Monthly Archives: April 2016

TOP THINGS TO DO FIRST FRIDAY IN THE DOWNTOWN CORE

First Friday In the Historic Downtown Phoenix Core

APRIL 28, 2016 BY FARA ILLICH

downtown phoenix,first friday

Roosevelt Row is the epicenter of all things First Friday, but sometimes venturing off the beaten path woven through Phoenix Historic Districts such as the Historic Roosevelt Neighborhood, can pay off in fun and unexpected ways. From free admission at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix to shopping in a shipping container, the Downtown Core offers some artsy, quirky and educational experiences Friday, May 6.

Skip out of work a little early or indulge in some retail therapy during your lunch break — it’s Friday after all. Stark James, the architecture and development firm behind Containers on Grand, have partnered with local t-shirt makers State Forty Eight to create a mobile, custom-made pop-up shop out of a shipping container, debuting for the first time 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Civic Space Park.

Load up the kiddos and head to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, which is open to the public free of charge every First Friday. Explore 48,000 square feet of hands-on learning, art displays and play areas fit for the whole family, including specific zones geared toward toddlers and preschoolers.

Exploring the Arizona Science Center after dark already feels special. Add in the fact that it’s adults-only and there’s booze — and you’ve got the perfect date-night adventure. Enjoy access to four-floors of science fun, signature cocktails and discounted access to Popnology, a special exhibition focused on pop culture-inspired technology. The lecture series “The Future of Transportation: An inside look on how future cars are designed, built and operated” starts promptly at 7 p.m., followed by a discussion on transportation innovation.

It’s an evening of art, creativity and neon lights hosted by “Walter,” the world’s largest Volkswagen bus. Located on the beautiful Herberger Theater patio, enjoy happy hour drink specials, snacks and kid-friendly options. Bring the whole family to explore this 1960’s-era converted firetruck, and learn about Walter Productions, the collaborative and whimsical maker group behind the Walter “art car.”

Located on the corner of Monroe Street and Third Avenue, the beautiful Grace Chapel (which is rarely open First Fridays) is home to Release the Fear, an arts-centered nonprofit working with at-risk youth. Not only does the organization teach art, music and communication skills to kids in detention, treatment centers and schools, but some of their fantastic artwork is featured on the gallery walls and historic alter.

The Step Gallery at Grant Street Studios is really an artistic marvel in and of itself. In a converted warehouse just south of the Downtown Core, this exhibit explores modern Americana through ceramic sculpture and video installations. “For Closure” addresses issues of income inequality, predatory financiers and oligarchical policymakers in a thought-provoking series by Jonah Amadeus. This is his MFA thesis work for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and the show runs through May 8.

In a nearly 100-year-old former commercial laundry in the Warehouse District, the Bentley Gallery features gorgeous museum-quality exhibits in a variety of mediums. Whether it’s work on paper, metal or wood, the nine artists featured in “Off the Wall,” explore the relationships between color, form, the viewer, the wall, and the space in between. The exhibition, which runs through May 31, is all about the interplay of positive and negative space and the power of three-dimensional art.

Chateau on Central Luxury Townhomes For Sale

Chateau on Central | Central and Palm Lane in Phoenix, AZ

Set in the heart of Phoenix, Chateau on Central is more than you could expect  and everything you’ve always dreamed true city living can be. Located along the landmark corridor of downtown Phoenix on Central Avenue and Palm Lane, Chateau on Central is redefining urban sophistication. Vertical living becomes more elegant and sophisticated at Chateau on Central. The five-story brick and masonry brownstones range from 5,200 to 5,800 square feet, with a signature residence that boasts 8,200 square feet. Each home can be customized to fit your lifestyle.

Just steps from the Phoenix Metro Light Rail and Willow Historic District, all the homes feature gourmet kitchens with Viking appliances, private roof-top patios, 2-car garage and a personal elevator. Chateau on Central is the luxury community in Downtown Phoenix that offers complete customization to make your home a one-of-a-kind brownstone that represents your taste and style on all levels. Options available include Designer/Architectural Services, furniture built-ins and flex space for optional home theater, gallery, wine cellar or game room. Build a lifestyle that stands the test of time at Chateau on Central.

Phoenix housing project to undergo $44 million renovation

BY CHLOE NORDQUIST/CRONKITE NEWS | April 29, 2016

Once in danger of demolition, a housing project in south Phoenix is getting a new lease on life with a $44 million renovation.

The Coffelt-Lamoreaux Housing Project near 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road, built for Korean War veterans, now houses many low-income individuals and families in the Phoenix area.

Phoenix Housing Project,Historic Homes“Most of the affordable housing we’re able to develop these days are multi-family buildings,” said Mike Trailor, director of the Arizona Department of Housing. “So this property is unique because there are 300 duplex units on 38 acres.”

Construction workers broke ground on the renovations Wednesday after three years of planning. The units will be gutted and redone with new appliances, flooring, plumbing and more. However, workers will preserve the outside because of the historical status of the buildings.

The Housing Authority of Maricopa County had slated the complex for demolition and had planned to sell it to private investors.

“We didn’t want to see Coffelt demolished, but they were not happy with the current condition of the property,” said Brian Swanton, Arizona market president for Gorman and Company Inc. “The housing authority gets a very small amount of money each year from the federal government to maintain this development, and it’s just woefully inadequate.”

A combination of federal, city, local and private entities helped come up with the $44 million renovation money, which included trust funds and historic tax credits.

The reduced rent housing eligibility is based on a number of qualifications.

For residents like Yolanda Ramirez, the affordability and location are important to her as a mother.

“I need to afford my kids because I don’t have a husband,” Ramirez said.

In late 2012, during the discussion of demolition, the community realized that nearly two thirds of the nearby elementary school students came from the homes.

“There was a lot of community pushback,” Arthur M. Hamilton School Principal Nicole Shamblin said.

The elementary school would have been shut down as a result of low enrollment, officials said.

“That would’ve been a complete disaster not just for Coffelt, but for the surrounding community as well,” Swanton said. “So this became (the Board of Supervisors’) top priority redevelopment project, and they asked us to step forward and find a way to recapitalize the development to save it from being demolished.”

The Coffelt-Lamoreaux homes make up the the oldest operational public housing project in Maricopa County. They were developed in 1953 and taken over by the city of Phoenix in 1959.

“As a community, if we can do a better job of providing decent, safe, affordable housing, and we give people opportunities, we become stronger as a community,” Trailor said.

The development will offer residents a health clinic, tutoring, a robotics program and county services like parenting, financial literacy and job training, according to Maricopa County. Officials expect to finish the renovations in 18 months.

 

Just released – Phoenix has 6.0% appreciation over last year

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Index® numbers came out this morning, covering sales that closed between February 2016 and February 2016. The greater Phoenix metro area came in with 6.04% appreciation over that 12 month period. 

Case Shiller IndexThe Cromford Report comments – “The west coast continues to appreciate the fastest, with Denver also very strong. Phoenix is in the middle of this pack of 20, but beat the overall average for the USA. When we look at the month to month change we see:

  1. San Francisco 1.06%
  2. Seattle 1.06%
  3. Denver 0.94%
  4. Portland 0.75%
  5. Los Angeles 0.70%
  6. Tampa 0.59%
  7. Dallas 0.52%
  8. Atlanta 0.37%
  9. Charlotte 0.35%
  10. Phoenix 0.27% 
  11. Las Vegas 0.21%
  12. Detroit 0.10%
  13. Miami 0.08%
  14. San Diego 0.06%
  15. Boston -0.08%
  16. Washington DC -0.20%
  17. Chicago -0.31%
  18. Minneapolis -0.44%
  19. New York -0.47%
  20. Cleveland -0.60%”

If you’re ready to buy a home in Phoenix, Scottsdale or surrounding areas, contact me today for a no obligation consultation.

Mortgage Rates Reach a New Low for 2016

mortgage rates,2016,real estate,phoenixThe 30-year fixed mortgage rate dipped to its lowest average of the year this week, averaging 3.58 percent, Freddie Mac reports in its latest mortgage market survey.

“Demand for Treasuries remained high this week, driving yields to their lowest point since February,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In response, the 30-year mortgage rate fell 1 basis point to 3.58 percent. This rate represents yet another low for 2016 and the lowest mark since May 2013.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending April 14:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.58 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.59 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.67 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.86 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.94 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.84 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.82 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.88 percent.

It’s a great time to buy a home in Phoenix, Arizona. Call Laura B. today to begin the process of buying your historic Phoenix dream home.

Source: Freddie Mac

Top 20 Cities for Luxury Sales Revealed

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2016

Scottsdale, Arizona Among Top 20 Cities For Luxury Living

Scottsdale Luxury Homes,For Sale,ArizonaAmerica’s top cities and ZIP codes for luxury home listings and sales kept a stable pace of growth over the last year, according to Coldwell Banker Previews International’s latest annual Luxury Market Report.

In some pockets across the country, however, luxury sales soared. For example, sales of $1 million-plus homes last year jumped 32 percent year-over-year in Austin, which is seeing a boom in its tech and entertainment industries. Other markets that are seeing large growth include Fort Lauderdale (up 31%) and Seattle (up 30%), according to the report.

Florida earned the top spot as the main destination for real estate’s high-priced segment. Luxury sales posted double-digit growth in Miami, Naples, and Palm Beach. Newcomer areas like Lake Worth and Wellington, also placed in the Top 20 list for $10 million sales for the first time, the report showed.

The following are the 20 top performing cities in the luxury real estate market for $1 million-plus sales, according to the latest report:

  1. New York, N.Y.: 3,662 (number of listings)
  2. Miami, Fla.: 1,654
  3. Miami Beach, Fla.: 1,473
  4. Naples, Fla.: 1,146
  5. Park City, Utah: 1,037
  6. Los Angeles, Calif.: 985
  7. Atlanta, Ga.: 982
  8. Scottsdale, Ariz.: 951
  9. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: 878
  10. North Miami Beach, Fla.: 810
  11. Chicago, Ill.: 735
  12. Houston, Texas: 696
  13. Boca Raton, Fla.: 662
  14. Greenwich, Conn.: 535
  15. Honolulu, Hawaii: 501
  16. San Diego, Calif.: 471
  17. Austin, Texas: 460
  18. Sarasota, Fla.: 455
  19. Dallas, Texas: 420
  20. Santa Barbara, Calif.: 387

If you’re looking to buy real estate in Scottsdale, whether it’s a single-family home or a condo in an amenity-laden high-rise with 24-hour valet and concierge services, or a historic Scottsdale home, we can help you design a lifestyle tailored just for you.

If you like Scottsdale, you’ll probably like Paradise Valley which is situated between Scottsdale and Phoenix. Paradise Valley consists of 16-square-miles of tranquil oasis with large lots, unobstructed mountain views and acre-plus zoning.

For additional information and for a tailored, custom luxury homes search in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley or Historic Phoenix, contact me today.

Mortgage Rates Hit New Low for 2016

Mortgage rates this week plunged to their lowest level since February 2015, unlocking more savings for home buyers and home owners who are refinancing.

2016 Mortgage Rates,Phoenix,National“Mortgage rates this week registered the delayed impact of last week’s sharp drop in Treasury yields, as the 30-year mortgage rate fell 12 basis points to 3.59 percent,” says Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti. “This rate marks a new low for 2016. Low mortgage rates and a positive employment outlook should support a strong housing market in the second quarter of 2016.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending April 7:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.59 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.71 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.66 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.88 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 2.98 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.93 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.82 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.90 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.83 percent.

It’s a great time to buy a home in Phoenix, Arizona. Call Laura B. today to begin the process of buying your historic Phoenix dream home.

Source: Freddie Mac

The Numbers Are In and 2016 Is Off to a Good Start in Home Sales

We may be on the verge of spring, but housing and economic reports work on a bit of a lag time. We’ve only just gotten the major data reports for January, and it’s giving us a clear-eyed view of how the real estate market is measuring up this year.

Home sales,2016,statistics,phoenix,inventoryAnd yeah, things are looking good.

Job creation—arguably the most important factor in housing demand—is moving apace. January saw 151,000 jobs created. That level of employment growth is below 2015’s monthly average, but unemployment is now near 10-year lows and is in line with the current macro forecast from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). This level of employment growth should translate into the 3% growth in housing sales we are expecting for the year.

Speaking of sales, January’s existing home sales report did not disappoint. Even though sales are taking longer to close, due to the implementation of new disclosure and closing forms and procedures, the pace grew 0.4% in January from December. Granted, that’s not a lot, but analysts had been expecting a decline. And from January 2015 to January 2016, existing home sales grew a solidly impressive 11%.

The increase in sales is resulting in continued tighter-than-tight supply—measured by NAR to be four months in January.  For you non-economists out there, that metric measures the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of available homes, at the current pace. Got it? Six to seven months’ worth of homes on the market is considered normal; four months is cray-cray.

This is driving prices higher and encouraging consumers who hope to buy this year to get started as soon as possible.

January’s new home sales and new home construction remained consistent with the pace of activity of the last several months. Still, the level of new construction still represents solid year-over-year growth, especially in single-family homes. The most encouraging sign: The median price of new homes is finally declining, as a result of the fact that builders are offering more affordable homes.

Finally, the most timely readings we can pass on come from our own observations at realtor.com that confirm that demand is growing rapidly at the start of the year, resulting in an acceleration in inventory movement that we typically do not see until March or April.

OK, not everything is rainbows and unicorns. The biggest negative trend impacting potential demand relates to the January and February declines in stock values, which have taken a toll on consumer confidence. But, even that negative trend has a silver lining: Mortgage rates are now substantially lower. The average 30-year conforming rate has stabilized at under 3.7%, giving buyers almost 5% more buying power than they had at the end of 2015, and strengthening their ability to meet the debt-to-income ratio requirement for a loan.

Net-net, pent-up demand appears stronger than any weakness caused by the financial markets. And the lower rates are encouraging would-be buyers to act sooner rather than later. With this strong start, 2016 should indeed see growth, but the biggest constraint will be the tight supply.

Courtesy Realtor.com

If you’re ready to get pre-approved for a home mortgage and start home shopping, give me a call or email today.

Fry’s to Open a Full Service Grocery Store in Downtown Phoenix

Courtesy: Downtown Phoenix Journal

Fry’s Food Stores Announces New Location in the Heart of Downtown Phoenix

55,000 Square-Foot Full-Service Grocery Store to Join Proposed Mixed-Use Project

Frys Food Store,downtown phoenix,new,cityscapeFry’s Food Stores and RED Development today announced the popular grocer will open downtown Phoenix’s first full-service grocery store. Fry’s preferred location to build the new 55,000 square-foot grocery store would be on the surface parking lot bordered between Washington Street and Jefferson Avenue, located between CityScape Phoenix and Collier Center. The downtown grocer would be housed in a proposed mixed-use development that could include traditional and creative office space and residential uses.

With the recent resurgence of downtown Phoenix and neighboring districts plus the expansion of both ASU and UA downtown campuses, a grocery store has been long-coveted for this area of the city. New employers are opening up offices, including tech-focused companies such as Uber and several new residential buildings have been built to meet the demands of new employee growth, creating an even greater need for a grocer in downtown Phoenix.

“This just made it a lot easier to move to downtown Phoenix,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “A new full-service grocery store will be a catalyst for more residential and neighborhood growth downtown for years to come. With RED Development, Fry’s and Kroger, we are gaining trusted brands with a long track record of success in downtown urban markets.”

Frys Food,downtown phoenix,cityscape,real estate,historic

The location of the pending development is adjacent to CityScape Phoenix on the Valley Metro Light Rail Line. Photo courtesy of RED Development.

“This has been over 10 years in the making,” said Council member Michael Nowakowski, whose district includes downtown. “As the member on the Council who has represented downtown the longest, I am excited to announce that we are finally bringing a grocery store to downtown Phoenix. I can’t wait to see this project break ground in my district.”

Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, chairman of the Phoenix City Council’s Downtown, Aviation and Redevelopment Subcommittee, added “A grocery store has been at the heart of creating a modern, urban, vibrant downtown, which is needed to help attract the top talent necessary for our economy to thrive. I am thrilled to join Fry’s and RED in announcing this incredible news.”

“As a former downtown resident, I know first-hand how difficult it can be without convenient access to a full-service grocery store,” said Vice Mayor Kate Gallego. “For residents who live and work downtown, especially those who rely on light rail and other public transportation, this store is exactly what we need.”

Councilwoman Thelda Williams has also worked on this issue for many years.

The new Fry’s Food Store would be conveniently located in the core of downtown Phoenix, in between major light rail access points and would also serve greater downtown Phoenix historic districts such as Garfield, Roosevelt, Grand Avenue, Warehouse, Eastlake Park and more.

“CityScape was just the beginning of the potential we see in downtown Phoenix,” said Mike Ebert, Managing Partner, RED Development. “RED Development is looking forward to continuing its planning efforts on this mixed-use project and bringing a Fry’s grocery store to this area is the next step in solidifying the stability of the downtown revitalization movement.”

RED Development and Fry’s Food Stores look forward to sharing more details in coming months as the project progresses.

About RED Development
A wholly integrated commercial real estate company, RED Development maximizes asset value and performance for its high-quality retail and mixed-use portfolio that comprises 34 properties totaling nearly 17 million square feet in 11 states. For over 20 years, RED has been a preferred partner for national retailers and investors. The company also works with third-party property owners seeking RED’s expertise in remerchandising and repositioning properties to improve profitability and appeal. A privately held company headquartered in Phoenix, with corporate offices in Dallas, TX, and Overland Park, KS, RED builds on its development capabilities as an active acquirer of existing properties. www.reddevelopment.com

About Fry’s Food Stores
Fry’s Food Stores is headquartered in Tolleson, Arizona. The company employs more than 18,000 Arizona residents. The 119 Fry’s Food Stores service more than three million customers each week. Fry’s has been serving Arizonans since 1960. In 2012, Fry’s was honored with the Arizona Fundraising Professionals “Outstanding Corporation” award for its community service and philanthropic efforts. The company also received “2013, 2014 and 2015 Top Company” awards. Fry’s is the only grocer in Arizona to receive Top Company honors. The company is hiring and looking for customer service stars.

The Department Adds Unique Flavor to Local Co-Working Blend

The Department Adds Unique Flavor to Local Co-Working Blend

March 31st, 2016

Ask a freelancer or lone entrepreneur where they get their work done, and you might get a list of the valley’s nicest coffee shops. But as co-working spaces become more common, enterprising workers are finding alternatives to the coffee shop and enjoying the flexibility and support these spaces offer.

Workspace,central phoenix,downtown,historicCollaborative work environments have evolved from something only a few ultra cool companies did, to commonplace corporate designs, and ultimately, to sprouting independent co-working entities unto themselves. One of the first spaces to make a big splash in the Phoenix market was CO+HOOTS, the collaborative workspace that is currently expanding to their second location in midtown.

downtown phoneix,workspace,centralOne of the newest additions to our co-working scene is The Department, a downtown collaborative workspace, which held their grand opening in January. They offer their version of the freelancer’s gym membership in tiers, beginning with daily access to open space, where individuals can work in more structured setting than their home or a coffee shop. They also have access to printing, Wi-Fi, coffee, and the possibility of meeting someone new. Larger businesses can upgrade to dedicated desk spaces, and even more established teams can pay monthly dues for the dedicated offices that line the edges of the space.

The Department occupies the sixth floor of 1 N. First St., just one below its parent company and building owner, Marketplace One, a private investment firm. Instead of leasing the open space to a new business, the team at Marketplace One decided to build a collaborative space that would welcome a more diverse mixture of professionals and ventures to downtown.

The promise of collaboration lives just under the surface in these spaces, but encouraging people to actually talk to one another relies on a delicate blend of design and chemistry.

Matthew Moore, founder of Urban Plough Arts, is the lead designer for furniture at The Department, and he describes the challenge inherent in making a space for working that also makes people feel at ease and relaxed. The welcoming design and mix of talent leads to an organic experience, bringing together people from different levels and types of business. 

“When you come off of the elevator, there is a controlled expanse so it’s not just a sea of desks … you feel welcome when you come in,” he said.

The Department is flooded with light; private offices line the walls and freestanding clusters of desks center on the open working tables that take up the middle of the floor. The kitchen windows were deliberately left unobstructed, and the dining space itself is communal, encouraging members to unplug and say hello as they grab a bite.

The Department will hopefully become the living room of the building, Moore said, as he and the Marketplace One team expand this concept to another floor in the building. The need for flexible spaces for entrepreneurs of every kind is there, he said, and they hope to perpetuate the success of The Department, which is filling up quickly.

If you haven’t yet moved into central or downtown Phoenix, this is a fantastic way to spend some time while you work. If you are considering buying a home for sale in any one of the historic Phoenix districts or anywhere in the Central Corridor, call Laura B., from HistoricPhoenixDistricts.com.

Photos courtesy of The Department.