Sunday, June 24, 2012

Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Love it or hate it, developer Shawn Yari is gradually reaching his goal of transforming downtown Scottsdale's entertainment district to match his long-term vision.

Triyar Cos. at a glance.

A private umbrella company with offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale.

Triyar stands for the three Yari brothers -- Shawn, Steven and Bob.

Triyar owns and operates numerous properties in several states, including New York, Texas, California, Indiana and Arizona.

Triyar Entertainment manages the entertainment at the W Scottsdale and other venues.

Triyar Hospitality develops and manages hospitality, retail and office properties across the country.

That vision involves ridding the area of numerous older buildings and businesses to make way for a live-work-play destination for young professionals. The area, south of Camelback Road and east of Scottsdale Road, includes a high concentration of bars and attracts thousands of patrons every weekend.

Yari, owner of Triyar Cos., has met some resistance as he has unveiled his plans and gone through the city's planning-approval process, but nothing has stopped him so far.

"There's always differences in opinion of how a downtown or even a city should grow," Yari said. "I think that's why we've always had the public-input process of having community open houses. The feedback we've received is overwhelmingly positive, to not only redevelopment for entertainment use, but also redevelopment for residential and the mixed use."

His most outspoken critic remains Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale's Quality of Life. He lives not far from the W Scottsdale Hotel, a Triyar development that includes a rooftop pool with an outdoor DJ on weekends.

Triyar also developed the Downtown Entertainment Plaza, a restaurant/bar complex on Saddlebag Trail south of Camelback.

"Mr. Yari has put money and influence into his vision of changing the character of downtown Scottsdale," Crawford said. "I see these changes as a departure from Scottsdale's brand and, in some cases, incompatible with Scottsdale's quality of life. Furthermore, myself and other Scottsdale residents and businesses have been adversely affected on a daily basis by the negative impact of Mr. Yari's ventures."

Crawford's criticism of Yari and his projects prompted a lawsuit by the developer alleging defamation and other claims. The suit hasn't progressed since Yari filed it in March in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Yari wouldn't comment on the lawsuit.

Mayor Jim Lane said Yari's vision appears to be striving to meet a demand for those who want to live in the downtown area and have entertainment options nearby.

"And it is to a new demographic that we're, to some degree, accommodating. And I think that's part of how the city transitions a little bit, while sensitive to the existing, but nonetheless while trying to meet demand," he said. "The marketplace does sort of give us a guide on this, and frankly, as time goes on, if you're not responsive to the marketplace, that's when areas die."

Sonnie Kirtley, chairwoman of the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, a citizens and small-business owners advocacy group, said the city should have a plan in place to guide redevelopment in the entertainment district.

"Project approval on a case-by-case basis is the problem," she said. "The city has failed to plan a specific entertainment district with appropriate growth and impact guidelines. Hopefully, new council members will understand the urgency and establish a designated district."

Taking shape

Demolition is under way to clear most of the city block that housed Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane and Suede restaurant/bar on Indian Plaza to make way for Triyar's Scottsdale Retail Plaza, an entertainment complex with an indoor-outdoor pool club in the center.

The Development Review Board gave its final approvals to the project last week. The complex is set to open in the first quarter of 2013.

Yari has two projects in the pipeline that would bring 320 apartment units to the district. Industry East (188 units plus retail) and Industry West (132 units plus retail) are in the early stages of the city's planning-approval process.

The complexes would be on the north side of Stetson Drive between Wells Fargo Avenue and 75th Street.

"Industry East and Industry West will serve as a medium-price-point rental product, and they're high-quality," Yari said. "People can live there and enjoy the different venues that are there now and will exist in the future. Also, they can work in the numerous businesses that are located in this area. It's a true live, work and play community."

The downtown infill-incentive proposals are requesting increased building height and density, and other amended development standards in exchange for public benefits, said senior planner Kim Chafin.

The current zoning allows a maximum building height of 50 feet and five levels, while Triyar is requesting an increase to 70 feet and six levels, she said.

Also, Triyar is seeking permission to provide slightly less parking than is required, four less spaces at Industry East and 13 less at Industry West, Chafin said.

"You are allowed to ask for variations from the regulations, and then to get those you have to propose some sort of public benefit, so we're waiting to see what that benefit will be," she said. "They haven't identified one yet."

Yari hopes to have Industry West under construction in eight to nine months and plans to build the complexes in phases. The proposals could be considered by the Development Review Board in September, followed by the Planning Commission and City Council.

Back on track

Yari's original vision included a 10-acre, $390million mixed-use complex southeast of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, with new clubs, restaurants, condominiums, offices, a hotel and a bowling center.

However, the downturn in the economy forced him to rethink his plans and instead focus on growing the same vision, but one project at a time. Triyar also owns other, smaller properties in the entertainment district that later could be pegged for redevelopment.

"We would like high-quality entertainment, high-quality restaurants, upscale residential condos and apartments, and then different ancillary uses of retail, such as breakfast and yoga, workouts and personal training," he said.

Although Yari won't divulge how much Triyar is investing in each project, he did say the investment for the pool-club complex alone is in the "substantial eight-figure range."

If managed well, Triyar's plans should be a "positive thing" for all of downtown, Lane said.

By Edward Gately, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 15, 2012


Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Love it or hate it, developer Shawn Yari is gradually reaching his goal of transforming downtown Scottsdale's entertainment district to match his long-term vision.

Triyar Cos. at a glance.

A private umbrella company with offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale.

Triyar stands for the three Yari brothers -- Shawn, Steven and Bob.

Triyar owns and operates numerous properties in several states, including New York, Texas, California, Indiana and Arizona.

Triyar Entertainment manages the entertainment at the W Scottsdale and other venues.

Triyar Hospitality develops and manages hospitality, retail and office properties across the country.

That vision involves ridding the area of numerous older buildings and businesses to make way for a live-work-play destination for young professionals. The area, south of Camelback Road and east of Scottsdale Road, includes a high concentration of bars and attracts thousands of patrons every weekend.

Yari, owner of Triyar Cos., has met some resistance as he has unveiled his plans and gone through the city's planning-approval process, but nothing has stopped him so far.

"There's always differences in opinion of how a downtown or even a city should grow," Yari said. "I think that's why we've always had the public-input process of having community open houses. The feedback we've received is overwhelmingly positive, to not only redevelopment for entertainment use, but also redevelopment for residential and the mixed use."

His most outspoken critic remains Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale's Quality of Life. He lives not far from the W Scottsdale Hotel, a Triyar development that includes a rooftop pool with an outdoor DJ on weekends.

Triyar also developed the Downtown Entertainment Plaza, a restaurant/bar complex on Saddlebag Trail south of Camelback.

"Mr. Yari has put money and influence into his vision of changing the character of downtown Scottsdale," Crawford said. "I see these changes as a departure from Scottsdale's brand and, in some cases, incompatible with Scottsdale's quality of life. Furthermore, myself and other Scottsdale residents and businesses have been adversely affected on a daily basis by the negative impact of Mr. Yari's ventures."

Crawford's criticism of Yari and his projects prompted a lawsuit by the developer alleging defamation and other claims. The suit hasn't progressed since Yari filed it in March in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Yari wouldn't comment on the lawsuit.

Mayor Jim Lane said Yari's vision appears to be striving to meet a demand for those who want to live in the downtown area and have entertainment options nearby.

"And it is to a new demographic that we're, to some degree, accommodating. And I think that's part of how the city transitions a little bit, while sensitive to the existing, but nonetheless while trying to meet demand," he said. "The marketplace does sort of give us a guide on this, and frankly, as time goes on, if you're not responsive to the marketplace, that's when areas die."

Sonnie Kirtley, chairwoman of the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, a citizens and small-business owners advocacy group, said the city should have a plan in place to guide redevelopment in the entertainment district.

"Project approval on a case-by-case basis is the problem," she said. "The city has failed to plan a specific entertainment district with appropriate growth and impact guidelines. Hopefully, new council members will understand the urgency and establish a designated district."

Taking shape

Demolition is under way to clear most of the city block that housed Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane and Suede restaurant/bar on Indian Plaza to make way for Triyar's Scottsdale Retail Plaza, an entertainment complex with an indoor-outdoor pool club in the center.

The Development Review Board gave its final approvals to the project last week. The complex is set to open in the first quarter of 2013.

Yari has two projects in the pipeline that would bring 320 apartment units to the district. Industry East (188 units plus retail) and Industry West (132 units plus retail) are in the early stages of the city's planning-approval process.

The complexes would be on the north side of Stetson Drive between Wells Fargo Avenue and 75th Street.

"Industry East and Industry West will serve as a medium-price-point rental product, and they're high-quality," Yari said. "People can live there and enjoy the different venues that are there now and will exist in the future. Also, they can work in the numerous businesses that are located in this area. It's a true live, work and play community."

The downtown infill-incentive proposals are requesting increased building height and density, and other amended development standards in exchange for public benefits, said senior planner Kim Chafin.

The current zoning allows a maximum building height of 50 feet and five levels, while Triyar is requesting an increase to 70 feet and six levels, she said.

Also, Triyar is seeking permission to provide slightly less parking than is required, four less spaces at Industry East and 13 less at Industry West, Chafin said.

"You are allowed to ask for variations from the regulations, and then to get those you have to propose some sort of public benefit, so we're waiting to see what that benefit will be," she said. "They haven't identified one yet."

Yari hopes to have Industry West under construction in eight to nine months and plans to build the complexes in phases. The proposals could be considered by the Development Review Board in September, followed by the Planning Commission and City Council.

Back on track

Yari's original vision included a 10-acre, $390million mixed-use complex southeast of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, with new clubs, restaurants, condominiums, offices, a hotel and a bowling center.

However, the downturn in the economy forced him to rethink his plans and instead focus on growing the same vision, but one project at a time. Triyar also owns other, smaller properties in the entertainment district that later could be pegged for redevelopment.

"We would like high-quality entertainment, high-quality restaurants, upscale residential condos and apartments, and then different ancillary uses of retail, such as breakfast and yoga, workouts and personal training," he said.

Although Yari won't divulge how much Triyar is investing in each project, he did say the investment for the pool-club complex alone is in the "substantial eight-figure range."

If managed well, Triyar's plans should be a "positive thing" for all of downtown, Lane said.

By Edward Gately, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 15, 2012


Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Love it or hate it, developer Shawn Yari is gradually reaching his goal of transforming downtown Scottsdale's entertainment district to match his long-term vision.

Triyar Cos. at a glance.

A private umbrella company with offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale.

Triyar stands for the three Yari brothers -- Shawn, Steven and Bob.

Triyar owns and operates numerous properties in several states, including New York, Texas, California, Indiana and Arizona.

Triyar Entertainment manages the entertainment at the W Scottsdale and other venues.

Triyar Hospitality develops and manages hospitality, retail and office properties across the country.

That vision involves ridding the area of numerous older buildings and businesses to make way for a live-work-play destination for young professionals. The area, south of Camelback Road and east of Scottsdale Road, includes a high concentration of bars and attracts thousands of patrons every weekend.

Yari, owner of Triyar Cos., has met some resistance as he has unveiled his plans and gone through the city's planning-approval process, but nothing has stopped him so far.

"There's always differences in opinion of how a downtown or even a city should grow," Yari said. "I think that's why we've always had the public-input process of having community open houses. The feedback we've received is overwhelmingly positive, to not only redevelopment for entertainment use, but also redevelopment for residential and the mixed use."

His most outspoken critic remains Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale's Quality of Life. He lives not far from the W Scottsdale Hotel, a Triyar development that includes a rooftop pool with an outdoor DJ on weekends.

Triyar also developed the Downtown Entertainment Plaza, a restaurant/bar complex on Saddlebag Trail south of Camelback.

"Mr. Yari has put money and influence into his vision of changing the character of downtown Scottsdale," Crawford said. "I see these changes as a departure from Scottsdale's brand and, in some cases, incompatible with Scottsdale's quality of life. Furthermore, myself and other Scottsdale residents and businesses have been adversely affected on a daily basis by the negative impact of Mr. Yari's ventures."

Crawford's criticism of Yari and his projects prompted a lawsuit by the developer alleging defamation and other claims. The suit hasn't progressed since Yari filed it in March in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Yari wouldn't comment on the lawsuit.

Mayor Jim Lane said Yari's vision appears to be striving to meet a demand for those who want to live in the downtown area and have entertainment options nearby.

"And it is to a new demographic that we're, to some degree, accommodating. And I think that's part of how the city transitions a little bit, while sensitive to the existing, but nonetheless while trying to meet demand," he said. "The marketplace does sort of give us a guide on this, and frankly, as time goes on, if you're not responsive to the marketplace, that's when areas die."

Sonnie Kirtley, chairwoman of the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, a citizens and small-business owners advocacy group, said the city should have a plan in place to guide redevelopment in the entertainment district.

"Project approval on a case-by-case basis is the problem," she said. "The city has failed to plan a specific entertainment district with appropriate growth and impact guidelines. Hopefully, new council members will understand the urgency and establish a designated district."

Taking shape

Demolition is under way to clear most of the city block that housed Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane and Suede restaurant/bar on Indian Plaza to make way for Triyar's Scottsdale Retail Plaza, an entertainment complex with an indoor-outdoor pool club in the center.

The Development Review Board gave its final approvals to the project last week. The complex is set to open in the first quarter of 2013.

Yari has two projects in the pipeline that would bring 320 apartment units to the district. Industry East (188 units plus retail) and Industry West (132 units plus retail) are in the early stages of the city's planning-approval process.

The complexes would be on the north side of Stetson Drive between Wells Fargo Avenue and 75th Street.

"Industry East and Industry West will serve as a medium-price-point rental product, and they're high-quality," Yari said. "People can live there and enjoy the different venues that are there now and will exist in the future. Also, they can work in the numerous businesses that are located in this area. It's a true live, work and play community."

The downtown infill-incentive proposals are requesting increased building height and density, and other amended development standards in exchange for public benefits, said senior planner Kim Chafin.

The current zoning allows a maximum building height of 50 feet and five levels, while Triyar is requesting an increase to 70 feet and six levels, she said.

Also, Triyar is seeking permission to provide slightly less parking than is required, four less spaces at Industry East and 13 less at Industry West, Chafin said.

"You are allowed to ask for variations from the regulations, and then to get those you have to propose some sort of public benefit, so we're waiting to see what that benefit will be," she said. "They haven't identified one yet."

Yari hopes to have Industry West under construction in eight to nine months and plans to build the complexes in phases. The proposals could be considered by the Development Review Board in September, followed by the Planning Commission and City Council.

Back on track

Yari's original vision included a 10-acre, $390million mixed-use complex southeast of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, with new clubs, restaurants, condominiums, offices, a hotel and a bowling center.

However, the downturn in the economy forced him to rethink his plans and instead focus on growing the same vision, but one project at a time. Triyar also owns other, smaller properties in the entertainment district that later could be pegged for redevelopment.

"We would like high-quality entertainment, high-quality restaurants, upscale residential condos and apartments, and then different ancillary uses of retail, such as breakfast and yoga, workouts and personal training," he said.

Although Yari won't divulge how much Triyar is investing in each project, he did say the investment for the pool-club complex alone is in the "substantial eight-figure range."

If managed well, Triyar's plans should be a "positive thing" for all of downtown, Lane said.

By Edward Gately, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 15, 2012


Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Love it or hate it, developer Shawn Yari is gradually reaching his goal of transforming downtown Scottsdale's entertainment district to match his long-term vision.

Triyar Cos. at a glance.

A private umbrella company with offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale.

Triyar stands for the three Yari brothers -- Shawn, Steven and Bob.

Triyar owns and operates numerous properties in several states, including New York, Texas, California, Indiana and Arizona.

Triyar Entertainment manages the entertainment at the W Scottsdale and other venues.

Triyar Hospitality develops and manages hospitality, retail and office properties across the country.

That vision involves ridding the area of numerous older buildings and businesses to make way for a live-work-play destination for young professionals. The area, south of Camelback Road and east of Scottsdale Road, includes a high concentration of bars and attracts thousands of patrons every weekend.

Yari, owner of Triyar Cos., has met some resistance as he has unveiled his plans and gone through the city's planning-approval process, but nothing has stopped him so far.

"There's always differences in opinion of how a downtown or even a city should grow," Yari said. "I think that's why we've always had the public-input process of having community open houses. The feedback we've received is overwhelmingly positive, to not only redevelopment for entertainment use, but also redevelopment for residential and the mixed use."

His most outspoken critic remains Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale's Quality of Life. He lives not far from the W Scottsdale Hotel, a Triyar development that includes a rooftop pool with an outdoor DJ on weekends.

Triyar also developed the Downtown Entertainment Plaza, a restaurant/bar complex on Saddlebag Trail south of Camelback.

"Mr. Yari has put money and influence into his vision of changing the character of downtown Scottsdale," Crawford said. "I see these changes as a departure from Scottsdale's brand and, in some cases, incompatible with Scottsdale's quality of life. Furthermore, myself and other Scottsdale residents and businesses have been adversely affected on a daily basis by the negative impact of Mr. Yari's ventures."

Crawford's criticism of Yari and his projects prompted a lawsuit by the developer alleging defamation and other claims. The suit hasn't progressed since Yari filed it in March in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Yari wouldn't comment on the lawsuit.

Mayor Jim Lane said Yari's vision appears to be striving to meet a demand for those who want to live in the downtown area and have entertainment options nearby.

"And it is to a new demographic that we're, to some degree, accommodating. And I think that's part of how the city transitions a little bit, while sensitive to the existing, but nonetheless while trying to meet demand," he said. "The marketplace does sort of give us a guide on this, and frankly, as time goes on, if you're not responsive to the marketplace, that's when areas die."

Sonnie Kirtley, chairwoman of the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, a citizens and small-business owners advocacy group, said the city should have a plan in place to guide redevelopment in the entertainment district.

"Project approval on a case-by-case basis is the problem," she said. "The city has failed to plan a specific entertainment district with appropriate growth and impact guidelines. Hopefully, new council members will understand the urgency and establish a designated district."

Taking shape

Demolition is under way to clear most of the city block that housed Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane and Suede restaurant/bar on Indian Plaza to make way for Triyar's Scottsdale Retail Plaza, an entertainment complex with an indoor-outdoor pool club in the center.

The Development Review Board gave its final approvals to the project last week. The complex is set to open in the first quarter of 2013.

Yari has two projects in the pipeline that would bring 320 apartment units to the district. Industry East (188 units plus retail) and Industry West (132 units plus retail) are in the early stages of the city's planning-approval process.

The complexes would be on the north side of Stetson Drive between Wells Fargo Avenue and 75th Street.

"Industry East and Industry West will serve as a medium-price-point rental product, and they're high-quality," Yari said. "People can live there and enjoy the different venues that are there now and will exist in the future. Also, they can work in the numerous businesses that are located in this area. It's a true live, work and play community."

The downtown infill-incentive proposals are requesting increased building height and density, and other amended development standards in exchange for public benefits, said senior planner Kim Chafin.

The current zoning allows a maximum building height of 50 feet and five levels, while Triyar is requesting an increase to 70 feet and six levels, she said.

Also, Triyar is seeking permission to provide slightly less parking than is required, four less spaces at Industry East and 13 less at Industry West, Chafin said.

"You are allowed to ask for variations from the regulations, and then to get those you have to propose some sort of public benefit, so we're waiting to see what that benefit will be," she said. "They haven't identified one yet."

Yari hopes to have Industry West under construction in eight to nine months and plans to build the complexes in phases. The proposals could be considered by the Development Review Board in September, followed by the Planning Commission and City Council.

Back on track

Yari's original vision included a 10-acre, $390million mixed-use complex southeast of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, with new clubs, restaurants, condominiums, offices, a hotel and a bowling center.

However, the downturn in the economy forced him to rethink his plans and instead focus on growing the same vision, but one project at a time. Triyar also owns other, smaller properties in the entertainment district that later could be pegged for redevelopment.

"We would like high-quality entertainment, high-quality restaurants, upscale residential condos and apartments, and then different ancillary uses of retail, such as breakfast and yoga, workouts and personal training," he said.

Although Yari won't divulge how much Triyar is investing in each project, he did say the investment for the pool-club complex alone is in the "substantial eight-figure range."

If managed well, Triyar's plans should be a "positive thing" for all of downtown, Lane said.

By Edward Gately, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 15, 2012


Builder touts plan for downtown Scottsdale - USATODAY.com

Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

Getty Images Stock

WASHINGTON - The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans' wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on a par with where they were back in 1992.

The data represent one of the most detailed looks to date of how the economic downturn altered the landscape of family finance. Over a span of three years, Americans watched progress that took almost a generation to accumulate evaporate. The promise of retirement built on the inevitable rise of the stock market proved illusory for most. Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross.

Those findings underscore both the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing. If the recession set Americans back 20 years, economists say, the road forward is sure to be a long one. And, so far, the country has seen only a halting recovery.

"It's hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. "We were in free fall."

The recession caused the greatest upheaval among the middle class.

Only roughly half of middle-class Americans remained on the same economic rung during the downturn, the Fed found. Their median net worth -- the value of assets such as homes, cars and stocks minus any debt -- suffered the biggest drops. The wealthiest families, by contrast, actually saw their median net worth rise slightly.

Americans have tried to rebalance the family budget but have found it difficult to reverse the damage.

The survey indicated that fewer families are carrying credit-card balances and that those who do have less debt. The median balance dropped 16 percent, from $3,100 in 2007 to $2,600 in 2010. The Fed also found that the percentage of Americans who don't have any debt at all rose to a quarter of families.

But that progress was undermined by other factors, leaving the median level of family debt unchanged. The report said more families reported taking out education loans. Nearly 11 percent said they were at least 60 days late paying a bill, up from 7 percent in 2007. And the percentage of families saddled with debts greater than 40 percent of their income stayed the same.

Not only were Americans still facing significant debts, they were making less money. Median income fell nearly 8 percent, to $45,800, in 2010. The median value of stock-market-based retirement accounts declined 6 percent, to $44,000.

But it was the implosion of the housing market that inflicted much of the pain. The value of Americans' stake in their homes fell by 42 percent from 2007 to 2010 to just $55,000, according to the Fed.

The poorest families suffered the biggest loss of wealth from the drop in real-estate prices. But middle-class Americans rely on housing for a larger part of their net worth. For some, it accounts for just over half of their assets. That means every step downward is felt more acutely.

Rakesh Kochhar, an economist at the Pew Research Center, calls this phenomenon the "reverse-wealth effect." As consumers watched the value of their homes rise during the boom, they felt more confident spending money even if they did not actually cash in on the gains. Now, the moribund housing market has made many Americans wary of spending, even if their losses are just on paper.

According to the Fed survey, that paper wealth -- or what is officially called unrealized capital gains -- shrank 11 percent to about a quarter of American's assets.

The findings track research Kochhar released last year that showed a dramatic drop in household wealth during the recession, particularly among minorities. That study found record high disparities in wealth among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. "It was turning the clock back quite a bit," Kochhar said.

Although there have been some signs that the recovery has picked up steam -- housing prices have begun to stabilize, and unemployment has fallen -- Fed economists said those improvements largely do not change the survey results.

by Washington Post Jun 11, 2012




Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

Getty Images Stock

WASHINGTON - The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans' wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on a par with where they were back in 1992.

The data represent one of the most detailed looks to date of how the economic downturn altered the landscape of family finance. Over a span of three years, Americans watched progress that took almost a generation to accumulate evaporate. The promise of retirement built on the inevitable rise of the stock market proved illusory for most. Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross.

Those findings underscore both the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing. If the recession set Americans back 20 years, economists say, the road forward is sure to be a long one. And, so far, the country has seen only a halting recovery.

"It's hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. "We were in free fall."

The recession caused the greatest upheaval among the middle class.

Only roughly half of middle-class Americans remained on the same economic rung during the downturn, the Fed found. Their median net worth -- the value of assets such as homes, cars and stocks minus any debt -- suffered the biggest drops. The wealthiest families, by contrast, actually saw their median net worth rise slightly.

Americans have tried to rebalance the family budget but have found it difficult to reverse the damage.

The survey indicated that fewer families are carrying credit-card balances and that those who do have less debt. The median balance dropped 16 percent, from $3,100 in 2007 to $2,600 in 2010. The Fed also found that the percentage of Americans who don't have any debt at all rose to a quarter of families.

But that progress was undermined by other factors, leaving the median level of family debt unchanged. The report said more families reported taking out education loans. Nearly 11 percent said they were at least 60 days late paying a bill, up from 7 percent in 2007. And the percentage of families saddled with debts greater than 40 percent of their income stayed the same.

Not only were Americans still facing significant debts, they were making less money. Median income fell nearly 8 percent, to $45,800, in 2010. The median value of stock-market-based retirement accounts declined 6 percent, to $44,000.

But it was the implosion of the housing market that inflicted much of the pain. The value of Americans' stake in their homes fell by 42 percent from 2007 to 2010 to just $55,000, according to the Fed.

The poorest families suffered the biggest loss of wealth from the drop in real-estate prices. But middle-class Americans rely on housing for a larger part of their net worth. For some, it accounts for just over half of their assets. That means every step downward is felt more acutely.

Rakesh Kochhar, an economist at the Pew Research Center, calls this phenomenon the "reverse-wealth effect." As consumers watched the value of their homes rise during the boom, they felt more confident spending money even if they did not actually cash in on the gains. Now, the moribund housing market has made many Americans wary of spending, even if their losses are just on paper.

According to the Fed survey, that paper wealth -- or what is officially called unrealized capital gains -- shrank 11 percent to about a quarter of American's assets.

The findings track research Kochhar released last year that showed a dramatic drop in household wealth during the recession, particularly among minorities. That study found record high disparities in wealth among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. "It was turning the clock back quite a bit," Kochhar said.

Although there have been some signs that the recovery has picked up steam -- housing prices have begun to stabilize, and unemployment has fallen -- Fed economists said those improvements largely do not change the survey results.

by Washington Post Jun 11, 2012




Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

Getty Images Stock

WASHINGTON - The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans' wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on a par with where they were back in 1992.

The data represent one of the most detailed looks to date of how the economic downturn altered the landscape of family finance. Over a span of three years, Americans watched progress that took almost a generation to accumulate evaporate. The promise of retirement built on the inevitable rise of the stock market proved illusory for most. Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross.

Those findings underscore both the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing. If the recession set Americans back 20 years, economists say, the road forward is sure to be a long one. And, so far, the country has seen only a halting recovery.

"It's hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. "We were in free fall."

The recession caused the greatest upheaval among the middle class.

Only roughly half of middle-class Americans remained on the same economic rung during the downturn, the Fed found. Their median net worth -- the value of assets such as homes, cars and stocks minus any debt -- suffered the biggest drops. The wealthiest families, by contrast, actually saw their median net worth rise slightly.

Americans have tried to rebalance the family budget but have found it difficult to reverse the damage.

The survey indicated that fewer families are carrying credit-card balances and that those who do have less debt. The median balance dropped 16 percent, from $3,100 in 2007 to $2,600 in 2010. The Fed also found that the percentage of Americans who don't have any debt at all rose to a quarter of families.

But that progress was undermined by other factors, leaving the median level of family debt unchanged. The report said more families reported taking out education loans. Nearly 11 percent said they were at least 60 days late paying a bill, up from 7 percent in 2007. And the percentage of families saddled with debts greater than 40 percent of their income stayed the same.

Not only were Americans still facing significant debts, they were making less money. Median income fell nearly 8 percent, to $45,800, in 2010. The median value of stock-market-based retirement accounts declined 6 percent, to $44,000.

But it was the implosion of the housing market that inflicted much of the pain. The value of Americans' stake in their homes fell by 42 percent from 2007 to 2010 to just $55,000, according to the Fed.

The poorest families suffered the biggest loss of wealth from the drop in real-estate prices. But middle-class Americans rely on housing for a larger part of their net worth. For some, it accounts for just over half of their assets. That means every step downward is felt more acutely.

Rakesh Kochhar, an economist at the Pew Research Center, calls this phenomenon the "reverse-wealth effect." As consumers watched the value of their homes rise during the boom, they felt more confident spending money even if they did not actually cash in on the gains. Now, the moribund housing market has made many Americans wary of spending, even if their losses are just on paper.

According to the Fed survey, that paper wealth -- or what is officially called unrealized capital gains -- shrank 11 percent to about a quarter of American's assets.

The findings track research Kochhar released last year that showed a dramatic drop in household wealth during the recession, particularly among minorities. That study found record high disparities in wealth among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. "It was turning the clock back quite a bit," Kochhar said.

Although there have been some signs that the recovery has picked up steam -- housing prices have begun to stabilize, and unemployment has fallen -- Fed economists said those improvements largely do not change the survey results.

by Washington Post Jun 11, 2012




Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

Getty Images Stock

WASHINGTON - The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans' wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on a par with where they were back in 1992.

The data represent one of the most detailed looks to date of how the economic downturn altered the landscape of family finance. Over a span of three years, Americans watched progress that took almost a generation to accumulate evaporate. The promise of retirement built on the inevitable rise of the stock market proved illusory for most. Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross.

Those findings underscore both the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing. If the recession set Americans back 20 years, economists say, the road forward is sure to be a long one. And, so far, the country has seen only a halting recovery.

"It's hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. "We were in free fall."

The recession caused the greatest upheaval among the middle class.

Only roughly half of middle-class Americans remained on the same economic rung during the downturn, the Fed found. Their median net worth -- the value of assets such as homes, cars and stocks minus any debt -- suffered the biggest drops. The wealthiest families, by contrast, actually saw their median net worth rise slightly.

Americans have tried to rebalance the family budget but have found it difficult to reverse the damage.

The survey indicated that fewer families are carrying credit-card balances and that those who do have less debt. The median balance dropped 16 percent, from $3,100 in 2007 to $2,600 in 2010. The Fed also found that the percentage of Americans who don't have any debt at all rose to a quarter of families.

But that progress was undermined by other factors, leaving the median level of family debt unchanged. The report said more families reported taking out education loans. Nearly 11 percent said they were at least 60 days late paying a bill, up from 7 percent in 2007. And the percentage of families saddled with debts greater than 40 percent of their income stayed the same.

Not only were Americans still facing significant debts, they were making less money. Median income fell nearly 8 percent, to $45,800, in 2010. The median value of stock-market-based retirement accounts declined 6 percent, to $44,000.

But it was the implosion of the housing market that inflicted much of the pain. The value of Americans' stake in their homes fell by 42 percent from 2007 to 2010 to just $55,000, according to the Fed.

The poorest families suffered the biggest loss of wealth from the drop in real-estate prices. But middle-class Americans rely on housing for a larger part of their net worth. For some, it accounts for just over half of their assets. That means every step downward is felt more acutely.

Rakesh Kochhar, an economist at the Pew Research Center, calls this phenomenon the "reverse-wealth effect." As consumers watched the value of their homes rise during the boom, they felt more confident spending money even if they did not actually cash in on the gains. Now, the moribund housing market has made many Americans wary of spending, even if their losses are just on paper.

According to the Fed survey, that paper wealth -- or what is officially called unrealized capital gains -- shrank 11 percent to about a quarter of American's assets.

The findings track research Kochhar released last year that showed a dramatic drop in household wealth during the recession, particularly among minorities. That study found record high disparities in wealth among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. "It was turning the clock back quite a bit," Kochhar said.

Although there have been some signs that the recovery has picked up steam -- housing prices have begun to stabilize, and unemployment has fallen -- Fed economists said those improvements largely do not change the survey results.

by Washington Post Jun 11, 2012




Fed reports U.S. families lost 39% of worth in recession

RED buys, willupgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

RED Development has added Hilton Village in Scottsdale to its growing portfolio of Arizona retail properties.

RED bought the 10.8-acre shopping center northeast of Scottsdale Road and McDonald Drive from Westcor for $24.8 million.

"It's hard to find good Scottsdale Road properties, ones that have a good past and an even better future," said Mike Ebert, RED managing partner.

The 97,000-square-foot Hilton Village shopping center is the latest of eight retail properties that RED has bought outright or a share of in the past year, including Town and Country, Chandler Festival, Aspen Place in Flagstaff and the Shops at Prescott Gateway.

RED bought the Borgata of Scottsdale from Westcor a month ago for $9.15 million. The faux Italian village is just west of Hilton Village.

RED, with headquarters in Phoenix and Kansas City, Mo., plans to renovate Hilton Village this fall and bring in some additional national and local tenants, Ebert said. Occupancy stands at 90 percent.

Existing tenants include Houston's, Humble Pie, Blue Wasabi and Starbucks.

RED, which is developing CityScape in downtown Phoenix, has turned to acquisitions since its development business has slowed down, Ebert said.

Hilton Village was one of Westcor's last non-mall assets in the Valley, he said. The deal closed last month.

Westcor is a division of Macerich, of Santa Monica, Calif.

By Peter Corbett, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 10, 2012



RED buys, will upgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

RED buys, willupgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

RED Development has added Hilton Village in Scottsdale to its growing portfolio of Arizona retail properties.

RED bought the 10.8-acre shopping center northeast of Scottsdale Road and McDonald Drive from Westcor for $24.8 million.

"It's hard to find good Scottsdale Road properties, ones that have a good past and an even better future," said Mike Ebert, RED managing partner.

The 97,000-square-foot Hilton Village shopping center is the latest of eight retail properties that RED has bought outright or a share of in the past year, including Town and Country, Chandler Festival, Aspen Place in Flagstaff and the Shops at Prescott Gateway.

RED bought the Borgata of Scottsdale from Westcor a month ago for $9.15 million. The faux Italian village is just west of Hilton Village.

RED, with headquarters in Phoenix and Kansas City, Mo., plans to renovate Hilton Village this fall and bring in some additional national and local tenants, Ebert said. Occupancy stands at 90 percent.

Existing tenants include Houston's, Humble Pie, Blue Wasabi and Starbucks.

RED, which is developing CityScape in downtown Phoenix, has turned to acquisitions since its development business has slowed down, Ebert said.

Hilton Village was one of Westcor's last non-mall assets in the Valley, he said. The deal closed last month.

Westcor is a division of Macerich, of Santa Monica, Calif.

By Peter Corbett, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 10, 2012



RED buys, will upgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

RED buys, willupgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

RED Development has added Hilton Village in Scottsdale to its growing portfolio of Arizona retail properties.

RED bought the 10.8-acre shopping center northeast of Scottsdale Road and McDonald Drive from Westcor for $24.8 million.

"It's hard to find good Scottsdale Road properties, ones that have a good past and an even better future," said Mike Ebert, RED managing partner.

The 97,000-square-foot Hilton Village shopping center is the latest of eight retail properties that RED has bought outright or a share of in the past year, including Town and Country, Chandler Festival, Aspen Place in Flagstaff and the Shops at Prescott Gateway.

RED bought the Borgata of Scottsdale from Westcor a month ago for $9.15 million. The faux Italian village is just west of Hilton Village.

RED, with headquarters in Phoenix and Kansas City, Mo., plans to renovate Hilton Village this fall and bring in some additional national and local tenants, Ebert said. Occupancy stands at 90 percent.

Existing tenants include Houston's, Humble Pie, Blue Wasabi and Starbucks.

RED, which is developing CityScape in downtown Phoenix, has turned to acquisitions since its development business has slowed down, Ebert said.

Hilton Village was one of Westcor's last non-mall assets in the Valley, he said. The deal closed last month.

Westcor is a division of Macerich, of Santa Monica, Calif.

By Peter Corbett, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 10, 2012



RED buys, will upgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

RED buys, willupgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

RED Development has added Hilton Village in Scottsdale to its growing portfolio of Arizona retail properties.

RED bought the 10.8-acre shopping center northeast of Scottsdale Road and McDonald Drive from Westcor for $24.8 million.

"It's hard to find good Scottsdale Road properties, ones that have a good past and an even better future," said Mike Ebert, RED managing partner.

The 97,000-square-foot Hilton Village shopping center is the latest of eight retail properties that RED has bought outright or a share of in the past year, including Town and Country, Chandler Festival, Aspen Place in Flagstaff and the Shops at Prescott Gateway.

RED bought the Borgata of Scottsdale from Westcor a month ago for $9.15 million. The faux Italian village is just west of Hilton Village.

RED, with headquarters in Phoenix and Kansas City, Mo., plans to renovate Hilton Village this fall and bring in some additional national and local tenants, Ebert said. Occupancy stands at 90 percent.

Existing tenants include Houston's, Humble Pie, Blue Wasabi and Starbucks.

RED, which is developing CityScape in downtown Phoenix, has turned to acquisitions since its development business has slowed down, Ebert said.

Hilton Village was one of Westcor's last non-mall assets in the Valley, he said. The deal closed last month.

Westcor is a division of Macerich, of Santa Monica, Calif.

By Peter Corbett, The Republic|azcentral.comPosted Jun 10, 2012



RED buys, will upgrade Scottsdale retail site - USATODAY.com

Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Maricopa County residents in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure may seek help from Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix.

In a partnership with grocery chain Bashas', the non-profit housing organization is setting up a home-aid stand today at a Southwest Valley Food City grocery store to help troubled homeowners take the first step to getting help. Help will be available from 4- 7 p.m. today at Food City, 6544 W. Thomas Ave., Phoenix.

A similar opportunity was offered Wednesday at a Food City in Avondale.

Patricia Garcia Duarte, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, said that counseling won't be conducted at the home-aid stand but that homeowners can go there to begin getting help to save their homes through mortgage modification or to find a reasonable alternative to foreclosure, such as a short sale.

The workers at the stand will set up appointments for homeowners to see counselors and tell them which documents they need to take to those appointments.

"We will advocate for a better (mortgage) payment overall," Garcia Duarte said. "I would say to homeowners: Take advantage that we are here. We're a trusted source. We know what we're doing, and if there is a way, we're going to make sure we explore every avenue. The worst thing is not to do anything."

The housing-services group has been operating in Maricopa County for 37 years, offering a wide range of homeownership programs and services, Garcia Duarte said.
Neighborhood Housing Services is a member of the national NeighborWorks network, which gives it access to financial support, technical assistance and training.

Since 2009, the Phoenix housing services program has helped more than 1,580 families stay in their homes.

"There are too many people who are still not seeking help," Garcia Duarte said.
More information is available on at www.facebook.com/nhsphoenix.

By David Madrid, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012


Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Maricopa County residents in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure may seek help from Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix.

In a partnership with grocery chain Bashas', the non-profit housing organization is setting up a home-aid stand today at a Southwest Valley Food City grocery store to help troubled homeowners take the first step to getting help. Help will be available from 4- 7 p.m. today at Food City, 6544 W. Thomas Ave., Phoenix.

A similar opportunity was offered Wednesday at a Food City in Avondale.

Patricia Garcia Duarte, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, said that counseling won't be conducted at the home-aid stand but that homeowners can go there to begin getting help to save their homes through mortgage modification or to find a reasonable alternative to foreclosure, such as a short sale.

The workers at the stand will set up appointments for homeowners to see counselors and tell them which documents they need to take to those appointments.

"We will advocate for a better (mortgage) payment overall," Garcia Duarte said. "I would say to homeowners: Take advantage that we are here. We're a trusted source. We know what we're doing, and if there is a way, we're going to make sure we explore every avenue. The worst thing is not to do anything."

The housing-services group has been operating in Maricopa County for 37 years, offering a wide range of homeownership programs and services, Garcia Duarte said.
Neighborhood Housing Services is a member of the national NeighborWorks network, which gives it access to financial support, technical assistance and training.

Since 2009, the Phoenix housing services program has helped more than 1,580 families stay in their homes.

"There are too many people who are still not seeking help," Garcia Duarte said.
More information is available on at www.facebook.com/nhsphoenix.

By David Madrid, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012


Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Maricopa County residents in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure may seek help from Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix.

In a partnership with grocery chain Bashas', the non-profit housing organization is setting up a home-aid stand today at a Southwest Valley Food City grocery store to help troubled homeowners take the first step to getting help. Help will be available from 4- 7 p.m. today at Food City, 6544 W. Thomas Ave., Phoenix.

A similar opportunity was offered Wednesday at a Food City in Avondale.

Patricia Garcia Duarte, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, said that counseling won't be conducted at the home-aid stand but that homeowners can go there to begin getting help to save their homes through mortgage modification or to find a reasonable alternative to foreclosure, such as a short sale.

The workers at the stand will set up appointments for homeowners to see counselors and tell them which documents they need to take to those appointments.

"We will advocate for a better (mortgage) payment overall," Garcia Duarte said. "I would say to homeowners: Take advantage that we are here. We're a trusted source. We know what we're doing, and if there is a way, we're going to make sure we explore every avenue. The worst thing is not to do anything."

The housing-services group has been operating in Maricopa County for 37 years, offering a wide range of homeownership programs and services, Garcia Duarte said.
Neighborhood Housing Services is a member of the national NeighborWorks network, which gives it access to financial support, technical assistance and training.

Since 2009, the Phoenix housing services program has helped more than 1,580 families stay in their homes.

"There are too many people who are still not seeking help," Garcia Duarte said.
More information is available on at www.facebook.com/nhsphoenix.

By David Madrid, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012


Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Maricopa County residents in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure may seek help from Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix.

In a partnership with grocery chain Bashas', the non-profit housing organization is setting up a home-aid stand today at a Southwest Valley Food City grocery store to help troubled homeowners take the first step to getting help. Help will be available from 4- 7 p.m. today at Food City, 6544 W. Thomas Ave., Phoenix.

A similar opportunity was offered Wednesday at a Food City in Avondale.

Patricia Garcia Duarte, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, said that counseling won't be conducted at the home-aid stand but that homeowners can go there to begin getting help to save their homes through mortgage modification or to find a reasonable alternative to foreclosure, such as a short sale.

The workers at the stand will set up appointments for homeowners to see counselors and tell them which documents they need to take to those appointments.

"We will advocate for a better (mortgage) payment overall," Garcia Duarte said. "I would say to homeowners: Take advantage that we are here. We're a trusted source. We know what we're doing, and if there is a way, we're going to make sure we explore every avenue. The worst thing is not to do anything."

The housing-services group has been operating in Maricopa County for 37 years, offering a wide range of homeownership programs and services, Garcia Duarte said.
Neighborhood Housing Services is a member of the national NeighborWorks network, which gives it access to financial support, technical assistance and training.

Since 2009, the Phoenix housing services program has helped more than 1,580 families stay in their homes.

"There are too many people who are still not seeking help," Garcia Duarte said.
More information is available on at www.facebook.com/nhsphoenix.

By David Madrid, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012


Foreclosure help offered - USATODAY.com

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

The Arizona Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its decision that awarded ownership of Elevation Chandler to the investors of Point Center Financial, the project's lender.

Now the title is clear and the property, on the southern edge of Chandler Fashion Center, can be sold.

The Supreme Court denied the request to reconsider from Phoenix foreclosure speculator Tom Peltier, a principal in BT Capital. The justices denied the request without comment less than a week after the request was filed.

Peltier's new lawyer, Isabel Humphrey, did not return phone calls from The Republic.
The court on May 4 ordered BT Capital to pay attorney's fees incurred by California-based Point Center, $247,555. Those costs were incurred in handling the case at the state Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

A three-year battle was waged over who owns the 10.5-acre abandoned construction site near Loops 101 and 202.

Peltier had claimed he won the property when he bid $1,000,001 in a botched trustee's sale June 15, 2009.

That sale and two other trustee's sales were held by TD Service Company.

In its May 4 opinion, the Supreme Court said deeds of trust are governed by state statute, not contract law, as Peltier had argued, said Roger Cohen, attorney for TD Service.

The court said one key was the third sale, on July 1, 2010.

Construction on the partially built hotel stopped in April 2006. The original developer, Jeff Cline of Scottsdale, filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2008. A judge later dismissed the case as a failed bankruptcy.

By Luci Scott, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

The Arizona Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its decision that awarded ownership of Elevation Chandler to the investors of Point Center Financial, the project's lender.

Now the title is clear and the property, on the southern edge of Chandler Fashion Center, can be sold.

The Supreme Court denied the request to reconsider from Phoenix foreclosure speculator Tom Peltier, a principal in BT Capital. The justices denied the request without comment less than a week after the request was filed.

Peltier's new lawyer, Isabel Humphrey, did not return phone calls from The Republic.
The court on May 4 ordered BT Capital to pay attorney's fees incurred by California-based Point Center, $247,555. Those costs were incurred in handling the case at the state Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

A three-year battle was waged over who owns the 10.5-acre abandoned construction site near Loops 101 and 202.

Peltier had claimed he won the property when he bid $1,000,001 in a botched trustee's sale June 15, 2009.

That sale and two other trustee's sales were held by TD Service Company.

In its May 4 opinion, the Supreme Court said deeds of trust are governed by state statute, not contract law, as Peltier had argued, said Roger Cohen, attorney for TD Service.

The court said one key was the third sale, on July 1, 2010.

Construction on the partially built hotel stopped in April 2006. The original developer, Jeff Cline of Scottsdale, filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2008. A judge later dismissed the case as a failed bankruptcy.

By Luci Scott, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

The Arizona Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its decision that awarded ownership of Elevation Chandler to the investors of Point Center Financial, the project's lender.

Now the title is clear and the property, on the southern edge of Chandler Fashion Center, can be sold.

The Supreme Court denied the request to reconsider from Phoenix foreclosure speculator Tom Peltier, a principal in BT Capital. The justices denied the request without comment less than a week after the request was filed.

Peltier's new lawyer, Isabel Humphrey, did not return phone calls from The Republic.
The court on May 4 ordered BT Capital to pay attorney's fees incurred by California-based Point Center, $247,555. Those costs were incurred in handling the case at the state Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

A three-year battle was waged over who owns the 10.5-acre abandoned construction site near Loops 101 and 202.

Peltier had claimed he won the property when he bid $1,000,001 in a botched trustee's sale June 15, 2009.

That sale and two other trustee's sales were held by TD Service Company.

In its May 4 opinion, the Supreme Court said deeds of trust are governed by state statute, not contract law, as Peltier had argued, said Roger Cohen, attorney for TD Service.

The court said one key was the third sale, on July 1, 2010.

Construction on the partially built hotel stopped in April 2006. The original developer, Jeff Cline of Scottsdale, filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2008. A judge later dismissed the case as a failed bankruptcy.

By Luci Scott, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

The Arizona Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its decision that awarded ownership of Elevation Chandler to the investors of Point Center Financial, the project's lender.

Now the title is clear and the property, on the southern edge of Chandler Fashion Center, can be sold.

The Supreme Court denied the request to reconsider from Phoenix foreclosure speculator Tom Peltier, a principal in BT Capital. The justices denied the request without comment less than a week after the request was filed.

Peltier's new lawyer, Isabel Humphrey, did not return phone calls from The Republic.
The court on May 4 ordered BT Capital to pay attorney's fees incurred by California-based Point Center, $247,555. Those costs were incurred in handling the case at the state Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

A three-year battle was waged over who owns the 10.5-acre abandoned construction site near Loops 101 and 202.

Peltier had claimed he won the property when he bid $1,000,001 in a botched trustee's sale June 15, 2009.

That sale and two other trustee's sales were held by TD Service Company.

In its May 4 opinion, the Supreme Court said deeds of trust are governed by state statute, not contract law, as Peltier had argued, said Roger Cohen, attorney for TD Service.

The court said one key was the third sale, on July 1, 2010.

Construction on the partially built hotel stopped in April 2006. The original developer, Jeff Cline of Scottsdale, filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2008. A judge later dismissed the case as a failed bankruptcy.

By Luci Scott, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9, 2012

Lender gets project title - USATODAY.com

Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

What many Mesa residents had long feared now seems inevitable:

A world-class resort and conference center on the north end of the former General Motors Desert Proving Ground probably never will be built as originally planned.

As phone calls ricochet among Mesa officials, the Gaylord Entertainment Co. and DMB Associates, which owns the property, that is the clearest statement that can be made about fallout from last week's announcement that Gaylord is getting out of the resort-development business.

The Nashville-based company knocked Mesa's socks off in September 2008 when it announced it would build a hotel of at least 1,200 rooms and an adjoining convention center. Coupled with another resort, a championship golf course and high-end retail, Mesa officials estimated a total investment of about $1billion.

That was to have been the grand kickoff for DMB's development of 5 square miles of former GM land, a project now known as Eastmark.

Mesa voters endorsed the plan and its associated tax incentives by an 84-16 percent vote in March 2009.

The original deadline for breaking ground was Dec. 31, 2011. The Great Recession forced Mesa to extend that by three years as Gaylord struggled through the downturn.

Now, according to Mayor Scott Smith, even the extended deadline may be a moot point.

Gaylord said last week that it will sell its hotel brand and operating rights to Marriott International Inc. for $210million.

Gaylord will still own the four mega-resorts among which it rotates conventions and business shows. Operating as a real-estate investment trust, Gaylord will no longer develop properties on its own.

The plan takes effect Jan.1 if shareholders agree.

At the very least, Smith said, the sale might mean the Mesa resort being financed by a third party, but only time will answer the many questions raised by Gaylord's decision.
Among those questions: The degree of Marriott's willingness to back a large Mesa resort when it already operates the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, a 950-room hotel with 240,000 square feet of meeting space and 10 restaurants in Phoenix.

Even if there is an eventual green light, Smith said, Mesa's resort "may be physically different, and it certainly will be financially very different."

The package of incentives that Mesa voters approved may prove attractive to another company wanting to build a resort there, Smith said.

Gaylord was promised up to $44million in bed-tax rebates, and a second resort would be entitled to up to $7million, to be used to market their properties and Mesa tourism.
In addition, Mesa promised to buy both resorts and the convention center for $5,000 apiece, leasing them back to the companies for $5,000 a year per property.

That would trigger a tax break called a government-property lease excise tax.

Property-tax savings for Gaylord over 50 years were put at $72million and for the second resort, $13.5 million.

To what degree those arrangements could transfer to another company is uncertain, however.

Mesa executed a development agreement with DMB and Gaylord in 2008 that required Gaylord itself to build a hotel and conference center to certain minimum specifications, and assigning tax breaks specifically to that company.

Language regarding the second resort was not as precise.

Even if the business-travel economy and room rates don't recover to the point of making a Gaylord-scale resort feasible, Smith said the Gateway area will someday need high-end lodging.

Passenger counts at the nearby airport are soaring, other firms are building in the area and DMB already has broken ground for housing at Eastmark.

"We didn't sit back and wait for Gaylord to happen, thinking Gaylord was the only way we could kick-start Gateway," Smith said.

"We'll go on to Plan B, C and D. We believe there will be a major resort facility there. When? We don't know. Who? We don't know."

By Gary Nelson, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9 2012


Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

What many Mesa residents had long feared now seems inevitable:

A world-class resort and conference center on the north end of the former General Motors Desert Proving Ground probably never will be built as originally planned.

As phone calls ricochet among Mesa officials, the Gaylord Entertainment Co. and DMB Associates, which owns the property, that is the clearest statement that can be made about fallout from last week's announcement that Gaylord is getting out of the resort-development business.

The Nashville-based company knocked Mesa's socks off in September 2008 when it announced it would build a hotel of at least 1,200 rooms and an adjoining convention center. Coupled with another resort, a championship golf course and high-end retail, Mesa officials estimated a total investment of about $1billion.

That was to have been the grand kickoff for DMB's development of 5 square miles of former GM land, a project now known as Eastmark.

Mesa voters endorsed the plan and its associated tax incentives by an 84-16 percent vote in March 2009.

The original deadline for breaking ground was Dec. 31, 2011. The Great Recession forced Mesa to extend that by three years as Gaylord struggled through the downturn.

Now, according to Mayor Scott Smith, even the extended deadline may be a moot point.

Gaylord said last week that it will sell its hotel brand and operating rights to Marriott International Inc. for $210million.

Gaylord will still own the four mega-resorts among which it rotates conventions and business shows. Operating as a real-estate investment trust, Gaylord will no longer develop properties on its own.

The plan takes effect Jan.1 if shareholders agree.

At the very least, Smith said, the sale might mean the Mesa resort being financed by a third party, but only time will answer the many questions raised by Gaylord's decision.
Among those questions: The degree of Marriott's willingness to back a large Mesa resort when it already operates the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, a 950-room hotel with 240,000 square feet of meeting space and 10 restaurants in Phoenix.

Even if there is an eventual green light, Smith said, Mesa's resort "may be physically different, and it certainly will be financially very different."

The package of incentives that Mesa voters approved may prove attractive to another company wanting to build a resort there, Smith said.

Gaylord was promised up to $44million in bed-tax rebates, and a second resort would be entitled to up to $7million, to be used to market their properties and Mesa tourism.
In addition, Mesa promised to buy both resorts and the convention center for $5,000 apiece, leasing them back to the companies for $5,000 a year per property.

That would trigger a tax break called a government-property lease excise tax.

Property-tax savings for Gaylord over 50 years were put at $72million and for the second resort, $13.5 million.

To what degree those arrangements could transfer to another company is uncertain, however.

Mesa executed a development agreement with DMB and Gaylord in 2008 that required Gaylord itself to build a hotel and conference center to certain minimum specifications, and assigning tax breaks specifically to that company.

Language regarding the second resort was not as precise.

Even if the business-travel economy and room rates don't recover to the point of making a Gaylord-scale resort feasible, Smith said the Gateway area will someday need high-end lodging.

Passenger counts at the nearby airport are soaring, other firms are building in the area and DMB already has broken ground for housing at Eastmark.

"We didn't sit back and wait for Gaylord to happen, thinking Gaylord was the only way we could kick-start Gateway," Smith said.

"We'll go on to Plan B, C and D. We believe there will be a major resort facility there. When? We don't know. Who? We don't know."

By Gary Nelson, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9 2012


Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

What many Mesa residents had long feared now seems inevitable:

A world-class resort and conference center on the north end of the former General Motors Desert Proving Ground probably never will be built as originally planned.

As phone calls ricochet among Mesa officials, the Gaylord Entertainment Co. and DMB Associates, which owns the property, that is the clearest statement that can be made about fallout from last week's announcement that Gaylord is getting out of the resort-development business.

The Nashville-based company knocked Mesa's socks off in September 2008 when it announced it would build a hotel of at least 1,200 rooms and an adjoining convention center. Coupled with another resort, a championship golf course and high-end retail, Mesa officials estimated a total investment of about $1billion.

That was to have been the grand kickoff for DMB's development of 5 square miles of former GM land, a project now known as Eastmark.

Mesa voters endorsed the plan and its associated tax incentives by an 84-16 percent vote in March 2009.

The original deadline for breaking ground was Dec. 31, 2011. The Great Recession forced Mesa to extend that by three years as Gaylord struggled through the downturn.

Now, according to Mayor Scott Smith, even the extended deadline may be a moot point.

Gaylord said last week that it will sell its hotel brand and operating rights to Marriott International Inc. for $210million.

Gaylord will still own the four mega-resorts among which it rotates conventions and business shows. Operating as a real-estate investment trust, Gaylord will no longer develop properties on its own.

The plan takes effect Jan.1 if shareholders agree.

At the very least, Smith said, the sale might mean the Mesa resort being financed by a third party, but only time will answer the many questions raised by Gaylord's decision.
Among those questions: The degree of Marriott's willingness to back a large Mesa resort when it already operates the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, a 950-room hotel with 240,000 square feet of meeting space and 10 restaurants in Phoenix.

Even if there is an eventual green light, Smith said, Mesa's resort "may be physically different, and it certainly will be financially very different."

The package of incentives that Mesa voters approved may prove attractive to another company wanting to build a resort there, Smith said.

Gaylord was promised up to $44million in bed-tax rebates, and a second resort would be entitled to up to $7million, to be used to market their properties and Mesa tourism.
In addition, Mesa promised to buy both resorts and the convention center for $5,000 apiece, leasing them back to the companies for $5,000 a year per property.

That would trigger a tax break called a government-property lease excise tax.

Property-tax savings for Gaylord over 50 years were put at $72million and for the second resort, $13.5 million.

To what degree those arrangements could transfer to another company is uncertain, however.

Mesa executed a development agreement with DMB and Gaylord in 2008 that required Gaylord itself to build a hotel and conference center to certain minimum specifications, and assigning tax breaks specifically to that company.

Language regarding the second resort was not as precise.

Even if the business-travel economy and room rates don't recover to the point of making a Gaylord-scale resort feasible, Smith said the Gateway area will someday need high-end lodging.

Passenger counts at the nearby airport are soaring, other firms are building in the area and DMB already has broken ground for housing at Eastmark.

"We didn't sit back and wait for Gaylord to happen, thinking Gaylord was the only way we could kick-start Gateway," Smith said.

"We'll go on to Plan B, C and D. We believe there will be a major resort facility there. When? We don't know. Who? We don't know."

By Gary Nelson, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9 2012


Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

What many Mesa residents had long feared now seems inevitable:

A world-class resort and conference center on the north end of the former General Motors Desert Proving Ground probably never will be built as originally planned.

As phone calls ricochet among Mesa officials, the Gaylord Entertainment Co. and DMB Associates, which owns the property, that is the clearest statement that can be made about fallout from last week's announcement that Gaylord is getting out of the resort-development business.

The Nashville-based company knocked Mesa's socks off in September 2008 when it announced it would build a hotel of at least 1,200 rooms and an adjoining convention center. Coupled with another resort, a championship golf course and high-end retail, Mesa officials estimated a total investment of about $1billion.

That was to have been the grand kickoff for DMB's development of 5 square miles of former GM land, a project now known as Eastmark.

Mesa voters endorsed the plan and its associated tax incentives by an 84-16 percent vote in March 2009.

The original deadline for breaking ground was Dec. 31, 2011. The Great Recession forced Mesa to extend that by three years as Gaylord struggled through the downturn.

Now, according to Mayor Scott Smith, even the extended deadline may be a moot point.

Gaylord said last week that it will sell its hotel brand and operating rights to Marriott International Inc. for $210million.

Gaylord will still own the four mega-resorts among which it rotates conventions and business shows. Operating as a real-estate investment trust, Gaylord will no longer develop properties on its own.

The plan takes effect Jan.1 if shareholders agree.

At the very least, Smith said, the sale might mean the Mesa resort being financed by a third party, but only time will answer the many questions raised by Gaylord's decision.
Among those questions: The degree of Marriott's willingness to back a large Mesa resort when it already operates the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, a 950-room hotel with 240,000 square feet of meeting space and 10 restaurants in Phoenix.

Even if there is an eventual green light, Smith said, Mesa's resort "may be physically different, and it certainly will be financially very different."

The package of incentives that Mesa voters approved may prove attractive to another company wanting to build a resort there, Smith said.

Gaylord was promised up to $44million in bed-tax rebates, and a second resort would be entitled to up to $7million, to be used to market their properties and Mesa tourism.
In addition, Mesa promised to buy both resorts and the convention center for $5,000 apiece, leasing them back to the companies for $5,000 a year per property.

That would trigger a tax break called a government-property lease excise tax.

Property-tax savings for Gaylord over 50 years were put at $72million and for the second resort, $13.5 million.

To what degree those arrangements could transfer to another company is uncertain, however.

Mesa executed a development agreement with DMB and Gaylord in 2008 that required Gaylord itself to build a hotel and conference center to certain minimum specifications, and assigning tax breaks specifically to that company.

Language regarding the second resort was not as precise.

Even if the business-travel economy and room rates don't recover to the point of making a Gaylord-scale resort feasible, Smith said the Gateway area will someday need high-end lodging.

Passenger counts at the nearby airport are soaring, other firms are building in the area and DMB already has broken ground for housing at Eastmark.

"We didn't sit back and wait for Gaylord to happen, thinking Gaylord was the only way we could kick-start Gateway," Smith said.

"We'll go on to Plan B, C and D. We believe there will be a major resort facility there. When? We don't know. Who? We don't know."

By Gary Nelson, The Republic|azcentral.com Jun 9 2012


Mesa must downsize hopes for big resort - USATODAY.com

Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale is refinancing about $88 million of bonds starting next week to save an estimated $10 million over 13 years for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Arizona residents will have the first chance on Monday to buy the tax-exempt investment bonds to refinance the bonds that were issued in 2004 for the preserve, said David Smith, Scottsdale city treasurer.

"It's a refinancing that has a significant benefit for all of the citizens of Scottsdale and the preserve acquisition program going forward," Smith said.

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve includes about 21,000 acres of desert and mountainous terrain.

Scottsdale residents voted in 1994 and 2005 to support a tax hike for preserve acquisition.

The city hopes to save money with lower-interest-rate bonds that will reduce payments on that debt from Scottsdale's dedicated sales tax for the preserve.

The minimum investment in the preserve bonds is $5,000 for a period of one to 13 years.

The yield on the bonds is expected to be low, maybe 2 to 3 percent, because the city's triple-A bond rating is a low-risk investment, Smith said.

Scottsdale has a AAA bond rating from all three major rating agencies -- Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch, he said.

Scottsdale has arranged a group of underwriters to sell the preserve bonds: J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, Stone & Youngberg and Wedbush Securities.

Information on the preserve bonds and underwriters is available at scottsdaleaz.gov/preservebonds.

Lee Guillory, city finance manager, said in most cases the city's bonds are purchased by large institutional investors and are available only to citizens on the secondary market.

Scottsdale residents can place orders through their brokers during Monday's exclusive retail period but the funding is not due until early July, Guillory said.

by Peter Corbett - Jun. 8, 2012 01:28 PM The Republic | azcentral.com




Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale is refinancing about $88 million of bonds starting next week to save an estimated $10 million over 13 years for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Arizona residents will have the first chance on Monday to buy the tax-exempt investment bonds to refinance the bonds that were issued in 2004 for the preserve, said David Smith, Scottsdale city treasurer.

"It's a refinancing that has a significant benefit for all of the citizens of Scottsdale and the preserve acquisition program going forward," Smith said.

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve includes about 21,000 acres of desert and mountainous terrain.

Scottsdale residents voted in 1994 and 2005 to support a tax hike for preserve acquisition.

The city hopes to save money with lower-interest-rate bonds that will reduce payments on that debt from Scottsdale's dedicated sales tax for the preserve.

The minimum investment in the preserve bonds is $5,000 for a period of one to 13 years.

The yield on the bonds is expected to be low, maybe 2 to 3 percent, because the city's triple-A bond rating is a low-risk investment, Smith said.

Scottsdale has a AAA bond rating from all three major rating agencies -- Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch, he said.

Scottsdale has arranged a group of underwriters to sell the preserve bonds: J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, Stone & Youngberg and Wedbush Securities.

Information on the preserve bonds and underwriters is available at scottsdaleaz.gov/preservebonds.

Lee Guillory, city finance manager, said in most cases the city's bonds are purchased by large institutional investors and are available only to citizens on the secondary market.

Scottsdale residents can place orders through their brokers during Monday's exclusive retail period but the funding is not due until early July, Guillory said.

by Peter Corbett - Jun. 8, 2012 01:28 PM The Republic | azcentral.com




Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale is refinancing about $88 million of bonds starting next week to save an estimated $10 million over 13 years for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Arizona residents will have the first chance on Monday to buy the tax-exempt investment bonds to refinance the bonds that were issued in 2004 for the preserve, said David Smith, Scottsdale city treasurer.

"It's a refinancing that has a significant benefit for all of the citizens of Scottsdale and the preserve acquisition program going forward," Smith said.

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve includes about 21,000 acres of desert and mountainous terrain.

Scottsdale residents voted in 1994 and 2005 to support a tax hike for preserve acquisition.

The city hopes to save money with lower-interest-rate bonds that will reduce payments on that debt from Scottsdale's dedicated sales tax for the preserve.

The minimum investment in the preserve bonds is $5,000 for a period of one to 13 years.

The yield on the bonds is expected to be low, maybe 2 to 3 percent, because the city's triple-A bond rating is a low-risk investment, Smith said.

Scottsdale has a AAA bond rating from all three major rating agencies -- Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch, he said.

Scottsdale has arranged a group of underwriters to sell the preserve bonds: J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, Stone & Youngberg and Wedbush Securities.

Information on the preserve bonds and underwriters is available at scottsdaleaz.gov/preservebonds.

Lee Guillory, city finance manager, said in most cases the city's bonds are purchased by large institutional investors and are available only to citizens on the secondary market.

Scottsdale residents can place orders through their brokers during Monday's exclusive retail period but the funding is not due until early July, Guillory said.

by Peter Corbett - Jun. 8, 2012 01:28 PM The Republic | azcentral.com




Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale is refinancing about $88 million of bonds starting next week to save an estimated $10 million over 13 years for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Arizona residents will have the first chance on Monday to buy the tax-exempt investment bonds to refinance the bonds that were issued in 2004 for the preserve, said David Smith, Scottsdale city treasurer.

"It's a refinancing that has a significant benefit for all of the citizens of Scottsdale and the preserve acquisition program going forward," Smith said.

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve includes about 21,000 acres of desert and mountainous terrain.

Scottsdale residents voted in 1994 and 2005 to support a tax hike for preserve acquisition.

The city hopes to save money with lower-interest-rate bonds that will reduce payments on that debt from Scottsdale's dedicated sales tax for the preserve.

The minimum investment in the preserve bonds is $5,000 for a period of one to 13 years.

The yield on the bonds is expected to be low, maybe 2 to 3 percent, because the city's triple-A bond rating is a low-risk investment, Smith said.

Scottsdale has a AAA bond rating from all three major rating agencies -- Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch, he said.

Scottsdale has arranged a group of underwriters to sell the preserve bonds: J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, Stone & Youngberg and Wedbush Securities.

Information on the preserve bonds and underwriters is available at scottsdaleaz.gov/preservebonds.

Lee Guillory, city finance manager, said in most cases the city's bonds are purchased by large institutional investors and are available only to citizens on the secondary market.

Scottsdale residents can place orders through their brokers during Monday's exclusive retail period but the funding is not due until early July, Guillory said.

by Peter Corbett - Jun. 8, 2012 01:28 PM The Republic | azcentral.com




Scottsdale refinancing bonds to save $10M for McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale renovation program gets own makeover

A Scottsdale program that teams volunteers and businesses to restore distressed properties is undergoing a makeover.

Since June 2009, the program, formerly known as Code Cares, has restored 135 houses in need of maintenance, city officials said.

Volunteers do everything from tidy up yards to trim trees, paint houses and mend fences. Businesses donate the materials so public funding is not needed.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said he wants to make the 3-year-old program, now called Operation Fix It, a larger community effort involving more local businesses.

The goal is to refurbish at least 130 homes in the next year, he said.

"It's been a good program," Lane said. "It's just one that needed new life."

Recipients are often referred to the city by social workers, neighbors or code-enforcement officers, said Michelle Bruce, a program coordinator who co-founded the program.

Eligibility is based on guidelines for low-income housing.

"I work together with volunteers to point them to the projects," Bruce said.

A tiered donation program is designed to encourage more businesses to participate. Annual sponsorships range from $250 to $2,500, which would bankroll community efforts.

Bruce said materials such as rock landscaping, plants and paint are needed.

In 2010, volunteers painted the house, replaced a door, trimmed trees and fixed the walkway for Scottsdale mother and daughter Beverly and Edna Deardoff.

The Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, which works with the city, selected the Deardoffs for a community project.

Scottsdale code enforcement had issued a citation to the Deardoffs, who were on the city's wait list for assistance.

"I woke up to see tons of cars up and down the street in front of my house. People are coming up to my door, asking 'What do you want us to do?'" Edna Deardoff said. "I thought I was on the home makeover show."

Volunteers noticed the Deardoffs had scorpions and a faulty air-conditioner, said Realtor Lee McGhee.

McGhee, who owns 480-Termite LLC, provided pest-control services. Scottsdale-based Mountain AC repaired the air-conditioner.

"They did a lot of work for us out there," Edna Deardoff said. "It brought tears to my eyes."

J.P. Twist, Lane's chief of staff, said residents can apply without having a code violation.

To prevent misuse, Lane asked the city to develop "fair and appropriate" testing of applicants' means.

Future efforts could include roofing, air-conditioning and handyman assistance.

Nancy Cantor, a south Scottsdale resident and former member of Scottsdale's Housing Board, questioned why the program makeover was never discussed with board members, who make recommendations on housing programs in Scottsdale.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC
How to participate

Scottsdale's Operation Fix It program provides assistance to needy homeowners with distressed properties. It teams volunteers with businesses that donate materials.

Items needed most are rock landscaping, plants and paint. Information is available on the city's website at scottsdaleaz.gov, by searching for "Operation Fix It."

Businesses can donate supplies and residents can apply for assistance on the website, which lists the program criteria for annual income.

The city has a goal to clean every blighted alley by June 30, 2014.

For more information, call program coordinator Michelle Bruce at 480-312-8703.





by Beth Duckett - Jun. 13, 2012 09:28 PM The Republic | azcentral.com




Scottsdale renovation program gets own makeover

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