Tag Archives: Transportation Policy Committee

The Offices at Reems.

Sperry Van Ness Represents the Seller in a 16-Unit Office Condo Portfolio Sale in Surprise

Justin Horwitz, Nicole Ridberg and Neil Sherman of Sperry Van Ness, LLC, in Phoenix represented Pacific Western Bank in the sale of the Offices at Reems, a 16-unit office condo portfolio located at 15515-15571 N. Reems Road in Surprise, Ariz.
The bank-owned shell and built-out condo units sold for $1,350,000 or $56 per square foot and closed on August 27. The portfolio is approximately 24,101 SF.
“The transaction turned out to be a win-win for both the buyer and seller,” said Justin Horwitz. “This sale put the Offices at Reems back on track to being a vibrant and desirable office condo project in the West Valley.”
The buyer, Reems and Greenway, LLC, was represented by Steve Cook of Escee Properties.

desert peaks awards

Desert Peaks Awards Honor Regional Efforts

During a ceremony attended by nearly 300 people, the Maricopa Association of Governments honored nine partnerships and individuals in six categories who were selected to receive the 2012 Desert Peaks Awards. The awards are presented to those agencies and individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting, recognizing, and attaining the ideals of regionalism. In addition, the first-ever “Lifetime Achievement Award for Regional Planning” was bestowed upon Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, in recognition for her 22 years of service exemplifying regional cooperation.

“Even before she took office, Mayor Scruggs was involved in the ‘get out the vote’ campaign for proposition 300, which implemented the half-cent sales tax that built the regional freeway system we are driving on today,” stated MAG Chair and Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman in conferring the award. “She was a charter member and driving force in creating the Transportation Policy Committee and a primary champion of Proposition 400 to extend the tax another 20 years. She was instrumental in accelerating the regional freeway system completion by seven years. Mayor Scruggs continues to work closely with citizens, and is noted for being visible, accessible and approachable,” he said.

Desert Peaks Awards were distributed in six categories: Public Partnership, Public-Private Partnership, Professional Service (two recipients were selected for this honor), Regional Partnership (two recipients were selected for this honor), Regional Excellence (two recipients were selected for this honor), and a new category added this year, Outstanding Economic Development Champion. See the list of projects below, as well as the partners in the project in the attached page. (Photos available on request.)

This year, two individuals were selected to receive the program’s highest honor for Regional Excellence, Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers and Tempe Councilmember Shana Ellis. Mayor Rogers was nominated “for her regional leadership in guiding the transformation of not only Avondale but the entire region through her direct engagement to ensure its economic, social and cultural vitality.” Councilmember Shana Ellis was cited for being instrumental in having the Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro) and METRO light rail work in tandem to realize significant efficiencies through a combined, streamlined regional agency.

Public Partnership:

  • Regional Emergency Transportation Service

Public-Private Partnership:

  • Gangplank Avondale

Professional Service:

  • Mr. Ed Beasley, former City Manager, City of Glendale
  • Mr. David Smith, former County Manager, Maricopa County

Regional Partnership:

  • Domestic Violence Protocol Evaluation Project
  • Regional Wireless Cooperative/Topaz Regional Wireless Cooperative

Regional Excellence:

  • Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers, City of Avondale
  • Councilmember Shana Ellis, City of Tempe

Outstanding Economic Development Champion

  • The Flinn Foundation

Regional Emergency Transportation Service

  • Apache Junction Fire District
  • Town of Gilbert
  • City of Mesa
  • Town of Queen Creek

Public-Private Partnership: Gangplank Avondale

  • City of Avondale
  • Gangplank Collective

Professional Service: Ed Beasley, former Glendale City Manager

Professional Service: David Smith, former Maricopa County Manager

Regional Partnership: Domestic Violence Protocol Evaluation Project

  • City of Apache Junction Police Department
  • City of Avondale Police Department
  • Town of Buckeye Police Department
  • City of El Mirage Police Department
  • Town of Gilbert Police Department
  • City of Glendale
  • City of Goodyear Police Department
  • Maricopa Association of Governments
  • Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
  • City of Mesa Prosecutor’s Office
  • City of Peoria Police Department
  • City of Phoenix Family Advocacy Center
  • City of Phoenix Police Department
  • City of Phoenix Prosecutor’s Office
  • City of Scottsdale Prosecutor’s Office
  • City of Tolleson Police Department

Regional Partnership: Regional Wireless Cooperative/Topaz Regional Wireless Cooperative

  • Apache Junction Fire District
  • City of Apache Junction
  • City of Avondale
  • Town of Buckeye
  • City of Chandler
  • City of El Mirage
  • Town of Gilbert
  • City of Glendale
  • City of Goodyear
  • Town of Guadalupe
  • City of Mesa
  • City of Peoria
  • City of Phoenix
  • Town of Queen Creek
  •  City of Scottsdale
  • City of Surprise
  • City of Tempe
  • City of Tolleson

Regional Excellence: Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers, City of Avondale

Regional Excellence: Councilmember Shana Ellis, City of Tempe

Outstanding Economic Development Champion: Flinn Foundation

Lifetime Achievement Award for Regional Planning: Mayor Elaine M. Scruggs, City of Glendale

For more information on the Desert Peaks Awards, visit azmag.gov.


West Valley Looks To Improve Transportation Efforts

Finding Solutions to Gridlock

West Valley looks to improve transportation efforts

By Debra Gelbart

Transportation issues affect the entire Valley of the Sun, of course, but they are particularly weighty in the West Valley, where lack of sufficient freeway miles and the dearth of motorist-friendly roadways are taking a toll on commerce, economic development, tempers and safety. “We simply don’t have the freeway miles that the East Valley does,” says Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, who also chairs the Maricopa Association of Government’s (MAG) Transportation Policy Committee. “In the West Valley, we have too many people traveling on arterial streets, which hurts the quality of life within a city.”

find_solutionsShe says other areas of the Valley are able to concentrate on different aspects of transportation besides freeways. “Phoenix is focused on building light rail and expanding bus service. The East Valley is improving arterial streets,” she says. “But here in the West Valley, we’re still trying to get enough freeways to manage our explosive growth.”

It’s more than just an issue of convenience. “The seven-mile stretch of Interstate 10 that passes through the city of Goodyear—between Perryville Road on the west and Dysart Road on the east—is a major corridor of commerce for products from Asian manufacturing centers off-loaded at the Los Angeles ports,” says Goodyear Mayor Jim Cavanaugh, “and because of the narrowing of the freeway here [there are only two lanes in each direction], traffic backs up terribly. We’ve investigated and found that these seven miles have 10 times the number of traffic fatalities compared with the national average for the 2,500 miles of Interstate 10 across the nation. And we know that this leg of I-10 accounts for 35 percent of all traffic fatalities on I-10 within metropolitan Phoenix.”

The reality is that the commute from the West Valley to Phoenix has become unbearable, says Jay Ellingson, vice president of land development for SunCor, developer of the master planned community of Palm Valley. In January, Ellingson will become chair of WESTMARC, the Western Maricopa Coalition, which brings together representatives of business, 13 local governments and educational organizations to advocate for sound public policy in the West Valley. “We’re just not given the attention we deserve by employers and educational institutions,” Scruggs says, “in part because it’s difficult to travel from and through the West Valley because of so few freeway miles.”

Cavanaugh has been instrumental in securing relief for the congestion on I-10. Originally, I-10 between Dysart Road and the Loop 303 at Cotton Lane was not supposed to be widened until 2011. But because of the efforts of Cavanaugh, other Goodyear officials, leaders from the cities of Avondale, Buckeye, Litchfield Park, MAG and the Arizona Department of Transportation, the widening project will now get under way in 2007. “By late 2008, we will have four lanes in each direction,” Cavanaugh says. “By early 2010, we’ll have five lanes in each direction.”

Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC, says accelerating the widening of I-10 will have a dramatic effect on businesses. “If your people are sitting in traffic for an extra half hour at any given time, that results in a decrease in productivity,” he adds.

Accelerating the widening of I-10 is critical for the people who live in the West Valley, adds John Bradley, general manager of Verrado, DMB’s master planned community in Buckeye. The residents of Verrado may be able to look forward to the I-10 widening from Loop 303 to State Route 85 possibly beginning in 2013 rather than 2023, as originally planned. Currently about 2,000 people live in Verrado; at build-out in 2017 it’s expected to be home to as many as 30,000 residents.
The widening of I-10 is one of three freeway projects that will affect the West Valley. Another is extending Loop 202 from I-10 linking I-10 in the West Valley to I-10 in the Southeast Valley. Construction would start in 2009 and finish in 2015.

AZ Business MagazineThe third freeway project affecting the West Valley is construction of Loop 303, located about 10 of miles west of Loop 101 and currently a two-lane roadway extending from McDowell Road to Grand Avenue in Surprise. Future construction of what will be called the Estrella Freeway will link Interstates 10 and 17 in the far West Valley, but the six-lane freeway won’t be completed until about 2014. “All of these projects are vital now to moving traffic more efficiently and effectively in and around our West Valley cities,” Lunsford says, “and they will be critical in the West Valley’s ability to accommodate and manage future growth.”

Scruggs says the West Valley’s time in the spotlight is overdue. “The West Valley still isn’t recognized for the role it plays in Maricopa County,” she says. “The center of the Valley is shifting westward, to right around Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue. The way the West Valley is perceived will begin to change when we get the freeways we need.”


Arizona Business Magazine Aug/Sept 2006

AZ Business Magazine Aug-Sept 2006 | Previous: Policy Agenda | Next: Home Run