Archive for December, 2007

AZ Republic – Silver lining of housing slump; Tax may decline

Glen Creno
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 29, 2007 12:00 AM
 Valley homeowners upset about the fast rise in their property-tax assessments may feel some relief this year as the latest valuation notices hit their mailboxes.

The Maricopa County Assessor’s Office says the new round of valuations to be mailed around Feb. 1 will reflect the slump in the housing market. The office, however, would not disclose specifics and emphasized that not all property owners will see a decline in assessed value. Some neighborhoods have held values better through the downturn.

“In some parts of the Valley, values will be flat or maybe increase a little bit,” said Paul Petersen, an assessor’s spokesman. “It depends on where you are located.”  The valuations are important because they are used to calculate the taxes that support such things as cities, school districts, community colleges and other taxing districts.

Consumers hoping for an immediate property-tax reduction will likely be disappointed. Though the valuations come out in February, the payments are billed in 2009.

The lag time is built into the system so property owners can appeal the valuations. Petersen said appeals have increased 25 to 30 percent during the housing boom. The combined median prices of new and existing homes increased 55 percent in the Valley from 2004 through 2006, according to Arizona State University’s Realty Studies program.

But the market turned locally and nationally, and home prices fell in more than half of the Valley’s ZIP codes in the first eight months of this year, according to The Republic’s latest Valley Home Values study.

The valuations being mailed in February will reflect sales data from the third quarter of 2006 to the same quarter of this year. Of course, the market may change a great deal by the time taxpayers write a check for those assessments next year.

“We’re always playing catch-up,” Petersen said.

Many Valley homeowners, though, are keenly aware of neighborhood price moves, and they balk when they pay taxes based on a market snapshot that’s a year old. There was so much aggravation about how values were set during the boom that three initiatives were filed this year with the goal of controlling property taxes. A November poll of county residents indicated that 31 percent think home values are a little too high and 24 percent call prices much too high, according to WestGroup Research of Phoenix.

The valuation notices provide two figures: the full cash value of a house and its limited-property value. The assessor says the full cash value is the current market value of the land and house. It is used to figure secondary taxes for such things as bonds, budget overrides and special districts.

The limited value is the basis for calculating primary taxes that are used to run government and schools. It is based on a formula set by law and can’t exceed the full cash value.

The full cash value does not necessarily represent how much the property is worth or could be sold for. That is set by the marketplace.

Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association, said his group advocates that state and local governments reduce tax rates rather than pushing for initiatives it believes would damage public financing. But he said new, reduced valuations in Maricopa County will not reduce angst over the higher tax bills of the past two years.

“Even if there are small reductions, I don’t think it will do a lot to alleviate people’s fears that taxes will continue to increase,” he said.

Framing subcontractor Bob Larson successfully appealed a valuation notice for land he bought in Desert Mountain in north Scottsdale. He bought the land for $105,000 in 2003 but said his first tax bill showed a value of $288,000.

He filed the affidavit of value from the sale with the assessor, and the value on the land was reduced to the sale price. He’s not sure what happened but assumed it was a technicality: A pricey golf membership attached to the land was removed before he bought it.

“It wasn’t any huge financial hardship, but it’s very unfortunate when you buy a property after that appeal time has expired,” he said.

AZ Republic – CityNorth lines up new tenants

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 26, 2007 04:50 PM
Eight retail tenants and several restaurants have have committed to CityNorth, the large mixed-use development at 56th Street and Loop 101 in northeast Phoenix.

Related Urban Development, one of the team of companies involved in the 144-acre project, said the development is on track for an October 2008 opening.

The tenants will be open for business next fall. The stores are:   • White House Black Market, Chico’s and Lindsay Lou, which features women’s clothing.

• Gymboree and Pumpkin Patch, both children’s clothing stores.

• Verde Maison, cosmetics.

• Optix, eyeglasses.

• Rockport, shoes.

New dining places announced:

• Dos Caminos – Mexican.

• Bacia Il Caffe – coffee and wine bar.

• Nordstrom Café – American.

Earlier this year, Related announced that the following restaurants are coming to CityNorth: Mitchell’s Ocean Club – seafood and steaks; Il Fornaio – Italian; Daily Grill – American; Blue Martini – martinis and tapas; Kona Grill – American/Asian.

Nordstrom will be coming during Phase 2 of the development.

“Phase One construction includes High Street retail, restaurants, offices and the Residences on High Street,” said Najla Kayyem, vice president for marketing and public relations for Related. “The first residents and office tenants will also move in during fall 2008.”

High Street is made up of nine three- and four-story buildings, and it runs parallel to Deer Valley Drive, east of the Desert Ridge Marketplace.  

www.theholmgroupaz.com

AZ Republic – CityNorth lines up new tenants

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 26, 2007 04:50 PM
Eight retail tenants and several restaurants have have committed to CityNorth, the large mixed-use development at 56th Street and Loop 101 in northeast Phoenix.

Related Urban Development, one of the team of companies involved in the 144-acre project, said the development is on track for an October 2008 opening.

The tenants will be open for business next fall. The stores are:   • White House Black Market, Chico’s and Lindsay Lou, which features women’s clothing.

• Gymboree and Pumpkin Patch, both children’s clothing stores.

• Verde Maison, cosmetics.

• Optix, eyeglasses.

• Rockport, shoes.

New dining places announced:

• Dos Caminos – Mexican.

• Bacia Il Caffe – coffee and wine bar.

• Nordstrom Café – American.

Earlier this year, Related announced that the following restaurants are coming to CityNorth: Mitchell’s Ocean Club – seafood and steaks; Il Fornaio – Italian; Daily Grill – American; Blue Martini – martinis and tapas; Kona Grill – American/Asian.

Nordstrom will be coming during Phase 2 of the development.

“Phase One construction includes High Street retail, restaurants, offices and the Residences on High Street,” said Najla Kayyem, vice president for marketing and public relations for Related. “The first residents and office tenants will also move in during fall 2008.”

High Street is made up of nine three- and four-story buildings, and it runs parallel to Deer Valley Drive, east of the Desert Ridge Marketplace.  

www.theholmgroupaz.com

Scottsdale Luxury Condo For Sale

Arroyo Madera Town Home For Sale

9070 E Gary Road #140 Listed for $349,500k

Scottsdale AZ

1161 sqft, 2 Bedrooms/2 Baths

Well maintained single level townhome in the heart of Scottsdale with spacious two-car garage. Private end unit with courtyard entry.  Large patio w/ low maintenance.  Large split bedrooms, both with full baths and walk-in closets. Energy efficient gas fireplace, heater, and water heater. Granite countertops and tile flooring. Resort like landscaping throughout the community including: water features and large common areas. Close to Loop 101, bike paths, recreation, shopping, restaurants. Very clean with new carpet and new paint in 2007

Call The Holm Group at 480-767-2738 to set up a showing and/or to request some additional information.

www.theholmgroupaz.com

  

AZ Republic – Music museum coming to Desert Ridge area

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 20, 2007 02:47 PM
   

The new Musical Instrument Museum will be the first cultural amenity in the Desert Ridge area, if you set aside movie theaters and live music in the Desert Ridge Marketplace. “This is the sort of amenity any community would be glad to have,” said Bill DeWalt, president of the museum.

“As a part of the continued growth and development of Desert Ridge, we are pleased to welcome The Musical Instrument Museum to the community,” said Daniel Klutznick, part of the master developer team for Desert Ridge. “As the world’s first global musical instrument museum, MIM will join other world-renowned destinations that are a part of the Desert Ridge master-planned community, including Mayo Clinic Hospital and JW Marriott Resort and Spa.”  

Klutznick added the museum will “enhance the quality of life for visitors and residents as the museum celebrates the diversity of musical instruments.”The museum just purchased about 20 acres at the corner of Mayo and Tatum Boulevards in Phoenix.

DeWalt said the museum could have a February groundbreaking and an opening in two years.

“For a museum, this is extraordinarily aggressive,” he said. “We are still very much on track.”

Besides raising the $100 million needed to buy the land and build the museum, DeWalt and a small staff have been spending time hiring curators, designing the building, finding items to exhibit and designing the exhibits themselves.

Acquiring the instruments and designing the exhibits is “a major, major undertaking,” he said.

The exhibits, consisting of rare and unusual musical instruments from around the world, will fill 75,000 square feet of space. The instruments will be supplemented with audio and video clips showing them in use.

A video on the museum’s website, http://www.themim.org, shows the variety of instruments that could be in the collection.

The instruments will be purchased, borrowed and donated, DeWalt said. Partnerships are being established with other museums around the world, and a master list of desired pieces has been developed.

DeWalt, whose background is in cultural anthropology, said the museum “will give us a window into cultures around the world.”

He previously has said he expects performances using some of the rare instruments, as well as traveling collections.

Preliminary site plans already have won city approval, he said, and architectural designs and renderings should be ready soon.

www.theholmgroupaz.com

AZ Republic – 2 NE land parcels set for auction

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 24, 2007 10:19 AM
 NORTHEAST VALLEY –

The Arizona State Land Department has two auctions upcoming in early 2008 affecting the Northeast Valley. The latest to be announced is an irregularly shaped parcel in the Desert Ridge area, northeast of the Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard.

The other is the shopping center site in Paradise Ridge, southwest of Thompson Peak Parkway and Scottsdale Road.
A previous attempt to sell that site was held up for legal review.
The Desert Ridge auction will take place on Feb. 28. The Paradise Ridge auction is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Desert Ridge and Paradise Ridge are both master planned developments on state land.

Desert Ridge runs between 32nd Street and 64th Streets on the north side of the Central Arizona Project canal. Its northern limit is Pinnacle Peak Road.

Paradise Ridge sits between Desert Ridge and the Scottsdale border, north of Loop 101.

Development: beginning of end

 The upcoming auction of 205.6 acres in Desert Ridge spells the beginning of the end. Assuming a buyer comes forward at the Land Department auction, the parcel to be sold is one of the last large pieces of land available in the master planned community.

The parcel wraps around the north and east sides of the golf course at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, north of Deer Valley Drive. Most of the acreage is on the east side of the golf course, along 56th Street, and it wraps around the north side, along Pinnacle Peak Road.

Price for the parcel is $42.6 million, more than $200,000 an acre.

The auction date is Feb. 28.

The price is relatively low for Desert Ridge. The most recent sale of a large parcel there brought in more than $550,000 per acre in April, and a smaller parcel sold for more than $1 million an acre in May.

The parcel is one of the last residential areas available in the area. One more large parcel, about 265 acres at the southeast corner of 56th Street and Pinnacle Peak Road, remains unsold.

Other areas of Desert Ridge south of Loop 101 remain available for sale.

The other parcel coming up for auction is the 112-acre shopping center site in Paradise Ridge, which was held up for legal review of the sale details.

Auction delayed since October

 It originally was scheduled for sale in October, but questions about infrastructure requirements and one potential bidder’s preferred right caused a delay. The Land Department updated the infrastructure issue, but left the preferred right in place. That right is held by Westcor, the shopping center developer, in exchange for its services in getting the land ready to sell.

Westcor already has distributed plans for the site, where it will build a mixed use project called Palisene.

The land is on a 99-year lease, with an appraisal of $32 million and expected costs of $67 million for infrastructure improvements, plus annual rent payments.

Westcor, the Thomas J. Klutznick Co. and DMB Associates have expressed interest in the land.

Klutznick currently is developing CityNorth, not far from the Paradise Ridge site.

DMB developed DC Ranch, about two miles away to the east.  

AZ Republic – Magazine honors 2 We-Ko-Pa courses

The Republic | azcentral.com
Dec. 14, 2007 01:46 PM

FOUNTAIN HILLS – Both of We-Ko-Pa Golf Club’s courses were recently honored by Golfweek magazine’s 2007 “Top 100 Best Resort Golf Courses” issue.

We-Ko-Pa’s 1-year-old, Bill Coore- and Ben Crenshaw-designed Saguaro course was ranked 20th in the U.S., and the 6-year-old, Scott Miller-designed Cholla course was ranked 31st in the annual publication.

Both Saguaro and Cholla were ranked highest among all Arizona golf courses on the list. Four other Arizona courses also made the “Top 100 Best Resort Golf Courses” list, including:

• No. 38: Ventana Canyon Golf Club (Mountain), Tucson.

• No. 74: Wigwam Resort (Gold), Litchfield Park.

• No. 84: Boulders Golf Club (South), Carefree

• No. 85: Ventana Canyon Golf Club (Canyon), Tucson.

“We are honored to have We-Ko-Pa listed among the best golf courses in the United States. Our new course (Saguaro) has proven to be a great addition,” said Jeff Lessig, director of golf and general manager at We-Ko-Pa.

We-Ko-Pa is owned by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and is operated by EF Golf and OB Sports Golf Management.

For information on We-Ko-Pa, call 480-836-9000 or visit http://www.wekopa.com.

 


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