Archive for the 'Real Estate Articles' Category

AZ Republic – Resort redevelopment topic of special joint meeting in Paradise Valley

Diana Balazs
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 15, 2007 03:14 PM


PARADISE VALLEY – Resort redevelopment, the hottest issue to hit the town in recent years, will be discussed Thursday at a special joint work/study session of the Paradise Valley Town Council and Planning Commission.

Ninety minutes has been set aside for the 5 p.m. meeting at Paradise Valley Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive. The public is invited.

The town is experiencing a record number of requests to upgrade, expand and build resorts. The plans include the construction of privately owned homes, many of them on smaller lots, which a some residents oppose because of their design, height, setback and density. Developers argue they need those marketable residences to fund their projects.

The town is zoned for one single-family house per acre. A special-use permit governs commercial properties such as resorts, which is unique to each property. But many residents contend that even resorts should adhere to the town’s 1-acre residential standards.

AZ Republic – Nearly $5M home deal tops Valley’s priciest sales

Aug. 14, 2007 01:39 PM  A CEO of a software company, a former franchise owner of several MacDonald’s restaurants and an owner of a development and brokerage company are among the buyers and sellers in this week’s priciest home sales.


Brent W. Lippman and Rita S. Lippman, as trustees of the Lippman Family Trust, purchased a 5,659- square-foot home with pool built in 1981 in Paradise Valley. Brent Lippman is a software executive and entrepreneur who served as CEO of JDA Software Inc. He also founded and served as board chairman and CEO of Khimetrics Inc., a provider of software that enables retailers to analyze how to price and position items to boost margins and optimize demand. The company was acquired by SAP. The home was sold by Dawn M. Pont.  

Dennis E. Teufel and his wife, Angela,{check} bought a 6,574-square-foot home with pool built in 2003 in Paradise Valley west of Camelback Golf Club. Dennis Teufel is a former franchise owner of several McDonald’s restaurants in the Valley before passing them onto his son last year. The home was sold by Maher N. Arekat.


Arthur C. Young and his wife, Stephanie, paid cash for a 5,377square-foot home with pool built in 1978 on the northern edge of Camelback Golf Club in Paradise Valley. The home was sold by Craig Richard Ballard and Shannon Roberta Ballard, as trustees of the Ballard Family Trust.


Darryl Szarka purchased a new home in Scottsdale southwest of McCormick Ranch Golf Club. Darryl Szarka is owner and manager of DKS Development & Brokerage in Scottsdale. The home was sold by Carlson Homes, an Arizona limited liability company managed by Gary L. Carlson.


William E. Harris and his wife, Barbara,{check} of Dallas bought a 4,245square-foot home with pool originally built in 1992 on the southwestern edge of the Camelback Golf Club in Paradise Valley. The home was sold by Branko Mraovic and his wife, Darinka.

Researched by John McLean and the Information Market.

AZ Republic – Metro Phoenix leads nation in retail construction

Cathryn Creno
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 13, 2007 02:02 PM
 Metro Phoenix has more retail space under construction than anywhere else in the country, according to a report by a national real estate information service.

Valley retail developers attribute the fast growth not only to the Valley’s increasing population but also to a local culture that loves to shop.

Even with the residential real estate downturn, Valley residents are still on a shopping spree, said Garrett Newland vice president for development at Westcor, the shopping center development company.

Valley residents continue to buy home furnishings and other consumer goods, he said. “It may just be part of the culture here,” he said.

Phoenix had 13.4 million retail square feet under construction at the end of the second quarter and nearly 83% of it is pre-leased, according to CoStar Group.

CoStar’s report, “Smokin’ hot: Stock of the Nation’s Leading Retail Markets” says other top markets for retail construction are California’s Inland Empire, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Cleveland.

Population growth and low unemployment are two reasons the report gives for the Valley’s success in attracting retail development.

Most of the retail growth is along the new Loop 101 and Loop 202 freeway system extensions.

CoStar notes that the largest retail development site in the Valley is Tempe Marketplace, with 1.3 million square feet of retail

In addition, Westcor will finish SanTan Village at Loop 202 and Williams Field Road in Gilbert in October. The development’s power center will have about 600,000 square feet of retail space and an additional mixed use area will have about a million square feet of retail space.

CoStar also mentions the European firm Tesco PLC’s plans to open Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery stores in 26 sites in the Phoenix area.

AZ Republic – Property values soar in Fountain Hills

FOUNTAIN HILLS – The nation’s slow housing market seems to have overlooked Fountain Hills.While many Valley property owners feel the crunch, Fountain Hills’ property values nearly doubled on average the past year, according to the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office.

From 2006 to 2007, the total value of all property inside the town jumped $213 million – to $610 million from $397 million, according to reports.

Town Manager Tim Pickering said it shows a town is experiencing “incredibly increasing value.” “While much of the real estate market has slowed over the last year, Fountain Hills has shown steadily increasing values,” Pickering said.

But while property values increased, tax rates decreased.

In fact, the town’s small secondary tax rate declined nearly 9 cents for every $100 of a property’s value this tax year. Fountain Hills rate now is 21 cents. The rate has declined steadily since 2001.

This secondary tax was created to cover voter-approved debts, officials said. The town has no primary tax rate. 

If you are looking for real estate in Fountain Hills, check out some of these communities:

Fire Rock 

Eagle Mountain

East Valley Tribune – One Scottsdale a singular sensation

The $1.5 billion One Scottsdale project is revving up, with designs for 11 buildings to be submitted to the city over the next several weeks.

GRAPHIC: See the locations of One Scottsdale and City North

The first of the designs turned in for city review, besides the new Dial Corp. headquarters, includes the triangular “Flatiron Building” evocative of its Manhattan namesake, along with a neighboring building of contemporary design.

Building designs will be submitted to the city every few weeks through the end of September, said Irene Carroll, a vice president with developer DMB Associates and general manager of One Scottsdale. Altogether, the 11 buildings constitute the first phase of One Scottsdale, a 120-acre development ultimately expected to include more than one million square feet of commercial, retail and office space, 400 resort and hotel rooms, and 1,100 residences on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Loop 101.

“These were the first two we were able to complete and get into the queue,” Carroll said of the Flatiron-style building and its neighbor.

Developers expect to complete construction of the buildings by One Scottsdale’s opening, scheduled for October 2009, she said.

The first phase of buildings are all located south of the proposed Center Drive, an east/ west road that will bisect One Scottsdale, said Don Hadder, city principal planner.

“The first wave essentially will be retail/residential-oriented,” he said. “Some of them might include a hotel space, as well.”

The Scottsdale Development Review Board hearings on the building designs are due to begin in October.

“We’ll be going to virtually every DRB meeting with some portion of One Scottsdale,” Hadder said. “It’s like, ‘OK, here comes the work.’ They’re going to keep us busy, but that’s a good thing.”

Designs for the building unofficially referred to as the “Flatiron” show it being four stories with an ornamental tower, and floor space of 58,500 square feet.

Designs for its proposed neighbor call for a nearly 91,000-square-foot, five-story building. Each would be built above three stories of underground parking, and each would have retail/restaurant tenants on the first floor, with residential floors above.

Construction on the new Dial headquarters on the northeast corner of Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road is ongoing.

The giant soap maker plans a 340,000-square-foot building to house its several hundred employees.

The new offices will be four stories of office space above three stories of underground parking. Construction is expected to be finished by the end of 2008.

Dial’s designs were approved in June.

Phase 1
Retail/restaurant: 250,000 square feet
Office: 300,000 square feet
Residential: 250 units

AZ Republic – Scottsdale waking up to changing tastes downtown

Peter Corbett
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 9, 2007 03:42 PM 

SCOTTSDALE – Coco’s or Olive & Ivy or Foodbar.Where to go for breakfast in downtown Scottsdale? That choice a few weeks back got me thinking about our changing tastes here in Scottsdale, not only for breakfast but also for the types of businesses that lure us in to spend our hard-earned lucre.

I picked Coco’s Bakery Restaurant because I figured it might not be around in a few years. I wanted to remember what it was like to eat there, the big banquettes, coffee refills and bacon and eggs with Tabasco sauce. Westcor has plans to redevelop the site that includes Coco’s and the Days Inn. Progress will clear them away over the new few years like dirty plates from a worn Formica table.The restaurant was empty, except for one other table and a Christian men’s group meeting in the back.

I heard their psalm.

When I left, a guy with long, gray hair smoked out front by the newspaper boxes.

I looked across Scottsdale Road at the Safari Drive project and tried to imagine its condo tenants going for breakfast at Coco’s or for pie and coffee. Maybe at 2:30 a.m., after a night out.Flavored water and wine racks Around the corner at the Scottsdale Waterfront, the Olive & Ivy restaurant was just waking up on a Monday morning. It was nearly empty, too.I sat among the wine racks at the front of the place and drank a bottle of an imported, sparking orange-flavored water that cost $2 for 6.5 ounces.Scottsdale Waterfront, SouthBridge and other projects along the Arizona Canal are changing the face of downtown, adding contemporary options.

The character of the area is changing, but the new layers of lifestyle options do not have to overshadow what is already good about downtown.

The new can enhance the old, and vice versa.

The Sugar Shack, Pink Pony, Frank & Lupe’s and Saba’s can co-exist with the Pink Taco, W Hotel Scottsdale and Safari Drive.  

Downtown’s rapid ‘See’ change

Downtowns evolve and Scottsdale’s has seen a rapid evolution in the past few years.Not everyone is hip to that. Residents are resisting a rising skyline that blocks their views and development pushing out into nearby neighborhoods.

John Washington, a member of the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, is worried about redevelopment of apartments along Miller Road north of Osborn Road. He has lived in the Peaceful Valley neighborhood east of downtown for about 15 years.

Scottsdale has long been defined by its low-density, low-scale development, but that is threatened by spot zoning for taller buildings, Washington said.

“What is the benefit to the community?” he asked. “We just can’t seem to say no to developers.”

It is disheartening, Washington said, adding that he does not feel comfortable with the size and scale of recent downtown developments.

“I can’t see the sky when I’m at the Waterfront and it makes me nervous,” he said.

Scottsdale prices in perspective

 It is easy to get the blues noting that Scottsdale’s median home price has eroded from $640,000 in June 2006 to $612,750 this past June.But in thumbing through my files I found a report that showed the median price was $379,135 in the summer of 2004. Homeowners are still up 62 percent from three years ago, even if they give back a few percent here and there. 

To view homes in AZ click here:

AZ Republic – Fairmont Scottsdale Princess expected to announce expansion

Lesley Wright
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 6, 2007 05:28 PM

 SCOTTSDALE – Owners of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess are expected this week to announce a major expansion that could transform the resort into the largest hotel in the Valley.

Scottsdale planners have been meeting with representatives of Princess owners Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. about an expansion that would add 334 rooms to the 651-room resort.

That would make the resort 985 rooms, compared with the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa’s 950 rooms, currently the Valley’s largest.

Preliminary plans submitted in January include a new senior-living facility, office complex, new ballroom and meeting rooms, parking structure and landscaping on the Mediterranean-style campus. New restaurants and retail shops also are expected.

In addition, the hotel would renovate all of the rooms during the course of the three-year project, which could total $230 million worth of improvements.

“It’s a complicated deal because they want to stay open during construction,” said Scottsdale Senior Planner Don Hadder.

Scottsdale planners expect to receive site plans for the project within the next few weeks. Public hearings before the Development Review Board could take place this fall with the first stages of construction beginning late this year, Hadder said.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts executives would not comment until all the plans are in place, probably within a few days.

The Chicago-based company acquired the resort from Fairmont Raffles Holdings International in September. Raffles had just purchased the property in January 2006.

The Princess resort, southeast of Princess Boulevard and Scottsdale Road, acquired a 99-year lease of nearly 35 acres of state-trust land to the west of the campus in 2003. Plans for the expansion were put on hold, however, as the resort changed ownerships.

AZ Republic – End nears for storm torn tent at Westworld

Lesley Wright
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 2, 2007 11:43 AM

 SCOTTSDALE – Residents will have to live with a battered, torn WestWorld tent for another few weeks.

City officials said it would be a waste of resources to repair a hole that was ripped by wind storms this summer.

Instead, the tent skin will come off Sept. 10 and by early October a new beige fabric – minus the American flags – will be installed. City officials estimated that a new skin would cost about $1 million, but the winning bid came in at $1.4 million.

 “There are no events scheduled there at the moment so it wouldn’t make sense to repair it,” said city spokesman Pat Dodds.

The 120,000-square-foot structure has been a source of controversy since it went up in 2005 to house the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction.

The used tent was emblazoned with two enormous American flags. Some neighbors complained that the bright colors detracted from north Scottsdale’s carefully tended desert colors.

The Coalition of Pinnacle Peak said the 80-foot-tall tent broke north Scottsdale’s 36-foot height limit. Others said they liked the display of patriotism.

The issue was resolved when the tent started fading and tearing under the fierce desert sun and storms.

AZ Republic – Home construction remains strong in PV

Peter Corbett
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 2, 2007 11:26 AM 

 PARADISE VALLEY – Valley home construction has slowed dramatically in the first half of this year compared to a year ago, but Paradise Valley, the area’s priciest market, is still strong. The town issued 50 building permits for new homes through the end of June, compared to 54 for the same period last year, a dip of 7 percent.But the value of those new homes has jumped nearly 38 percent to $72 million.

Paradise Valley also reported that the value of home remodeling doubled in the first half of this year to $81.3 million.
Bob Lee, Paradise Valley building safety manager, said of the town’s building pace has been steady: 55 home permits were issued in the first half of 2005.“I have noticed here in the last weeks some slowdown,” Lee said. “I don’t know if that is a seasonal thing or the economy has caught up with us.”

Paradise Valley also issued 35 home-demolition permits for the first half of this year, up 17 percent from last year. That reflects demand for a dwindling supply of vacant lots, Lee said.

Valley market falls 23 percent

Paradise Valley is a bright spot in an overall market for Maricopa and Pinal counties that has seen building permits fall of 23 percent for the first half of 2007, according to the Phoenix Housing Market Letter.In the fiscal year ending June 30, Phoenix issued 7,251 permits for new homes, a decline of 26 percent from the previous year. Permits for multifamily housing in Phoenix declined 13 percent during that time. Cave Creek reported 41 new-home permits in past fiscal year, a dip of 45 percent from the previous year.

Scottsdale is recalculating its building permits for the past fiscal year after discrepancies were discovered involving condominiums.

Resale activity also tumbles

 Sales of existing homes in Maricopa and Pinal counties has tumbled as well from 51,256 in the first half of 2006 to 35,267 this year, a decline of 31 percent, the Market Letter reported.Paradise Valley has the area’s highest median price among existing homes at $1.93 million for a median square foot home of 3,965, according to the Realty Studies Department at Arizona State University.

NE Valley luxury markets steady Karl Stauffer, an associate broker with Sonoran Properties GMAC Real Estate, said luxury markets such as Paradise Valley “have been steadily grinding along.”He is not alarmed at the residential-market slowdown. “I’m a silver-lining kind of guy,” said Stauffer, who hosts a real estate show with Realtor Mark Tait at 3 p.m. Wednesdays on KFNX-AM (1100).

The resale market will start to recover as soon as the homebuilders sell their surplus inventory, he said.

“Yes, it’s bad medicine but it’s medicine we have to take in order for the patient to get healthy in the long term,” Stauffer said.

There are close to 50,000 listings of existing homes now but Stauffer wonders how many of those homes are truly on the market at a realistic sales prices, or if sellers are holding out for a higher price because they owe more than the house is worth.

“Maybe they’re waiting for the market to catch up with their price,” he said. “But what if it continues to decline?”

How far will the market fall before it comes back up?

“That is the million dollar question,” Stauffer said. 

AZ Repulic – Tenants flocking to new data center

Jane Larson
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 1, 2007 10:43 AM 

SCOTTSDALE – The Northeast Valley’s latest data center is filling up fast. The i/o Data Center, in the Perimeter Center near Loop 101 and Bell Road, officially opened in June and already has signed more than 30 tenants. They include Valley-based businesses, and more than one-third are from out-of-state, primarily California.

“If I had to name surprises, it was how well people responded to the location,” said Anthony Wanger, senior managing director of center developer IO Capital LLC. “This is such a big business corridor, and there was some pent-up demand.”

After six months of renovation by Scottsdale-based IO Capital, the data center has begun housing backup computers for businesses.
Natural disasters are rare here The Valley has become a hot spot for such centers because it lacks the earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes that can shut down companies’ vital systems elsewhere.More than half the Scottsdale space has been sold, putting the company “way ahead of plan,” Wanger said. The first pod is up and running, and high-tech workers who keep the equipment going are moving into the second one, he said.

He expects the building to be filled by the end of the third quarter.

Tenants are understandably leery of telling the world where their backup computers reside, and confidentiality clauses in the contracts prevent IO Capital from disclosing tenants’ names. But Wanger said they include several large public companies and “a prominent Web property” from Silicon Valley.

About 20 people are working at the center, and IO still has positions open, he said.IO expands old Maxwell building IO Capital last year bought the Maxwell Productions LLC building, a white elephant of a structure that stood vacant for four years after Maxwell’s DVD-pressing business failed and wound up in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.Wanger’s group added a second floor to bring the building up to 100,000 square feet of space. It also added air conditioning, improved fire detection and three sets of fiber optic cables.

IO Capital is “very far down the path” in negotiations for its second large data center in the Valley, he said. “We are able to fill whatever space we bring to market,” Wanger said.

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