AZ Republic – Home prices down 2.2 percent in metro Phoenix

Catherine Reagor
The Arizona Republic
May. 17, 2007 12:34 PM

 Metropolitan Phoenix home prices have dipped 2.2 percent in the past year, compared to a 1.8 percent drop nationally.

The Valley isn’t alone that decline. The National Association of Realtors new figures how 62 metro areas across the country saw home prices fall between the first quarters of 2006 and 2007.

Realtors Senior Economist Lawrence Yun said the housing market could start to recover in the second half of this year.

Elmira, N.Y., experienced the biggest plummet with a 14.9 percent fall in home prices. Sarasota, Fla., was second with a 12 percent drop. New Orleans was third with 10.9 percent.

Cumberland, Md., had a 17.1 percent increase in home prices, the highest in the nation. Biloxi, Miss., was next with a 15.7 percent jump, and Salem, Ore. was third with a 15.6 percent climb.

Nationally, the median home prices fell from $216,100 to $212,300 during the past year. In metro Phoenix, the median home price dipped from $268,300 to $262,500.

Two years ago, the Valley led the nation with a 50 percent jump in home prices. Other parts of the country that also led the nation in home gains like Sarasota are seeing big price drops now.  

Andrew Holmwww.theholmgroupaz.com480-767-2738

AZ Central – Long-delayed Windgate Crossing gets underway

May. 17, 2007 12:13 PM SCOTTSDALE

A Scottsdale developer has started construction of the Windgate Crossing neighborhood shopping center nearly four years after acquiring nearly 10 acres of state land northwest of Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway.

Charles Byxbee, managing partner of Byxbee Development, has lined up a CVS Pharmacy and Bank of America as anchors for the project’s first phase and nearly 20,000 square feet of shops. That could include an Irish pub.

Byxbee said the center should open this fall.

“Finally! It’s been a long time coming,” he said of the project.

Byxbee Development was the winning bidder in June 2003 on a 75-year lease of the state land for Windgate Crossing.

The neighborhood center will serve residents of McDowell Mountain Ranch and the adjacent Windgate Ranch community.

Toll Brothers is building more than 600 homes in Windgate Ranch over the next few years.

A second phase of Windgate Crossing could include a two-story 32,000-square-foot office building, with underground parking.

A small grocer is also an option, Byxbee said. No plans for corner gas station There are no plans for a gas station at Windgate Crossing, which should be a relief to some area residents.

Objections surfaced last October when Circle K proposed building a convenience store with gas pumps southwest of Bell and Thompson Peak.

Circle K withdrew its proposal.

The city recently sent a letter inquiring whether Circle K planned to submit revised plans to develop the corner, said Robin Meinhart, a Planning Department spokeswoman.

Circle K officials did not respond the inquiries from The Arizona Republic about its plans for the site. State land offered at 100th St. Byxbee Development, which started building at Windgate Crossing a few weeks ago, also developed the Centennial Marketplace at 100th Street and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard.

That center, which includes Zipps Sports Grill and a Bank One branch, is across the street from nearly 11 acres of state trust land that will be sold at auction June 21.

The minimum bid is nearly $10.2 million or $936,580 per acre.

The property is zoned for a neighborhood shopping center but could also accommodate offices or residential uses.Scottsdale plans new firehouse

The city is also looking for a roughly 2-acre site for a fire station in the vicinity of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and 100th Street, Fire Chief William McDonald said.

Scottsdale should have a better idea within a month what land is available for the firehouse, McDonald said.

He said he did not yet know whether the state land at Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and 100th Street would be available for the Scottsdale Fire Department or suit its needs.

A firehouse is needed in the area to cut response time for emergency calls, McDonald said.

The nearest firehouses are in McDowell Mountain Ranch near 100th Street and Bell Road, and at Via Linda and 108th Street.

The Scottsdale City Council would have to approve buying a firehouse site. That is unlikely to occur before August, the fire chief said.

It would take about a year to design and build a new station, he added.

Andrew Holm