Archive for July, 2007



Kierland – Scottsdale AZ

Designed by Scott Miller in 1996, Kierland Golf Club is situated on 225 acres in the heart of North Scottsdale. The golf course has three nine-hole courses: Acacia, Mesquite and Ironwood named for the trees that dominate its landscape. The three courses offer a combined round of play on 18 holes of par 72, 6,900 yard golf. The Golf Club is managed by Troon Golf, the leader in upscale golf course management.Apart from the Golf Club, Kierland also has a 38 acre “Kierland Commons” urban village which is an upscale entertainment destination with retailers, fine restaurants, and office tenants. Kierland is home to exclusive retailers such as Crate & Barrel, Banana Republic, Restoration Hardware and Tommy Bahamas (clothing and restaurant). Other recognized dining establishments found in Kierland include; P.F. Chang’s, Morton’s of Chicago, The Cheesecake Factory, Ocean Club Fish House, RA Sushi, and the Green House just to name a few. Be sure to look for the expansion of Kierland Commons in 2007-2008.

Kierland has a variety of luxury homes and town homes throughout the 730 acre master planned community. You can choose from one of the town home communities (Kierland Greens or The Herigate) which range in price from $500k to $800k. If you prefer a larger single family home you can pick from one of the 400 UDC Homes within the Kierland Belaire Subdivision which range from $500k to the lower $900′s. Last but not least if you are looking for the east coast ubran living you have The Landmark which are lofts that can range from $700k all the way up to $3,000,000. Living at The Landmark is a true opportunity for the world traveler to shop, entertain, dine, work, play, pamper and golf all within walking distance of home. Ring the on-site Concierge, have a flight booked, a car ready to take you, and on a moment’s notice simply”lock and leave”.

In 2005-2006, The Holm Group represented more buyers and sellers in the Kierland area than any other single agent throughout the valley. If you are looking to get into or out of Kierland call The Holm Group.

Let An Expert Kierland Realtor® Help You Find Your Next Home. Call The Holm Group Today at 480-206-4265.

Click here to view all available homes in Kierland:

http://www.theholmgroupaz.com/kierland.htm

AZ Republic – New retailers cater to locals

Angelique Soenarie
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 21, 2007 07:11 AM 
 

Downtown Scottsdale’s specialty retail area is seeing an influx of new businesses catering to more than just tourists, a result from emerging hotels, condominiums and retail. “I clearly see the retail and the restaurants emerging as a direct result of the downtown revitalization effort,” said John Little, executive director of downtown Scottsdale, referring to the W Hotel, Scottsdale Waterfront and SouthBridge.

Still the tourist-type stores remain a big part of the specialty retail area.

“With SouthBridge opening up and the retail that is going to come south of the canal, the impact of that in the Fifth Avenue area has gotten property owners and retailers looking at how they’re going to serve new customers,” Little said. “We’re getting more and more businesses inquiring about relocating in this area.”For example, Waterworks, a high-end bathroom fixtures shop, is moving from Biltmore Fashion Park to Craftsman Court, just south of Fifth Avenue, Little said.

Annually, specialty retailers generate $7.5 million in city sales tax, Little said. That’s not including the nearby nightclubs.New shops Already, fashion boutiques such as Jean Paul Jeune, also known as Reza Ghayour, a local designer, opened in May. It offers formal and casual wear for men and women. His boutique is at 7122 E. Fifth Ave.“This is a good location,” said Ghayour, who hopes to capitalize on the new traffic from a burgeoning of new developments in the area.

Fashion-conscious shoppers will find bargains on limited collections he personally designed. A 22-year veteran in fashion, Ghayour says it’s his hobby. His line Ko’s was featured at a Phoenix Fashion show in 2006.

“The main thing about fashion is fabric and color, and to make it tasteful,” Ghayour said. Local celebrities such as running back, Arizona Cardinal Marcel Shipp have even stopped in to buy a suit, Ghayour said.

At his store, ladies couture clothing such as a peach, short-sleeve shirt with hand-sewn sequins details for $23, regularly $60. A sleeveless top with ribbon straps that sports teardrop gems and iridescent beadwork is $23. What a deal.

Some of the labels he designs such as Angelino are made with Egyptian or Sri Lankan cotton. Custom Italian suits made of Super 150 fabric for all seasons start at $80 at his outlet store. He also can customize shoes made from leather, mink, horsehair, ostrich and alligator skin.

His first store in Tempe sells many of his lines and other designers at regular prices.

Bamboo Ecowear of Arizona features natural fabrics such as cotton, silk and baby alpaca. At 100% Mexico Hand Made art and crafts are featured from 32 states.Wine fans Mike Fine, who owned Sportsman’s Fine Wines for 20 years, plans to open in October a wine restaurant called Fine’s Cellar. The 3,450-square-foot-restaurant will offer lunch and dinner, and will include an Italian coffee bar that will offer breakfast and specialty coffee drinks. It will be located on the southwestern corner of Fifth Avenue and Marshall Way.More than 800 wines will be served by the bottle, and 100 by the glass, Fine said.

“Old Town is being rejuvenated,” said Fine, who hopes to cash in on the residential and commercial development.

“Everything about the place is going to be about wine. When you walk into this place it will look like a wine cellar. And the menu will be designed around the wines that we are selling.”

 www.theholmgroupaz.com

AZ Republic – Phoenix’s Gateway office complex sells for $96 million

Andrew Johnson
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 20, 2007 02:35 PM

A three-building office complex near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport that is home to UnitedHealthcare, Mesa Air Group Inc. and other firms has sold for $96 million. Transwestern Investment Co., a Chicago-based real-estate investment firm that specializes in commercial buildings, bought the properties, located at the northwestern corner of 44th and Van Buren streets.

The sale closed Thursday.
The Gateway office complex includes two four-story buildings and an 11-story building, all which were constructed between 1985 and 1988.
Seller CMD Realty Investors Inc. bought the two smaller buildings in 1999 for $23.1 million and the taller building in 2000 for $25.4 million, Maricopa County property records show.

CMD sold the buildings as part of the liquidation of one of its investment funds.

Transwestern plans to make upgrades to the properties and boost occupancy, said Bob Young, first vice president with CB Richard Ellis, who worked on the deal.

Occupancy is currently at 87 percent, but that will likely drop because UnitedHealthcare, a division of UnitedHealth Group Inc., plans to downsize space in the fall, he said.  

www.theholmgroupaz.com 

AZ Republic – Desert Ridge site stirs controvery

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 20, 2007 12:14 PM

  No single parcel of Desert Ridge property has been as controversial as a piece of land southwest of the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.

There, Gray Development Co. wants to build a luxury apartment complex that in some ways would mirror the Toscana at Desert Ridge property just down the street.

But the entire thing has been held up by legal action taken both by Gray, to be excused from zoning rules that it says would hinder its ability to develop the property fully, and by the Desert Ridge Community Association and Northeast Phoenix Partners, master developer, trying to stop Gray from bending the rules.


Gray argues that the changes merely allow Gray to build what it always has been allowed to build under the Desert Ridge Specific Plan and the parcel’s zoning.

The development, to be called Mondrian on the eastern end, near Marriott Drive, and the Pavilions at Desert Ridge on the western end, would resemble Gray’s Grigio development on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake, developer Bruce Gray said, although not as tall or dense. He referred to the apartments as “super high end.”

Daniel Klutznick, president of the community association and vice president of Thomas J. Klutznick Co., which owns Northeast Phoenix Partners, says the position of those groups is that “standards must be maintained,” he said. His attorney, Michael Scheurich, said that although the Desert Ridge groups lost the first decision, they are objecting to language proposed for the final judgment. Oral arguments on that matter are scheduled for today.

In addition, he said, they have filed a counterclaim arguing that Gray failed to follow the design review process for Desert Ridge.

On that matter, David Tierney, an attorney representing Gray, said Gray was not required to take zoning variances to the association, and that the association did not respond in a timely manner when it did.

Klutznick would not elaborate about the legal issues.

Gray is less reluctant to speak.

Other projects, including Toscana, have more density, he says.

No other project, he argues, has been required to deliver complete site plans. Gray has provided plans for about half the site – the eastern half that it plans to develop initially.

And finally, he wonders, why was a plan that showed decreasing density from east to west, which once was accepted by residents, now seen as a problem?

He says he thinks a big part of the problem is that Northeast Phoenix Partners is controlled by the Thomas J. Klutznick Co., which also is developing City North, southwest of the Gray Property.

Gray thinks competition is behind the delay.

“It’s frustrating,” Gray said. “We’re being filleted for trying to do what we said we would do 2 1/2 years ago.” www.theholmgroupaz.com

AZ Central – $3 million Whisper Rock home tops Valleys priciest deals

Jul. 17, 2007 08:45 AM

A former Phelps Dodge CEO, a cosmetic dentist, an attorney, a pediatrician and a plastic surgeon are among the buyers and sellers in this weeks done deals.

 $3,000,000

 J. Steven Whisler and Ardyce D. Whisler of Whitefish, Montana, as trustees of the Whisler Revocable Family Trust, paid cash for a new four bedroom, five and a half bathroom, 6,477 square-foot home with pool in the exclusive gated golf course community of Whisper Rock in Scottsdale northeast of the Whisper Rock Golf Club.


The home features three hand carved floor to ceiling canterra stone fireplaces, 300 bottle climate controlled wine room, media room, gourmet kitchen and Viking appliances.
J. Steven Whisler retired in March as CEO of Phelps Dodge after the company was bought out by Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. of New Orleans for $26 billion. The home was sold by HDM Holdings II LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company whose members are Jerry Mayer, James Hurd and Edward Dobrow.

$2,800,000 Lawrence A. Byrne of Tempe purchased a new home at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, west of the Silverleaf Club. The home was sold by Richard A. and Sigrid E. Schwartz of Kokomo, Indiana, where Sigrid Schwartz is a dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry and Richard Schwartz is a bankruptcy attorney.

$2,500,000 Gerald J. Hennessy and his wife Catharine S. Cesal of Phoenix purchased a 7,871 square-foot home with 750 square-foot pool originally built in 1978 at El Dorado Estates in Paradise Valley east of the Paradise Valley Country Club. Catharine Cesal is a pediatrician whose office is in Scottsdale. The home was sold by Dr. Cesal’s mother, Angela Y. Cesal, as trustee of the AYC Qualified Personal Residence Trust.

$2,052,140 Anil Kakad and his wife Bihag purchased a new five bedroom, five and a half bathroom, 6,550 square-foot home at the Pueblo Poquito gated community in Scottsdale. The home features sub-zero and Wolf appliances in kitchen and wet bar, stage theatre, wine cellar, spacious basement and four separate oversized four-car garages. The home was sold by Classic Stellar Homes Inc. of Phoenix, whose president is Thomas C. Dannenbaum and vice president/CEO is Kenneth Dannenbaum.

$2,000,000 Geoffrey E. Leber and his wife Lauren of Gilbert purchased a 3,857 square-foot home with 800 square-foot pool originally built in 1959 at Dana Estates in Scottsdale south of the Phoenician Golf Club. Geoffrey Leber is a plastic surgeon with offices in Scottsdale and Mesa. The home was sold by Joseph J. Binsfeld.

Researched by John McLean and the Information Market.

www.theholmgroupaz.com

AZ Republic – Not all neighborhoods feeling a downturn

Greg Swann
Special for The Republic
Jul. 13, 2007 08:30 AM
 

There are neighborhoods in the Valley where the housing downturn is barely discernible.

How can that be? News reports are full of doom and gloom. Defaults, foreclosures and interest rates are up, with mortgages resetting seemingly at whim. If the news is always bad, how can it be good at the same time?

In fact, in some parts of the Valley prices have not fallen, with some neighborhoods actually experiencing continued appreciation.

Inventories are up all over, but so far, we haven’t seen much in the way of desperation selling.

Let’s track a slice of Valley real estate as an indicator of where the market might be headed, looking at newer midsized homes in freeway-accessible suburbs.

These were the homes that led the market on the way up, and they’ve suffered more than others on the way down.

So how bad is it out there? The homes we track are down 13.41 percent from the peak in December 2005. That’s not insignificant. If you bought or refinanced a home like this any time after May 2005, you’ve probably lost money.

On the other hand, if you bought your home in January 2004, you’re still up by around 58 percent.

Better yet, as bad as things have been, there is only about seven months of inventory on the market, suggesting that prices might not fall much further.

On the other hand, MLS Area 323 in the West Valley runs from Northern Avenue to Interstate 10 and from 43rd Avenue west to 115th Avenue, a large and very diverse housing stock. Available inventory is huge, more than a 12 months’ supply.

But, interestingly, prices in that region have dropped by only about 2.75 percent since December 2005.

But don’t run down the street in celebration. Interest rates are flighty, and sub-prime or even low-down-payment conforming mortgages may be a thing of the past.  

www.theholmgroupaz.com

AZ Republic – Downtown Phoenix high rise sells for nearly 177 million

Andrew Johnson
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 16, 2007 06:01 PM

 The Collier Center, a 23-story, high-rise office building in downtown Phoenix, has been sold for $176.8 million.

The dollar amount represents the biggest office sale in the Valley’s history, according to research from brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis.

GE Asset Management bought the tower from Opus Collier LLC, a joint venture between developer Opus West Corp. and Naples, Fla.-based landholding firm Barron Collier Co.

The deal closed late last month.

The sale shows that Phoenix continues to be an attractive market for investors, said Jim Fijan, executive vice president with CB Richard Ellis’ Phoenix office, who helped broker the deal.

In addition to the building, GE also paid about $24 million for a ground lease that Barron Collier had signed with the City of Phoenix when it and Opus West built the tower, Fijan said. The two companies broke ground on the Collier Center in 1998; the tower opened in 2001.

Under the terms of the deal, Opus Collier retained about 30,000 square feet of the Collier Center’s 80,000 square feet of retail space.

The building, which has a total 512,000 square feet, was about 96 percent occupied at the time of the sale, which closed June 28, Fijan said.

Fijan said the deal would not have an impact on tenants’ existing leases. The building’s anchor tenant is Bank of America, which houses its regional headquarters in the center.   www.theholmgroupaz.com

 

AZ Republic – No chain stores allowed at Scottsdale’s Southbridge

Stephanie Paterik
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 6, 2007 04:43 PM
 Fred Unger has a history of restoring old buildings and turning them into character-laden businesses, but Southbridge may be his most ambitious project to date.

He is, after all, the man who made a living buying and renovating old real estate like the Royal Palms Resort and the Hermosa Inn.

Now, he has turned his attention to a portion of downtown Scottsdale. Three years ago, at the city’s behest, Unger gathered up all the asbestos-filled buildings he had accumulated south of Arizona Canal, tore them down and started constructing Southbridge.


It’s a walkable lifestyle center at the seam of Scottsdale Fashion Square and Old Town Scottsdale, where luxury department stores give way to Indian jewelry shops.

What really sets the $41 million project apart is that it will connect the two existing shopping districts with something entirely different: Each if its restaurants and stores must be local and independent.

No chains allowed.

“The city said we would like a project, one that could not be found anywhere else,” Unger said in his office, looking out at the construction site. “It’s immensely difficult to pull this thing off.”

Still, he’s trying.

The first of six restaurants, Foodbar, quietly opened last month. It serves three meals a day, including late-night dinner, in a decidedly urban space with subway tile and exposed ducts.

The rest of the project will open bit by bit during the next six months. When Southbridge is done, it will contain four buildings, each with its own architecture, character and mix of trendy shops and restaurants.

Fine dining will rest alongside grab-and-go restaurants. Custom jewelers will sit beside bead shops. The idea is patterned after the Fred Siegel department store in Los Angeles, Jennifer Croll said.

The Scottsdale resident has successful clothing stores in San Francisco, Newport, Calif., and Phoenix’s Kierland Commons, and she is co-developing Southbridge. Croll, 28, wanted to open a store in downtown Scottsdale, so she started looking for a place three years ago.

“Everyone said you have to talk to this Fred Unger man,” she said. “I called him one Monday morning and said, ‘I understand you are doing something on the waterfront, can we meet? He said, ‘How about 2 o’clock?’ That’s where this embarked.”

Unger assembled a team of designers, architects, chefs and businesspeople. Croll collected local retailers who wanted to open small “jewel box” stores, and she tapped Fred Siegel’s daughter as a consultant.

Both said the biggest challenge was turning down chains.

Chains pop up on every street corner for a reason, Unger said. Their products are tried, true and guaranteed to make money. Developers and lenders like guarantees.

“Without the city’s help, we could not have done it because we were offered more money from the chains,” Unger said. “Lenders would love to see a McDonalds or a Starbucks. By doing this all-independent, it’s riskier to pull off.”

The city waived permit fees, constructed a parking garage and pledged to beautify the south canal by the end of the year.

One national restaurant offered to pay double to lease space at Southbridge, Unger said. He even turned away Delux, a swank Phoenix hamburger joint, because he didn’t want a duplicated concept.

Southbridge’s appeal, by design, is supposed to be its uniqueness. Unger believes that bit of character is something a younger generation wants, Unger said.

He is aiming for the younger-than-50 crowd, and anyone who likes film, architecture, modeling and nightclubs.

“These people are not here to play golf or look at a cactus,” he said. “They’re here for a different reason.”

Timing could be on Southbridge’s side.

Experts say Gen X consumers steer clear of sameness and crave an urban environment, and they are gaining buying power every year. Also, the sustainability craze is prompting shoppers to seek out local goods and services.

“I think this is all happening at the right time, and I was part of that good timing,” Croll said. “The area will be extremely well-celebrated, with all the cafes and energy and passion.”

Croll said her mom owned a little linen shop in northern California, and she grew up shopping at independent retailers. She said she belongs to a group of shoppers who appreciates a city environment and a European lifestyle.

“For the people who want their mall stores, there’s Fashion Square right across the bridge,” she said.

When the retail phase is complete – probably by the end of the year – Unger plans to add residences, offices and a 100-room boutique hotel to the project.

Then, he said, he would put downtown Scottsdale up against any city.

He keeps a list of “best public places” in his office. It includes San Antonio’s Riverwalk, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, New York’s SoHo.

“If we don’t make this list when we’re done,” he said, “we’ve failed.” 

AZ Republic – Growing ciites lack Scottsdale’s cachet

Jun. 29, 2007 02:47 PM

Chandler crowed this week that it is finally, officially larger than Scottsdale. Excuse us while we yawn.

Bigger isn’t always better So the Census Bureau says Chandler is bigger than Scottsdale. Gilbert is closing fast. Big deal.

Sure, dropping to the state’s sixth (and within a few years, seventh) largest city may be a blow to the ego. It may slightly reduce Scottsdale’s share of shared state revenue. We might as well get used to it. Other Valley cities have a lot more room in which to grow.

But ultimately, size isn’t all that matters. Scottsdale has something Chandler, Gilbert and other rapidly growing Valley towns do not. When was the last time you heard someone say, “Hey, let’s go check out that famous chef’s restaurant in Gilbert” or “Let’s hike the desert preserve in Chandler”?

Never, you say?

Mesa, Glendale, Chandler and Gilbert are fine cities. But none of them has Scottsdale’s panache or a name recognized nationwide. None of them set aside one-third of their land area for preservation. None of them seek to balance an urban core with an expanse of semi-rural land where homes are restricted to one to five acres. Gawkers do not seek the rich and famous within their boundaries.

What those towns have to brag about are rapidly rising populations.

Congratulations. That’s an affirmation they are nice places to live. Just like the rest of the Valley.

But it doesn’t make them Scottsdale. That takes a lot more work, which the Census Bureau doesn’t measure. It doesn’t need to. When a city reaches this level, it knows it – because everyone else wants to emulate the place. New Heard Museum North open The new Heard Museum North opens today, putting another feather in Scottsdale’s cap.Heard opened its first branch, at the el Pedregal Festival Marketplace, in the mid-1990s. It’s been so popular it outgrew that original location, necessitating the move to the Summit at Scottsdale, 32633 N. Scottsdale Road.

It will gain enough space to have two exhibit halls, one long term and the other changing regularly. Pieces that otherwise would be stored at the main Heard Museum will have a place to be shown. For supporters of Indian art, this is a tremendous development.

The first long-term exhibit features jewelry, baskets, kachinas and pottery, some of which dates to the 1860s. The inaugural changing exhibit will feature 12 Navajo weavings.

The museum could soon have company north of Loop 101. Bill DeWalt is negotiating a site in Desert Ridge for the Museum of the Musical Instrument. The museum is the brainchild of Target Corp. CEO Bob Ulrich, who has donated much of the $100 million for startup costs.

The museum hopes to house 3,000 instruments, most from disappearing cultures, with video showing them being played. For a “wow” factor, there could be a room devoted to instruments used by well-known performers.

Both museums capture important aspects of culture – giving the Northeast Valley a new definition as a place to see and be seen.Finally, door opens for Ftn. Hills The Sonoran desert is its own attraction. Fountain Hills, like Scottsdale, has been foresighted in preserving portions of the McDowell Mountains. But unlike Scottsdale, Fountain Hills has had no easily accessible entrance into its preserve.Finally, that will change. The Town Council agreed to complete an agreement with MCO Properties that will establish a public trailhead at the end of Eagle Ridge Drive. Hikers will be able to walk through MCO’s property without prior notice.

It shouldn’t have taken this long. Preserving pristine desert isn’t an end in itself. The point of preservation is to make gorgeous land available to all residents. This trailhead, at last, will do this.   

www.theholmgroupaz.com

Short Sale Check List

Here are just a few items you should know with regards to a short sale the right way..
• Homeowners must be able to show a lender why they are behind on payments and can’t catch up.

• A real estate agent must find a buyer for a short sale and negotiate with the lender for a price.

• A homeowner can’t walk away with any of a house’s equity from a short sale.

• A short sale is still a mark against a homeowner’s credit, but it’s a smaller hit than a foreclosure.

• Homeowners must be prepared to pay taxes on the amount forgiven.

• An owner shouldn’t sign the home over to any group before a sale. A short sale closes like a regular sale between a buyer and seller.


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