February 11, 2016

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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Two firms are opening offices in Phoenix, and will be hiring 850 employees between both firms. Michigan-based Peckham Inc., and Georgia-based HealthPort Technologies are leasing space at the Metro North Corporate Park near Thunderbird Road and 30th Avenue.

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Among states with state income taxes, Arizona has the third lowest rate for high-income earners. Arizona’s top 4.54 percent tax rate kicking in for taxable earnings over $300,000 annually is lower than 46 other states, according to the nonprofit Tax Foundation.

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February 9, 2016

The Valley technology scene has long compared itself to well-established hubs such as Silicon Valley and Boston, and often comes away with an inferiority complex. Local leaders attending the Phoenix Business Journal’s technology roundtable Jan. 25 said it is time to stop complaining and start recognizing the successes the local industry has built. Then they must realize it takes time to become the next big thing.

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Arizona consumers remained relatively upbeat about the economy in January, though they remained skeptical about the job market in the months ahead, a new poll has found. The latest quarterly consumer confidence index, as measured in the by the Behavior Research Center’s newest Rocky Mountain Poll, came in at 81.6, which was slightly higher than the 81.2 reading in October. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index, as measured in January by the Conference Board, stood at 98.1.

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Mortenson Construction released its quarterly Construction Cost Index report, Friday, for Phoenix along with five other metropolitan areas in the U.S. According to the report, after experiencing a dip in late 2014, the Phoenix construction market rebounded in 2015. The report also cites that local, non-residential construction employment continued to show positive growth in 2015, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Nationwide Realty Investors — an arm of Nationwide Insurance — plans on building a third commercial building at its Rivulon development in Gilbert. The planned $750 million development sits on 250 acres at Gilbert Road and Loop 202 in the East Valley.

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Scottsdale’s resorts have been getting multimillion dollar facelifts in the last few months, with hotels like The Hotel Valley Ho, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the Chaparral Suites, the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch and the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas all going through major renovations.

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February 8, 2016

Higher rents are leading more people into the housing market, according to a Redfin survey reported by the company’s data analyst Taylor Marr.

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Total U.S. employment rose by 151,000 from December to 143 million in January, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The year-over-year gain shows nearly 5 million new jobs were created in the last year.

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The city of Mesa wants to bring a new apartment development to its downtown area. The city has issued a request for proposals for a new multifamily development at First Avenue and MacDonald Street. Bids are due Feb. 18. The property up for development is owned by the city.

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Farmers Insurance has selected Phoenix as the location for a 1,000-employee operation and plans to build a new office complex at Pinnacle Peak Road and Interstate 17. The expansion could eventually raise Farmers’ employee base in Phoenix from approximately 500 to more than 1,500 full-time employees.

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Arizona gained traction with exports finishing 2015 with $22.6 billion in products shipped outside the state according to the latest data from U.S. Trade.gov, the government’s export data tracking site.

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February 5, 2016

Mesa Mayor John Giles formally announced ASU’s plans to open a satellite campus downtown, plus four other big developments during his State of the City address Thursday.

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Dave & Buster’s at Westgate, which opened several months ago, will have a little West Valley competition since Main Event Entertainment has announced it will opening in Avondale. The family entertainment center, which is based in Dallas (same as Dave & Buster’s), will open its second Arizona location in Avondale at 10315 W. McDowell Road on Feb. 8.

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Irgens – Phoenix has announced the $17 million acquisition of an office project at 501 N. 44th St. The four-story building is located south of the Loop 202 and just off State Route 143 near Sky Harbor International Airport.

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The holiday shopping period of 2015 ended with same-store sales that ticked up 3.3 percent, according to the SpendTrend report from First Data, a firm that provides technology solutions for commerce transactions, and while an increase is still a win, the season could have been a lot more jolly for retailers.

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Scottsdale hotels seem to be going through a renaissance of sorts with the number of resorts investing in multimillion dollar renovations.

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February 4, 2016

The U.S. economy and the stock market are sending opposite messages to the commercial real estate community, causing many industry professionals to scratch their heads. On the one hand, the leading economic indicators are solid. Monthly gains in nonfarm payroll employment averaged 280,000 during the fourth quarter of 2015, and the national unemployment rate ended the year at 5 percent. Average hourly earnings rose 2.5 percent in 2015, a sign that wage growth is accelerating.

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National Office Vacancy Rate Tightens to 10.8% As New Supply Deliveries Hold Steady

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Construction spending in the U.S. in 2015 reached a level not seen since the financial crash, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Last year’s expenditures rose to $1.097 trillion, 10.5% higher than 2014′s expenditures of $993.4 billion and the highest level since 2007, when construction spending stood at 1.148 trillion.

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