 38th Street Apartments, a 14-unit multi-family property located at 3234 North 38th Street in Phoenix, Arizona from 3234 N 38th Street, LLC of Mesa, Arizona. Brian Smuckler and Jeff Seaman of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented both buyer and the seller in negotiating the $860,000 transaction.

The Home Furnishing & Design Show will debut March 28-29, 2015, at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

Healthy Housing Challenge kicks off in Phoenix

Rebuilding Together and a team of Wells Fargo volunteers will formally kick off the Healthy Housing Challenge  on April 25, 2015 by completing critical repairs to make a home in North Central Phoenix dramatically healthier and safer. Repairs will include: painting and landscaping the home’s exterior, new windows, siding and fascia and will be funded, in part, by a $15,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation along with a commitment of 60 team member volunteer hours.
Rebuilding Together is one of 32 local organizations across the country that is leading the Healthy Housing Challenge, which is a joint project of the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) and Rebuilding Together.  The Healthy Housing Challenge provides tools, training and additional funds to help Rebuilding Together affiliates make free critical repairs to correct health and safety hazards in the homes of low-income families, seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities.
Nationwide, an estimated 30 million homes pose potential health threats, which contribute to asthma and other respiratory diseases, carbon monoxide poisoning, lung cancer, falls, and burns, which add billions to national health care costs.  Many such hazards can be corrected through relatively simple, low-cost repairs, such as repairing roofs and gutters, removing old carpeting, clearing clogged clothes dryer vents, adding ventilation, installing grab bars and handrails, and sealing gaps and cracks to keep out pests.
Making Homes Healthier and Safer
“Wells Fargo is proud to support Rebuilding Together and help to kick off the National Housing Challenge,” said Pam Conboy, lead region president for Wells Fargo Arizona.  “Our team members are passionate about giving back and we know that these small measures, together, will make a huge difference to housing in Phoenix and to the well-being of those who live here.”
Since 2013, Wells Fargo has committed $959,000 to the Healthy Housing Challenge, helping to build the capacity of 40 Rebuilding Together affiliates in communities across the country.
Rebuilding Together affiliates in 11 other communities are making expanded health and safety repairs through Healthy Housing Challenge projects this spring: Austin, TX; Bergen County, NJ; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Montgomery County, MD; Portland, OR; Rohnert Park/Cotati, CA; Saratoga County, NY; Santa Rosa, CA; Silicon Valley, CA; and Tri-Cities, VA.
“We hope that by participating in the Healthy Housing Challenge, Rebuilding Together affiliates will have a ripple effect in their communities. The public deserves to know about dangers in the home and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves,” said Dennis Flynn, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun. “When we work together in applying the principles of healthy homes, simple repairs can make every home safer and healthier.” 

The Pizza Studio to open second location in Phoenix

DTZ announced that TPS Phoenix, LLC, dba The Pizza Studio, signed a lease for 2,111 square feet at 24th at Camelback (Phase I) , 2375 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix. This is the second location in the Valley and fourth in Arizona for Pizza Studio. Their first Valley location is at CityScape in downtown Phoenix. DTZ’s Brent Mallonee represented the landlord, Hines, during the lease transaction.

“We are excited about the addition of Pizza Studio to the 24th At Camelback property,” according to Michelle Brown, Property Manager for Hines. “Their menu of fast, fresh gourmet pizzas is not like anything else currently available in our immediate area and we believe is a welcome addition for our tenants.”

Pizza Studio is a pizza place where you get to Create Your MasterpieceTM every time you order. They offer a variety of crusts, premium meats, fresh-cut and roasted veggies for customers to customize individual pizza order to exactly as they want. The Pizza Studio is committed to local community and global sustainability and proudly supports local artists by providing a venue to display and sell their art, and donates meals to local food banks as well as to the Feeding America Foundation.


Musical Instrument Museum celebrates 5th anniversary

With a mission to collect, preserve and make accessible instruments from every country in the world, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is the world’s only global musical instrument museum. This month the museum will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a weeklong series of public events.

During its relatively short existence, MIM has already made a tremendous impact on the greater Phoenix community. The museum has welcomed more than 1.15 million guests and has risen to TripAdvisor’s top-ranked attraction in the Phoenix area. Additionally, at a time when arts education is being cut from many Arizona schools, MIM has welcomed more than 140,000 students as part of its school field-trip program.

The museum has also seen tremendous growth in both its collection and programing throughout the past five years. The museum opened with 173 fully installed displays and today has 370 fully installed displays. The museum’s popular “Experience” series has also expanded. These signature events, which used to occur quarterly, are now hosted on a monthly basis, allowing many more cultural groups to share their musical traditions. MIM Music Theater’s schedule of concerts has tripled in size. The acoustically superb space originally hosted about 60 concerts per year and now hosts more than 200.

The museum also has big plans for 2015. In addition to the highly anticipated launch of MIM’s first membership program on April 20, the museum will also host its inaugural summer camp in June. Each weeklong session will offer a unique focus on global culture, highlighting world connections through the power of music, art and more. In November MIM will host its second annual global music festival, MIMFest. Attendees can expect more than a dozen distinguished performers on three stages, plus delicious food from local food trucks and fun activities for guests of all ages.

“In five years MIM has already carved a path to being recognized as one of the best museums in the world, but this is just the beginning,” said April Salomon, executive director of MIM. “As a museum in constant evolution, we’re excited to continue fulfilling MIM’s mission and look forward to inspiring and entertaining guests for many years to come.”

MIM’s weeklong fifth anniversary celebration begins on April 20. Each weekday’s theme is inspired by one of the museum’s five major Geographical Galleries. The day’s activities will include two Gallery Talks by members of MIM’s curatorial team as well as a musical performance and a themed menu in Café Allegro.

On April 25 and 26 the museum will host “Experience MIM.” This weekend celebration, in the style of MIM’s popular signature event series, will include an opportunity to “speed date” a curator; multiple musical performances; interactive elements such as craft activities, a photo booth and face painting; complimentary cupcakes for the first 100 guests each day; and a sparkling wine tasting in Café Allegro.

The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit MIM.org or call 480.478.6000.

Lifehouse performance

Maricopa wins ‘Battle of the Burbs’

To say these residents have  hometown pride would simply be an understatement.

For the second year in a row, the City of Maricopa has been crowned the winning metro Phoenix ‘burb by popular Valley radio station Mix 96.9 in its  “Battle of the Burbs” competition.

The widespread online competition began with 32 suburbs around the Valley vying to see which would get the most votes. Every city in the region was represented in the tournament-style bracket.

The determination for the City of Maricopa to keep its winning title was steady all along. Maricopa was first being matched up against Surprise, then it faced Queen Creek, Casa Grande and Mesa. During the final round, it came down to Anthem and Maricopa.  The City of Maricopa won the final round again this year. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to be winners once again,” said Maricopa Mayor Christian Price. “It is truly a tribute to all of our residents and how much they love living in Maricopa. Winning this competition two years in a row reflects the passion that Maricopa residents have for their community. Receiving a recognition like this makes the City of Maricopa proud, as we know it’s a reflection of all of the great things happening right now in our community.”

As a grand prize for winning the contest, popular rock band Lifehouse performed at the City of Maricopa’s Copper Sky Regional Park on Friday, making it a festive evening for everyone involved.

The shiny trophy with a cactus inside will proudly reside in the lobby entrance of City Hall, right next to the trophy from last year’s winning title.

Desert Stone condos sells for $1.1M

ABI Multifamily, a multifamily brokerage and advisory services firm, is announced the sale of a prime located Central Phoenix, 13 Unit, complete condominium property – Desert Stone – for $1,100,000 or $84,615 Per Unit.

Desert Stone Condominiums was originally built in two phases – 1965 and 2003. The 1965 built portion was highly renovated in 2011 and 2012. The property is a well maintained complete condominium community. Desert Stone consists of 2 rental buildings, a grassy common area and a sparkling swimming pool. The buildings were constructed of block and wood, with pitched asphalt shingle roofs. Each building is individually metered unit for electricity. The units include abundant closet space, modern kitchens and bathrooms, and a fully enclosed one or two car garage. Seven of the thirteen condo units have washer/dryer connections and the remaining units have use of an on-site laundry facility.

ABI Multifamily facilitated this sale and have represented the buyer in the transaction. This was the second recent purchase for this buyer through ABI Multifamily.

The property is ideally located in an outstanding east-central Phoenix location. Madison Rose Lane Elementary School is across the street from the property. With easy access to a plethora of jobs, higher education schools, quality healthcare and shopping, the property is uniquely positioned for continued high demand.

Desert Stone Condominiums Sale Highlights:

The Buyer, Koventures LLC, based in Carlsbad, CA, is an experienced multifamily investor with other complete condominium projects in the Phoenix market.

The Seller, Wei Zhou and Yuk Chiu Lou, based in San Diego, CA, are private investors.


Owners of Crudo opening Okra this summer

n5Oppr4-DU6uyBJGKPVZlocMMozATOegJgUP4APbQxk,qvxz_EI2uDeHS3UMUqQPVzEXBQdPwmTinuosJIHLJ-YThe trio behind the award-winning Crudo & Bar Crudo have announced the plans for their sophomore effort, Okra, an all-new offering that blurs the lines between Southern and Italian cooking.  Led by chef Cullen Campbell, wife/co-owner Maureen Campbell and co-owner/mixologist, Micah Olson, this project represents a return of sorts for Chef Campbell, who was inspired to reconnect with his family’s deep Southern roots that occupied his formative culinary years.  After splitting time between Phoenix and his family’s cotton plantation in Forrest City, Arkansas, Campbell attended college just across the Mississippi River in Memphis, where he was steeped in the city’s classic culinary traditions, including the secret to true Tennessee Hot Chicken (hint: if the key to French cooking is butter, down South it’s lard).  Okra will serve as a showcase of these experiences, and much like Crudo, will combine modern takes on traditional dishes with a hint of classic Italian influences.

The bill of lunch & dinner fare will be served daily and will include some immediate standouts, like Southern Fried Chicken served two ways: Buttermilk-brined or Tennessee Hot, plus rib-sticking eats such as Pig Pot Pie, Ham Hocks and the Redneck Burger, accompanied by classic accouterments such as Mississippi Comeback Sauce and Alabama White BBQ Sauce.  You’ll find the subtle, and signature, Italian influences throughout, with focaccia bread pizzas and the aforementioned Southern Fried Chicken topped with a rustic Umbrian meat sauce.  Wash it all down with an expansive collection of wines, craft beers & cocktails, including a seasonal selection of Mint Juleps hand-crafted by Olson to feature the finest small-batch bourbons.

Now under construction inside Crown on 7th, a striking rehab of a midcentury modern strip in north-central Phoenix, Okra’s (5813 N. 7th St.) 100-seat space will blend indoor and outdoor environments while sporting an open kitchen, a first for this culinary team.  The result will be a rich, intimate experience that connects the front and back of the house like never before.


Steptoe & Johnson adds Joseph Kiefer, Jason Porter

Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced the arrivals of two new lawyers in the firm’s Phoenix office.
Kiefer, Joseph

Kiefer, Joseph

Joseph Kiefer is an attorney who focuses on trial litigation.  He represents large and small clients in insurance bad faith cases, commercial litigation, product liability, military law and criminal matters.  Mr. Kiefer has served as a third-party neutral in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings and has extensive experience in mediation, arbitration, and facilitation.  A colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Mr. Kiefer has served on active duty and in the reserves as a judge advocate since 1998.  He spent eight years as a prosecutor and defense counsel, eight years as a trial judge in the Air Force Trial Judiciary, and is currently an appellate judge on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

Mr. Kiefer earned his J.D. from the William & Mary Law School, where he received the Gambrell Professionalism Award and Sponge Leadership Award, and was an editor of the Military Law Review.  He earned an MBA from Chaminade University and a B.S., with merit, in economics and political science from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Jason Porter is an associate who focuses on commercial and insurance litigation.  In addition, he has represented clients in appellate matters before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Arizona Courts of Appeals.  Mr. Porter clerked on the Arizona Court of Appeals for the Honorable Maurice Portley, and on the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, for the Honorable G. Murray Snow.Porter, Jason - Phx - 300 DPI

Mr. Porter earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where he was a member of the Arizona State Law Journal and a Center Scholar in the College’s Center for the Study of Law, Science & Technology.  He earned the highest score on the July 2008 Arizona bar exam.  Prior to entering law school, Mr. Porter worked as an aerospace engineer.  He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University.


Distribution company buys industrial property in Phoenix

DTZ, a global leader in commercial real estate services, announced the $3.1 million sale of 3000 E. Chambers Street, a ±61,729 square foot single-tenant industrial building in Phoenix. MLCY Investment, LLC purchased the property and will occupy the space, which includes 26% office buildout and an evaporative-cooled warehouse with grade-level doors and a double-wide truckwell.

DTZ’s Paul Boyle, Rick Danis and Pete Klees represented the seller, WE Valoroso Holding Corporation, a company formed by JP Morgan Chase Bank. DTZ’s Andy Cloud represented the buyer.

Built in 1987, the building was vacant at the time of sale. The former occupant, Fluoresco, still locates its headquarters in Tucson, AZ.


Roosevelt Row unites locals for Arizona Gives Day

To promote arts and culture in downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) is hosting a unique community celebration event on April 7th as part of Arizona Gives Day, the single-largest day of online giving in the state of Arizona. Roosevelt Row CDC proudly exists because of its residents and supporters who invest energy and resources in the artists’ district.
“This event is a great opportunity to bring the community together,” says Vermon Pierre, Board President for Roosevelt Row CDC. “We exist because of the great support from the community. This is a way for people to share their story of the district, while offering an opportunity to give back. As this downtown area continues to change, it’s important to focus on what makes our community special – local artists, businesses, history and culture.”
The Roosevelt Row Fundraising Celebration will be held on Tuesday, April 7th, from 9AM – 9PM, uniting local businesses, artists and residents from around the area, where attendees can enjoy samples from local businesses like Melt. Icecream, Pizza People Pub, Paz Cantina, artist demonstrations, live music, and an opportunity to meet members of the Roosevelt Row CDC board.
The organization aims to fundraise $20,000 on April 7 to continue fostering a vibrant, dense, diverse and walkable downtown by supporting small businesses, advocating for local artist retention and affordable artist live/work housing and growing community programs. With the support of numerous community partners and grant funding, shipping containers have been converted into pop-up gallery spaces, First and Third Fridays have grown into a regular tradition attracting a growing number of visitors every month, and annual events like the Chile Pepper Festival and Pie Social return each year.
Donating to Roosevelt Row CDC provides tremendous outcomes for creative placemaking in Phoenix. Help create a more vibrant, dense, diverse and walkable Roosevelt Row Artists’ District by supporting Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation 501(c)3 on Arizona Gives Day! 
To donate to Roosevelt Row or learn more about the Fundraising Celebration event, please visit www.givetororo.org

West 35th Apartments sells for $8.8M

ABI Multifamily, a dedicated multifamily brokerage and advisory services firm, announced the sale of a highly renovated North Phoenix, 144 Unit, multifamily property – West 35th Apartments – for $8,820,500 or $61,253 Per Unit.

West 35th Apartments was originally constructed 1983 and was highly renovated in 2011 and 2012.  The seller in this latest transaction purchased the property in 2010 through a Freddie Mac short sale process. This was the only known Phoenix large apartment community short sale that Freddie Mac approved of during the latest economic downturn. West 35th Apartments went through dramatic renovations and as a result of these renovations and its great management, the property has become the submarket leader in rental rates and occupancy. The renovations at West 35th Apartments were in excess of $1,000,000 or approximately $7,500/unit, which is considered a dramatic renovation in the Phoenix apartment industry. The property sits on approximately 4.46 acres of land, with 8 total buildings and a dedicated leasing center.  All common areas were highly renovated in 2011 and 2012 and over 30% of the interiors were as well.  West 35th is a solid and highly sought after “B” class community, with a mix of one and two bedroom floor plans.

“Wow, this is one of the best renovations I have ever seen on a mid-80’s constructed apartment community.  West 35th Apartments even has an amazing looking glass pool fence, which is a design feature I’ve never even seen in an “A” class new apartment community in Phoenix. Due to its great presentation, residents are drawn to rent at West 35th and that’s reflective in the market leading rental rates, which they are able to achieve there.  ABI Multifamily is pleased to have facilitated this sale and have represented both buyer and seller in the transaction. The combination of this perfectly renovated property and the availability of low interest rate loans, made the buyers purchasing decision easy,” stated Alon Shnitzer, Senior Managing Partner at ABI and one of the lead brokers for this transaction.

The property is ideally located in North Phoenix, just West of the I-17 Freeway and South of the Loop 101 Freeway. With easy access to a plethora of jobs, higher education schools, quality healthcare and shopping, the property is uniquely positioned for continued high demand.

“It appears that the West Valley of Phoenix and specifically the Northwest part of Phoenix, is hungry for quality living. The seller and his staff were meticulous in the design and quality of the renovations at West 35th. He has a great deal of experience with renovations and was able to maximize the rental and occupancy results,” stated Eddie Chang, Partner at ABI and one of the lead brokers for this transaction.

West 35th Apartments is located at 15615 North 35th Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona. The property is in the heart of one of the most desirable areas in the entire valley with great access to the I-17 and Loop-101 freeways. Some of the major employers in the immediate area include General Dynamics, American Express, Discover Card, Honeywell, Cox Communications, John C. Lincoln Hospital, Motorcycle Mechanical Institute, Thunderbird School of International Management and ASU West Campus. The location provides for easy access to major job centers via the surrounding freeways, while also allowing for quick access to many options in all directions for shopping, entertainment, and fine dining.

West 35ths’ high-end community amenities include:
·     24 Hour Laundry Facility
·     Recreation, Entertainment and Computer Center with Internet Access
·     Fully Gated
·     Energy Cool Roofing System
·     Picnic Area with Barbecue
·     Glass Fenced Resort Style Swimming Pool and Spa with Sun Deck
·     Outdoor Barbeque Grills
·     Covered Reserved Parking
·     Newly Renovated and Fully Appointed Rental Office
·     Lush Resort Style Landscaping

Paying attention to every detail, the property takes it up a notch with the interiors. Features include:
·     New Appliance Packages (select apartment homes)
·     All Electric Kitchen
·     Private Balconies and Patios
·     Spacious Walk In Closets
·     Three Tone Paint
·     Upgraded Carpet and Vinyl Flooring (select apartment homes)
·     Upgraded Lighting Package (select apartment homes)
·     Outdoor Storage Closets

The Buyer, Univest Inc., based in Newport Beach, CA, is an experienced multifamily investor with hundreds of units in the Phoenix market.

The Seller, ICON Builders, based in Scottsdale, AZ, is an experienced multifamily developer and investor.

The Phoenix based ABI Multifamily brokerage team of Alon Shnitzer, Eddie Chang, John Kobierowski, Rue Bax and Doug Lazovick represented both buyer and seller in the transaction.

ABI Multifamily is a brokerage and advisory services firm that focuses exclusively on apartment investment transactions. The experienced advisors at ABI Multifamily have completed billions of dollars in sales and thousands of individual multifamily transactions. ABI Multifamily incorporates a global approach with regional real estate expertise to successfully complete any multifamily transaction, regardless of size and complexity.


Marketing action plan

Vertical Measures earns interactive marketing honors

Phoenix-based Internet marketing agency Vertical Measures has been awarded two TIM digital marketing awards by AZIMA, the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association.

The awards were held on Thursday, March 26th at the Phoenix Art Museum. Named after Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, the renowned father of the internet, the AZIMA TIM Awards were created to highlight the outstanding efforts of companies and individuals in the digital marketing realm of Arizona.

The Vertical Measures content marketing blog, one of the leading Internet marketing blogs on the web, took home honors for Best Blog. This multi-author blog covers a broad variety of topics like content creation and strategy, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising. Multiple forms of original content are delivered to followers 2-3 times a week, ranging from blogs to videos, infographics to resource lists. In 2014, 155 pieces of content were published from over 15 different authors and content creators.

The AZIMA judges made these remarks about the Vertical Measures blog: “Good mix of timely relevant posts and recurring themes. Design is excellent and works within the existing site structure for lead generation and exploration opportunities. Sharing behavior is outstanding.”

“This was an exciting win for all of us because our blog is a tremendous team effort,” said Quinn Whissen, Marketing Manager for Vertical Measures. “From designers to writers, editors to contributors, our blog is a true testament to our company values. It’s not enough to tell our clients how to manage their content; we have to practice what we preach. I’m proud of how our team lives up to these ideals via our blog.”

Vertical Measures also took home an award for Best Content Marketing Campaign for their work on HowtoConvinceYourBoss.com. Convince Your Boss is a micro-site built to equip marketers with the tools needed to be able to convince their boss to invest in content marketing. Visitors can find articles, ways to respond to objections, expert video insights, tools, stats, and presentation templates. All of this will help prepare them for pitching the decision makers and starting a pilot program. Judges were impressed, saying it is a “perfect example of how to transform a common issue/problem into a viable resource for a crucial audience.”

“We were excited to be recognized by AZIMA and the Arizona digital marketing community as a whole for both our blog and Convince Your Boss. Phoenix is our home base and we are proud to be a part of this vibrant and ever-evolving industry. We are honored to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments, including our own,” said President of Vertical Measures, Chris Bird.


Boomtown! is latest tech firm to expand to Scottsdale

San Francisco-based Boomtown! is the latest tech company out of California to announce their plans to expand their operations to Scottsdale. Founded in February 2014, the company has continued to grow, and has selected the Greater Phoenix region for its first expansion.

Boomtown! fixes everyday merchant technology problems in real time, providing on-demand installation and support of in-store technology, resulting in reduced business costs, increased revenue and the prevention of lost sales.

“Being a Chicago transplant I’ve had the privilege of watching the evolution of the Phoenix/Scottsdale Start-Up scene over the past four years, all while building a company that was headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s been exciting to see the likes of Weebly, Zenefits and Apple as they set up shop here and also watch locally grown successes like WebPT, GoDaddy, and Infusionsoft, said Paul Wyer, Boomtown! Head of Operations and co-founder.

“I’ve met some really talented people in the valley that wish they had similar “bay start-up opportunities” and they felt like they had to move to California to get access to those kinds of jobs. I want to keep Arizona talent in Arizona, so we decided to build-out our Boomtown Operations Team here,” Wyer continued. “It’s a ripe location for start-up growth and we get access to eager and technically talented candidates from Valley-based universities and companies.”

Using new age technology, Boomtown! provides merchants with immediate support, remotely though the app. This saves businesses time and money. With more than 350 technicians across the country, Boomtown! is also able to dispatch local technicians to businesses when needed.

“I’m glad to learn that Boomtown has chosen to expand its operations to Scottsdale. We believe our community is a natural fit for vibrant companies who value quality of life as much as the bottom-line,” said Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane.

“Greater Phoenix has a larger base of qualified software workers than any other market in the mountain region, and is poised to grow by 14 percent over the next five years,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The availability of talent coupled with a competitive operating environment, continues to draw companies like Boomtown! to the region. We look forward to seeing their growth in Scottsdale.”

To learn more about Boomtown!, visit www.goboomtown.com

Colonade Apartments, WEB

Phoenix faces growing gap between income, rent hikes

A new report shows Tucson and Phoenix-area renters have had to deal with a double whammy: Dwindling or stagnant incomes coupled with significant rent hikes.

The report, released last week by the National Association of Realtors, indicated the two metro areas are among those where the gap between rental costs and household income is increasing.

“It’s something we are watching since rising housing costs are getting to unhealthy levels,” association spokesman Adam DeSanctis said.

The association collected data on 70 major metro areas and analyzed household income growth, housing costs and homeownership changes in renter and owner-occupied households over the past five years.

Tucson ranked fifth for the largest decrease in income for renters aged 25 to 44 years old. The study indicated income dropped about 3.5 percent. During the same time period, the area saw an 11 percent increase in rent.

“We don’t have the jobs we need,” said Allan Mendelsberg, real estate agent at PICOR Commercial Real Estate in Tucson. “We’re doing a lot to revitalize downtown, with a lot of renovation throughout Tucson. But until we have high paying jobs, people are not going to be able to afford high apartment pricing.”

Tucson has experienced a trend in luxury property building as well, which may fuel the disparity between rental cost and income.

However, Mendelsberg, who specializes in multifamily apartment and investment properties sales, did point out that rent in Tucson remains lower than most cities at an average of $638 a month for a single unit.

The Phoenix area, which included Mesa and Glendale, saw a 2 percent increase in income during the five-year period coupled with a 9.8 percent hike in rents.

Phoenix rentals have been rising 5 to 8 percent per year for single-family homes and condominiums, said Michael Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W.P. Carey School at Arizona State University.

“Relative to many areas, Phoenix rentals are cheap compared to other places, but wages are low,” he said.

Nationwide, rents have increased 15 percent over the past five years, while the association estimated that household income has gone up 11 percent.

The association used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, among other sources.

Experts said the problem with the disparity between rent and income is that it makes it difficult for renters to become homeowners because they spend so much on rent, they can’t save for a down payment.

To relieve rental costs, increasing the supply of new home construction is a solution, Orr said.

However, builders have been hesitant since the Great Recession because of growing construction costs, buyers’ limited access to credit from lenders and concerns about the re-emergence of younger buyers, according to the association.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the association, said in a news release that without new housing opportunities, entry-level buyers will face affordability issues.

“Many of the metro areas that have experienced the highest rent increases are popular to millennials because of their employment opportunities,” Yun said in the release.