March 16, 2016

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point from 5.9% in December to 5.6% in January. The US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 5.0% in December to 4.9% in January. A year ago, the Arizona seasonally adjusted rate was 6.6% and the US rate was 5.7%…

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Construction input prices fell for the eighth consecutive month during February 2016, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index released, Tuesday, by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Construction input prices fell 0.6 percent on a monthly basis in February and 3.7 percent on a yearly basis. Inputs to nonresidential construction fell even further, declining 0.7 percent from January 2016 and 3.8 percent from February 2015. Prices for eight of the 11 key inputs declined on a monthly basis in February, while nine of the 11 key inputs experienced year-over-year price declines…

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March 15, 2016

Much of the world’s economy is troubled, or at least weaker than it has been recently, yet the U.S. economy continues to be one of the bright spots worldwide. That was one of the takeaways of a speech last week by World Bank managing director and COO Sri Mulyani Indrawati at the National Association of Business Economics Conference in Washington, D.C…

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Last year’s announcement by Apple was widely reported – just about every media outlet picked up the story about the tech giant bringing a data center to the East Mesa area. The news quickly faded from view aside from a blip by City of Mesa Mayor Giles in May reiterating the same story – Apple is bringing a data center to East Mesa. Fast-forward almost a year later and the project has quietly proceeded through approvals and is now hosting hundreds of craftsmen each day of the week completing an intense build out in short order…

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The good news this week belongs to Arizona. Employment growth rates have clearly improved. As of January, the state is up 3% over a year ago. But, more impressively, Greater Phoenix is up 3.6% over a year ago. And even Tucson, while lagging, is showing improvement at a 2.2% gain. While still below the historic norm, it is the best set of numbers in the cycle and shows acceleration in economic activity in the state and particularly in the Greater Phoenix area.

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The first two residential phases in Eastmark are nearly complete and many of the seven builders in phase one are already sold out. Today, nine homebuilders are in active development at Eastmark. Newer phases include an active adult community, Encore by AV Homes, and the first gated neighborhood by Meritage Homes, Innovation Park at Eastmark…

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Brick-and-mortar shopping represents a better sustainability performance compared to online shopping, according to a new white paper released by Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG). The study, conducted by Simon in conjunction with Deloitte Consulting, created a “cradle-to-grave” Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) that examines the environmental impact of all material, energy and fuels attributable to a product in its lifecycle..

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March 10, 2016

The Phoenix City Council voted March 2 to adopt a trio of ordinances pertinent to the future of light rail in the city. One ordinance will move the South Central Light Rail Extension Project forward, while two others set a course for two new rail stations.

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In 2013 limited housing inventory was blamed on underwater mortgages, struggling affordability and difficulty getting mortgage financing. In 2014 homeowners not ready to walk away from limited equity and others with sub-4% interest rates topped the charts for reasons nobody wanted to sell their homes. 2015 may have been about people not being able to afford a move-up and the still lingering hangover of underwater mortgages.

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February 15, 2016

Valley Partnership has announced the topic for its upcoming monthly breakfast on Friday, Feb. 26. This month’s program examines the availability of construction labor in Metro Phoenix.

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A review of 2016 acquisition and disposition activity for 2016 finds a majority of the nation’s publicly traded REITs and real estate companies expect to be big sellers of properties this year, with the projected total of property dispositions more than double that of acquisitions.

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Home prices across the United States, including distressed sales, increased year on year by 6.3% in December 2015 and increased month on month by 0.8%, the latest index shows. And forecast data from the CoreLogic House Price Index also indicates that home prices are set to rise by 5.4% this year.

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February 12, 2016

Carlisle Companies Inc., a $3.5 billion global diversified manufacturer, will relocate its Corporate Headquarters to Phoenix beginning in the second quarter of this year.

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Davis Enterprises – Investments & Development, a family-owned business with a successful track record of many investments and redevelopment projects in retail, office, industrial and multifamily throughout the Valley, has received approval from the City of Tempe to begin construction on a prime retail project at 1015 S. Rural Road (North of Apache Boulevard) in Tempe, Ariz.

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Another fast-casual pizzeria concept is entering the Phoenix metro this year: LA-based Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza. The chain — backed by basketball star Lebron James, former talk show host and California first lady Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis — announced plans to open four locations throughout Phoenix in the next several years, including locations within Arizona State University.

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ORION is proud to announce the sale of Scottsdale Executive Square, a 29,806 square foot, Class B multi-tenant office. The office building recently sold for $3,540,000 ($118.77/SF). Situated on 97,200 square feet, just north of the northeast corner of Scottsdale and Thunderbird Roads, the building has excellent Scottsdale Road frontage with approximately 35,665 vehicles passing per day. Scottsdale Executive Square was 77% leased at close of escrow.

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UnitedHealthcare and Chicanos Por La Causa Inc. (CPLC), are partnering to help Phoenix-area low- and moderate-income individuals and families access quality, affordable housing. The partnership is part of a pilot program by UnitedHealthcare called myConnections, which was developed to provide low-income individuals and families with access to essential social, medical and behavioral services that can have a significant impact on health and quality of life.

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February 11, 2016

Already one of the nation’s largest and most-profitable shopping malls, Scottsdale Fashion Square could evolve into an urban center with high-rise apartments, offices and hotels, according to plans recently announced by mall owner Macerich.

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The $47 million ENVY Residences condominium tower in Old Town Scottsdale, near Scottsdale and Camelback Roads is on track to open in late spring.

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CNL Healthcare Properties, Inc. purchased the Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital at 13060 Bell Rd. in Surprise, AZ from Cobalt Medical Development for $23.66 million, or about $592,000 per bed / $430 per square foot.

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Darin Mitchell is ready for round two of his fight with Arizona cities and mayors over taxes levied on apartment and house renters. Mitchell, a Republican state lawmaker, is pushing a bill to get rid of residential rental taxes. He made a similar push last year.

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Maracay Homes announced the opening of two new neighborhoods, Marquis and Artisan, situated within the Warner Groves community of Morrison Ranch in Gilbert.

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February 10, 2016

Arizona saw its share of millionaires climb by almost 5,000, according to Phoenix Marketing International. The Rhineback, New York-based firm recently released its 2015 edition of the Phoenix Global Wealth Monitor, which tracks the well-heeled across the country.

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A south Phoenix light-rail line is on the fast track to construction, under a plan to accelerate the city’s long-delayed expansion of the transit system.

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The Town of Gilbert’s Design Review Board will consider a proposal by Embry Partners to create a 320-unit multifamily development at the northwest corner of Santan Village Parkway and Boston Street as part of a greater mixed-use project planned for the area.

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