Saudi Royals’ L.A. Home Listed for $110 Million. By Katherine Clarke

March 01, 2018

A business entity affiliated with the late Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal owns the Beverly Hills compound, which had previously been shopped around for $145 million.

A Los Angeles compound owned by Saudi royalty is coming on the market for $110 million.

The Beverly Hills estate, located on about 14 acres, features more than 35,000 square feet of interior space, as well as manicured outdoor spaces with tree-lined promenades, a tennis court and a swimming pool, according to the listing.

It features a dramatic courtyard entrance with a water feature and additional guest and staff residences. The formal entryway has a retractable.......

4 new Arizona restaurants to be featured on 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' this month. By Tim Gallen – Digital Editor, Phoenix Business Journal

March 01, 2018

The long-running Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" will air new episodes this month featuring four new Arizona restaurants.

The Arizona Republic reports Guy Fieri's foodie show will make a stop in Mesa along with three stops in Tucson.

On the episode airing March 2, Fieri visits Aloha Kitchen in Mesa. The Hawaiian concept will show off a dish called managua, which is a Hawaiian version of Chinese buns cha siu bao.

In that same episode, Fieri also heads down to.........well-known Valley restaurants have been featured on the show including Matt's Big Breakfast in Phoenix and Haus Murphy's in Glendale.

Arizona housing market prices are rising, but still not recovered from recession...By Kara Carlson – Editorial Intern, Phoenix Business Journal

March 01, 2018

As the nation’s housing market prices recover to pre-recession levels, homes in the Arizona market are still on average worth 16 percent lower than they were almost 12 years ago.

Those findings come from a report by CoreLogic looking at state by state and national market recovery.

Tina Tamboer, an analyst for the Cromford Report, said current Arizona market conditions are favorable and........When accounting for inflation, Tamboer said the market is right on track to where it would be had there not been a price spike, followed by the crash. She said most Phoenix-area markets are currently around 20 percent below peak prices.

She expects prices to keep rising, making now a good time to both buy and sell. She said locally, median house prices at the end of last year were around $245,000.

Arizona teenagers can take written permit test online starting Monday. By Drew Marine

February 28, 2018

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Starting Monday, Arizona teenagers looking to get their permit can take the written drivers’ test online.

The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division is introducing the "Permit Test @ Home," available to .......“Learning to drive is a rite of passage for many teens and the Permit Test @ Home makes the process a bit easier,” MVD stakeholder relations manager Jennifer Bowser-Richards said in a statement. “Rather than requiring teens and their parents to come to an MVD office to pick up the manual and then return for the knowledge test, MVD is making everything available digitally.”

The Permit Test @ Home requires a $7 application fee and.....

The 15 Best Places with a Happy Hour in Phoenix.

February 24, 2018

1. The Main Ingredient Ale House & Café

2337 N 7th St (at Sheridan St), Phoenix, AZ

Gastropub · Coronado 

2. Mellow Mushroom

2490 W Happy Valley Rd (at Norterra Pkwy.), Phoenix, AZ

Pizza Place · Deer Valley 

3. Salty Sow

4801 E Cactus Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

Gastropub ·

8 Gorgeous Kitchen Trends That Will Be Huge in 2018. By AZrenAdmin

January 30, 2018

For a good decade, the all-white kitchen has dominated its fair share of Pinterest boards. But if you’re looking for something a little more layered, inviting, and personal, relief is in sight! Behold, the Neutral Kitchen 2.0. It’s still understated, but (thankfully!) not cold, sterile, or cookie-cutter. See for yourself…

Bill Gates invests $80 million in real estate on Phoenix area's western edge

November 08, 2017

A huge swath of land on the western edge of metro Phoenix has drawn an $80 million investment from Microsoft founder Bill Gates' investment group, a move that could change the region’s future growth.

A group controlled by billionaire Gates' Cascade Investment LLC recently bought a significant stake in the 24,800-acre Belmont development near the White Tank Mountains, according to property records.

Few people live in the area now, but plans for Belmont call for as many as 80,000 homes, 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space, 3,400 acres of open space and 470 acres for public schools, according to Arizona-based Belmont Partners, the real estate developer behind the project. 

The anticipated alignment for the future Interstate 11 includes a...(more)

9 questions first-time homebuyers might have

November 06, 2017

Buying a home can be a daunting experience. Many first-time home buyers don’t have a reliable road map to follow. So, we’ve pulled together some information that (we think) you’ll find useful.

WHAT ARE HOME PRICES DOING IN PHOENIX?

Millennials have it tough. They’re caught between rising rents and home prices. Realtor.com predicts Phoenix will be the top housing market in the U.S. this year. And a recent report from Belifore Real Estate Consulting found new-home sales are up 22 percent, which means prices are likely to increase as well.

IS PHOENIX AFFORDABLE?

The Valley remains one of the most affordable metro areas in the country, even with rising home prices. Why is that? Land. That's something metro Phoenix has plenty of for building homes. A home buyer needs to earn about $46,000...

Arizona Challenger Space Center Announces Temporary Move to Metrocenter Mall

October 30, 2017

PEORIA, Ariz. – The Board and Staff of the Challenger Space Center (Center) of Arizona announced today that they will be moving this week to Metrocenter Mall in a suite of offices that will allow them to set up temporary headquarters as they begin work on a more permanent space to be announced soon.

The new location will allow them to continue the important educational programs with area schools that include workshops that have been a popular addition to area schools’ curriculum for more than 17 years. “It is very important that we continue to provide this resource since many teachers have incorporated our programs into their curriculums for application of skills learned in their classrooms,” stated Beverly Swayman, Executive Director of the Center....

Planet Fitness Flexes Muscle for Big Box lease in Surprise

October 30, 2017

PHOENIX, ARIZONA — Planet Fitness finalized another big box transaction at 15569 W. Bell Rd., in Surprise, Arizona, in the former Henry’s Market at the southwest corner of Bell Road and Reems Road.

Planet Fitness will occupy the 27,059-square-foot space and be the 22nd store in the Arizona market for the chain.  The new location is slated to open in the first quarter of 2018.

“This transaction has been two years in the making as the property has gone through receivership and multiple owners,” Tworek said. “Planet Fitness has analyzed the demographic profile of Surprise and is excited to expand into that market and capitalize on a good piece of real estate.”

Rising rents spur metro Phoenix homebuying, but those prices are up, too / Catherine Reagor, The Republic | azcentral.com

September 29, 2017

It's no wonder that so many renters are buying homes in metro Phoenix.

The cost of renting a Valley house or condo is up $150 a month from early 2016.

And despite the thousands of units under construction in the Phoenix area, the average rent for apartments is up almost $50 a month from last year.

And those increases come after even bigger ones in 2015-16.

Real-estate agents often tell me one of the top reasons Millennials are buying now is rising rents.

Also, boomerang buyers — the people who lost houses to foreclosure during the crash...(more)

Tracking Metro Phoenix-area HOA foreclosures, Catherine Reagor, The Republic | azcentral.com

September 17, 2017

Ask anyone living in a neighborhood managed by an HOA, and you will likely hear a rant.

It could be about anything from fights over paint colors to parking or garbage cans. 

HOAs are one of the most controversial topics I have covered during my 22-year tenure as a real-estate reporter in metro Phoenix. 

Half of all Valley homeowners live in a community association;...(more)

Drive Shack to open next to Topgolf in Glendale, Ron Dungan, The Republic | azcentral.com

September 16, 2017

Some wonder why it’s necessary to walk four hours to play 30 minutes of golf, which may be one reason high-tech golf venues are cropping up in Phoenix and other metro areas.

The popularity of Topgolf, the forerunner in golf entertainment, has brought others into the field.

New York-based Drive Shack announced last week that it will open a golf entertainment venue near University of Phoenix Stadium. The three-story complex is planned at the southwest corner of Bethany Home Road and 99th Avenue, just west of Loop 101, in Phoenix.

One month ago, Topgolf announced it would build at the northern corner of Bethany Home Road and the 101, in Glendale.

Both are expected to open in...(more)

Pei Wei Asian Diner to split from P.F. Chang's, move to Dallas area

August 24, 2017

Pei Wei Asian Diner said it plans to move its headquarters from Scottsdale by year's end as it splits from parent company P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

The chain of casual-dining, Asian-themed restaurants will move its executive offices to Irving, Texas. Of its roughly 225 restaurants in 21 states, Pei Wei operates 28 in the north Texas area, its most concentrated market. Pei Wei's website lists 21 Arizona locations, which won't be affected by the move.

“We are very excited to relocate to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which is home to some of our most loyal guests and highest-performing restaurants,” John Hedrick, Pei Wei's CEO, said in a prepared statement.

Hedrick said the company chose north Texas for several reasons, including its business-friendly climate, strong transportation system and deep talent pool.

Pei Wei didn't disclose the number of employees it has in Arizona or provide an estimate of how many would transfer, but the Texas governor's office said it expects the creation of at least 100 jobs there. Pei Wei said it anticipates having at least 30 employees in Irving by year's end.

Still underwater on your mortgage? HARP has been extended to December 2018

August 21, 2017

Homeowners who still owe more than their home is worth have extra time to tap a program that lets them refinance.

The federal Home Affordable Refinancing Program, HARP, has been extended until December 2018. The loan help had been set to expire at the end of September.

HARP allows homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to refinance, no matter how underwater they are on their mortgage.

In metro Phoenix, about 5,000 homeowners are still eligible. More than 160,000 in the Valley have already tapped the program to lower their monthly payments with a lower interest rate.

Phoenix home values have rebounded quicker than other cities with big booms and busts. Fewer than 9 percent of Phoenix-area homeowners are still underwater. That compares to almost 50 percent in 2011.

In Las Vegas, 20 percent of homeowners still owe more than their house is worth.

“We don’t see many people that are HARP eligible these days,” said Kelly Zitlow, vice president of the Scottsdale office of Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. “With our market appreciating on average 6 percent per year over the last several years, we have seen many Phoenix-area homeowners regain equity in their properties.”

In early 2009 during a speech in Mesa, President Barack Obama announced HARP, along with the rest of his housing plan to help homeowners hit by the crash.

Netflix Co-Founder’s Crazy Plan: Pay $10 a Month, Go to the Movies All You Want

August 15, 2017

As movie theaters struggle with tepid sales, Mitch Lowe has an extreme proposal for how to get more people into seats: Let them come to all the showings they want for about the price of a single ticket each month.

Lowe, an early Netflix Inc. executive who now runs a startup called MoviePass, plans to drop the price of the company’s movie ticket subscriptions on Tuesday to $9.95. The fee will let customers get in to one showing every day at any theater in the U.S. that accepts debit cards. MoviePass will pay theaters the full price of each ticket used by subscribers, excluding 3D or Imax screens.

MoviePass could lose a lot of money subsidizing people’s movie habits. So the company also raised cash on Tuesday by selling a majority stake to Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., a small, publicly traded data firm in New York. The companies declined to comment on terms of the financing but said MoviePass intends to hold an initial public offering by March. Helios and Metheson shares rose 5.7 percent to $2.95 at the close Tuesday in New York. (see more)

Why renters are leaving Los Angeles/Orange County – and where they’re going

August 15, 2017

More than three-fourths of renters in the Los Angeles/Orange County region want to move to a new area, compared with nearly two out of three renters nationwide, a report by Apartment Listsays.

The analysis showed:

  • 77 percent of Los Angeles/Orange County renters plan on settling down in a new city, compared with 64 percent of renters nationwide.

  • Affordability is the biggest issue for Los Angeles/Orange County renters. Nearly half of those moving cite it as the top reason.

  • Phoenix is the most popular out-of-state destination for renters in Los Angeles/Orange County.

Sunbelt renters in Arizona, Texas and Florida are more likely to stick where they are, according to the report. And metros in Southwestern states, including Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, are popular spots in which to settle. The Top 5: San Antonio, Louisville, Houston, Raleigh and Charlotte. (see more)

Are you ready for back to school?

August 07, 2017

With another school year just around the corner, it's time to shift out of summer-fun mode and back into your normal routine. Whether you're sending little ones off to kindergarten or teenagers back to high school, make this transition an easy one with the following planning tips: 
 

Start a routine early. A week or two before school starts, begin practicing your daily regimen, such as setting a bedtime and eating breakfast at the same time each morning. When the first day of school rolls around, you'll already feel adjusted to your new schedule. 
 

Refresh wardrobes. The classic "I have nothing to wear" routine is a recipe for disaster when you're running out the door in the morning. Use the last weeks of summer break to do a closet cleanse for yourself and your kids. Donate old or worn out items, and stock up on new threads so you can head into the new school year feeling fresh and ready to go. 
 

Purchase school supplies during tax-free weekends. Between school supplies, sports gear, and new clothes, shopping for a new school year can put a burden on your finances. To give your wallet a break, take advantage of your state's designated tax-free weekend. Do a quick internet search to see if and when your state offers its sales tax holiday. 
 

Create a designated homework space. Establishing good homework habits early on is key to a successful school year. A designated homework station can help eliminate distractions and help your kids be more productive during homework time. Choose a spot that's away from the TV, has comfortable seating and ample work-space, and allows storage for school supplies and other homework-related materials. 
 

Make a weekly schedule. With all of the extracurricular activities that kids (and adults) are involved in these days, keeping track of daily happenings can be a challenge. To stay organized, create a central location where everyone in the family can see what's going on for the week. Whether it's a calendar on the fridge or a shared calendar on your smartphones, be sure to plan out each week's activities, including your meals, to ensure everyone stays on the same page. 

Flix Brewhouse Cinema Eatery Coming to Peoria, Arizona

July 31, 2017

Peoria, Arizona —  Flix Brewhouse™, the world’s only combination first-run cinema and dine-in microbrewery, will become the entertainment anchor at the southeast corner of Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley Road in Peoria, Arizona. The Peoria location will be Central Texas-based Flix Brewhouse’s second Arizona location. Its first is in the Overstreet development in downtown Chandler, Arizona – part of the cinema-dining chain’s aggressive expansion throughout the United States. By RED News Service 

Luxury homes: Cardinals linebacker buys custom $2.9M PV home

June 05, 2017

Paradise Valley, Arizona - Charles Johnson and his wife Shelley purchased this mansion in Paradise Valley's Equestrian Trails community. The 9,297-square-foot Santa Barbara/Tuscan-style mansion has 6 bedrooms, 7 baths and features Venetian plaster walls and touch-screen technology throughout. The house also features multiple courtyards, a library, weight room, game room, home theater, four custom fireplaces and a five-car air conditioned garage. The chef's kitchen features three ovens, four dishwashers, a 1,000-plus bottle wine cellar and wet bar. The master suite has its own private courtyard, a steam shower. The resort-style backyard is primed for entertaining, with a private sport court, sparking lap pool, water slide, large hot tub and a boulder-style waterfall. Lorraine Longhi, The Republic | azcentral.comPublished 

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