You are cordially invited to attend a community forum to express your views and hear those of other Phoenix residents on the future of the Arizona State Fairgrounds, including its historic buildings. This community forum, hosted by Arizona state representative Ken Clark, Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods president G.G. George, Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission chair Bill Scheel, and Arizona Preservation Foundation president Jim McPherson, will be held at the Encanto Park Club House, 2605 N. 15th Avenue, on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
I’m watching for news of how the City of Phoenix did in trying to meet their Zero Waste Goal, but congrats to the city for trying during the Final Four championships. Learn more here.
“The city of Phoenix, in partnership with the NCAA and the Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee, has set a goal to reach a zero waste diversion rate during the four days’ worth of activities at the Fan Fest at the Phoenix Convention Center and the Music Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park. To achieve this, Phoenix Public Works will be working very closely with the event’s waste management contractors, who will provide three types of containers for Fan Fest and concert-goers to use as they sort their waste into recycling, composting and trash.”
I wish them the best. I remember as a teenager in Germany, where I was stationed with my family, that they recycled almost everything. There were three types of bins at the average gas station. They were that good at their zero waste goal, and that was in the 1980s!
Typically, in America, if you put out three types of bins with instructions, you get a lot of trash mixing and vocal complaints about “why we have to do this, anyway,” along with some ill-informed statement about how it all goes in to a landfill and its all a scam.
Not true, by the way. The city has a robust recycling program. I know, I’ve toured the facilities and its all there. They sell the materials on the open market.
Be that as it may, kudos to the City of Phoenix for continuing the long, long education process.
Now, let’s find a way to get recycling in to commercial businesses and then we are really moving the ball forward on a zero waste goal.
The new Recyclebank innovation from the City of Phoenix allows you to get credits at local businesses for recycling your trash.
Recyclebank, Phoenix’s new partner in waste diversion and sustainability, invites Phoenix residents and other members of the community to a family-friendly event 5 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St. The goal of the event to introduce the Phoenix community to a new rewards program that educates participants on how to divert more waste from the landfill while earning redeemable points.
The rewards program works by going to recyclebank.com, where participants can easily sign up to activate their account. The website offers several sustainability articles and waste diversion tips participants can read and then earn points that will be added to their account. The site also has videos, recycling tips, craft ideas using recyclable materials, as well as opportunities to enroll in any of Phoenix’s solid waste programs, all of which allow participants to earn points.
Points can be redeemed for savings at local businesses and national chains, such as Bunky Boutique, AMC Theatres and Target.
For mobile device users, the Recyclebank app can be downloaded for free.
At the free, family-friendly community event, guests can enjoy activities that help them understand the importance of sustainability through hands-on demonstrations presented by the Arizona Science Center staff. In the Urban Heat Island demonstration, guests will explore ways to change landscapes to adapt to hot environments and conserve water; the Plarn demonstration, guests learn how to make yarn out of the world’s most thrown-out objects; and in the Water Roll demonstration, guests become a sustainability scientist and learn about water conservation.
There is no cost to attend the event, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged at Eventbrite.
Recyclebank’s rewards program is part of the city’s effort to educate the community about recycling more, recycling right and other waste diversion programs. Under the Reimagine Phoenix initiative, Phoenix strives to reach its goal of a 40 percent waste diversion rate by 2020 through enhanced solid waste programs, public-private partnerships and expansion of its community and educational outreach.
Is the closing of Jobot Coffee in December the canary in the coal mine for the Roosevelt Row Arts District? While this closing was mostly a result of a dispute about rent, I see this as a regrettable result of costs going up for the long-time businesses and artists in our arts district downtown.
This is an area that was recognized in recent years as one of America’s best arts districts. But recently, the changes have been so drastic that people are questioning the future of arts in downtown.
As you drive south on 3rd St from McDowell, you no longer see the mish-mash of small structures and lots that used to be home to the arts. Now, you are met with a veritable canyon of apartments, which serve as a sterile gateway to downtown. They lack the affordable store-front space necessary for artists to thrive. They are over-built (there has been a 6 to 1 ratio of apartments to owner-occupied condos developed in Phoenix over the last two years), and they are too expensive.
We’ve also seen these developments squeezing local favorites. Art Haus is gone. The building that replaced it, with the help of APS almost unilaterally vetoed in-progress modifications by monOrchid to install a roof-top bar by moving electricity cables (unannounced) from one side of the dividing alleyway to the other. The wires would be a hazard to anybody seeking to enjoy a roof-top space because they are now within arm’s length reach of the rooftop space. So those plans were scraped and that money was lost.
It further hurt the community that, in a fit to undermine an arts district improvement plan that they saw as too personally expensive, a few businesses and their lobbyists at the Arizona Legislature torpedoed the plan while also making similar community improvement plans around the state virtually impossible.
So, this and other developments beg the question: can an arts district survive its own popularity? We know that three major groups drove the development of downtown over the last 20 years, making it a viable spot for ASU and others to expand. Those groups were the LGBT community, the arts community and historic preservationists.
Is it destined that any area that becomes popular like this will ultimately move out the people who made it popular? If so, where will they go? This thought has brought some of my friends to tears, who have worked for years to make downtown great. What of their vision, of the blood, sweat and personal treasure that they poured in to this area? Does it now belong to out-of-state apartment investors?
Or, is it possible as some of my friends maintain, that the city can support local artists and their business models?
Watch for public conversations about this in 2017. I don’t know yet where they will come from or who will lead them. But, I promise to report on them when they evolve. Could the canary in the coal mine spur positive changes?
We need to find a response to this trend as a community, or face losing that which makes us unique.
We are huge fans of the Desert Botanical Garden. We often send friends and clients who are moving to the valley to the garden to understand more about the beauty and sensitivity of our Sonoran desert.
So, we were thrilled to learn that in the latest round of ArtPlaceAmerica grants, the “Desert Botanical Garden will complete the design and construction of an 18-acre urban farm and amphitheater as a solution to the lack of access to nutritious food in South Phoenix. Building and programming the area’s first farmers’ market and community performance space, they will dismantle the stigma of farming for local residents by turning this food desert into an affordable, local-food oasis.”
As modern realtors, we know that the old mentality of scraping valuable habitat and spreading homes out in to the desert is counter-productive in the long term. The future is about smart density. part of that future also includes urban gardens. So, congratulations to our friends at the Desert Botanical Gardens for this new development.
So, were you waiting for the election to purchase a home?
Well, the election is over and people are asking me whether its safe to purchase a home, or whether we should expect market turmoil under our new president.
They’ve seen stories like this one from the Arizona Republic, which speaks to scarcity in the housing market and makes a tenuous tie to the presidential election.
Here’s another article from Slate indicating that people have been putting off major buying decisions due to the election. While I’m sure some people have held off on major decisions, we have not seen that among our clients. We’ve been busy!
Even so, if folks have been waiting for the election to decide until now, we will know it in about a month. If monthly sales numbers bounce, then you will know that people are re-entering the market. I’ll look back in about a month and let you know what we see. If you are inclined to believe that people have been waiting to act, then you will want to act before that bounce happens.
More than anything, let me put these fears to rest: the real estate market is not likely to undergo some serious upheaval any time soon.
First, here’s some advice that I found to be accurate in this article, which really points to how short-term fears about a presidential election might benefit a few, but are not a good reason to act quickly for most. Here’s the key take-away quote:
“I don’t think it’s a wise idea to try to time any markets, especially housing,” says real estate expert Kurt Westfield at WCE Equity Group. “Housing markets are very localized, subject to microeconomic shifts. The election takes place on a much larger macroeconomic scale.”
Second, let’s talk about the nature of the real estate market and why you should not act in haste. Nor should you hold off if you need to buy or sell. In other words, just act on your housing needs as they are today.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the markets move very slowly. I know. It did not feel that way in 2008 when people’s homes seemed to lose value in months. But, when you look at that data, it still took months, not days or weeks for major movements to take place.
Sure, you will see small changes around the end-of-year holidays when people are focussed family and parties, but that’s an annual deal and does not change the market too much.
The thing you should most be aware of in the short term (3-6 months) is interest rates. While they are still historically low and probably won’t jump too quickly, a one percent increase represents a lot of money over the life of a loan. We know that the Federal Reserve Bank is talking about interest rate increases, so we encourage you to speak with your lender about what he or she is seeing.
In other words, don’t hit the panic button on interest rates. Just keep an eye on it. Make your decision based on what you need when you need it.
Let’s turn for a second to the long-term view (18 months to 2 years) just so I can make one point about Donald Trump’s threats to deport 11 million people. If his threats are carried out in whole or in part, then you will definitely see a major hit to our real estate market, according to Tina Tamboer of the Cromford Report.
I want to be careful here and temper that previous comment. That is IF he can forcibly deport people or IF they choose to leave on their own. And even then, the affects would be seen 3-6 months after he takes action.
According to Tina, we would see a dramatic increase in supply of homes (as people move away) at the same time we would see a huge reduction in demand (as immigrants would no longer purchase homes). Yes, immigrants own homes.
But this would also impact those folks who own rental properties. Many of whom voted for our next president. Further, according to Tina, the impact would not be localized to certain neighborhoods. The impact would be valley-wide.
In the even longer term, according to Tina, Arizona’s population is aging quickly and we don’t have younger people to replace the aging population who can afford to purchase homes. Otherwise in the next 15-20 years we will have a huge excess of homes and prices will depress significantly.
This means that we need to find some solution to the immigration issue, which allows immigration in to Arizona.
You know, the very thing that the next president ran against.
We can help you make the right decision on your sale or purchase. Contact us at 602-456-9388.
If you live in APS territory, you’ll want to take note of this:
From: Media Relations (MediaRelations)
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:13 PM
Subject: CONSUMER ALERT: NEW SCAM TARGETING APS CUSTOMERS STATEWIDE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2016
New Scam Targeting APS Customers STATEWIDE
90 incidents reported in last 10 days
PHOENIX – APS issued a warning today about a new scam where criminals
masquerading as APS employees are calling customers demanding immediate
payment of their electric bill under the threat of having their power turned
off. Potential victims are instructed to purchase prepaid cards in a
specific amount, and then call a special number to make the payment. In some
instances, the call back number goes to an automated phone system that acts
and sounds like the actual APS Customer Care Center.
While it is impossible to know how many customers have been targeted or have
fallen for the scam, APS security has received reports of more than 90
incidents across the state in the past 10 days. APS encourages customers who
have been targeted to report the incident to local law enforcement along
with APS at (602) 371-7171 or (800) 240-2014 (outside metro-Phoenix).
To keep customers from becoming a victim of consumer scams, APS provides the
* APS never requires payment via a prepaid card.
* The only valid phone numbers to call the APS Customer Care Center
* If there is ever a question about the validity of an email,
website or person claiming to be an APS representative, call the APS
Customer Care Center immediately at (602) 371-7171 to verify this
* Recognize the signs of a phishing email: mismatched fonts, missing
hyperlinks, improper grammar and misspellings.
* Never share credit card information with an unverified source.
directed to the KUBRA EZ-Pay website, which asks them to enter a “captcha”
validation code. A “captcha” typically uses a set of letters and numbers
that the user is required to manually retype and submit. Any other credit
card payment site is fraudulent and should not be used.
APS<http://www.aps.com/> serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s
15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and
reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent
carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy
portfolios, and owns and operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station,
the country’s top power producer and largest producer of carbon-free energy.
The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services
that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With
headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West
Capital Corp.<http://www.pinnaclewest.com> (NYSE: PNW).
I’m proud that my city is working on new ways to recycle and support up-start businesses at the same time.
Here is their RFP announcement, which calls for innovators who may be able to start new businesses around our waste stream. This is the kind of leadership we need to get serious about waste.
The City of Phoenix has issued the Transforming Trash into Resources II Request for Proposals (RFP). We’re looking for trash innovators who can transform carpeting, latex paint and urban wood into new products or reuse them for a new purpose. The RFP is posted at www.phoenix.gov/solicitations/846. All questions about this active RFP must be submitted in writing to Robyn.Skramstad@phoenix.gov
Since our last update email, the City has made progress on the following RFPs:
- Community Outreach and Awareness Services RFP – the City has contracted with Recyclebank, LLC to assist the City in educating residents about our solid waste programs, including recycling and green organics, through Recyclebank’s rewards program.
- Palm Fronds Diversion RFP – the City is in contract negotiations with Palm Silage Arizona, LLC, which will transform palm fronds into livestock feed.
- Compost Facility and Temporary Mulching Area Operator/Manager RFP – the City is in contract negotiations with We Care Organics LLC, which will manage the City’s compost facility.
The City anticipates issuing the following RFPs:
- Textile Diversion Services RFP
- Materials Exchange Program RFP
- Anaerobic Digester RFP (feasibility study underway)
- Landfill Gas RFP (feasibility study underway)
- Boxes and Packing Materials Diversion RFP
- Recycled Plastics (#1 – #2) Diversion RFP
- Recycled Paper Diversion RFP
- Recycled Plastics (#3 – #7) Diversion to Liquid Fuel RFP
This article is a little old on the subject, but it gives you some good background.
I don’t know if you heard, but the Basha’s at the SW corner of 7th Ave and Osborn may be going away.
For years I’ve felt that the historic supermarket could be so much more. I support local and even I have found it difficult to shop there. The selection is small because the square footage is too.
But, according to this letter to neighbors, developers Trammel Crow are proposing mixed-use in-fill. From the looks of it, it does not include a renovated Basha’s. That’s sad. I think that Basha’s has a place in Arizona history and its future downtown.
But the company has been struggling in recent years and perhaps this is what they have to do.
Anyhoo, they are hosting an open house on November 2nd from 5:30 to 6:30 at Phoenix College, OSW Building Room 105. This will be a big change to the landscape in this area. So, have a look if you are interested. See the letter linked above for more contact info and details.
I’ve had several folks say to me “I think the economy is going downhill because people are freaked out by the election.” Are we pitting elections vs home sales?
Personally, I have heard this in previous election years. But, let’s dig in to this a little.
I called the famous Tina Tamboer of the Cromford Report, who is always a great source of analysis and information.
So, I asked, “Is there an impact on the market, due to fears about the possible outcome this election year?”
According to Tina, a resounding “No.”
She gave several reasons.
First, if you are hearing negative news about jobs numbers in Arizona, remember that our jobs are often very cyclical and the jobs numbers often drop around this time when people leave for the summer. So, its not likely that things are as bad as the daily news makes them sound.
Second, the real estate market is not likely to respond quickly to speculation about the up-coming presidential election. The fact remains, says Tina, that people make real estate decisions based on need more than what the candidates promise.
In other words, the typical annual rhythms of the market do more to influence price and availability than campaigns.
Third, if you look at the diagram, you can see that the contract ratio still shows that things are good, even better than last year. This is the ratio of all listings that get under contract. We are still in a “hot” market. If you are going in to the summer hot, then you will probably stay that way.
Questions like these often permeate the news, and especially social media. I think the key is to speak with professionals like Tina or we-truly to help weed out the hype from the facts.
If you have any questions about buying or selling, please let us know at 602-456-9388.
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