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Block 23 will house the area's first grocery store, along with office and apartment spaces. (Rendering courtesy of RED Development)
Real estate law trends to watch this year

Political and economic uncertainty has defined the past year. 

With Arizona’s economy showing signs of growth amid low inflation, it seems like a crane casts a shadow over every intersection in downtown Phoenix. 

But we are still dealing with an evolving and distressed retail segment and most pencil-pushers are still struggling to understand the implications of President Donald Trump’s changes to the tax laws. 

But that’s not the only legal issue we need to be watching. AZRE spoke with some of the great legal minds in commercial real estate to find out what trends and issues they say we should look at before making that next deal. Read more

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Balance Neighborhood Concerns with New or Re-Development

An army of red shirts, slogan pin buttons, protest signs and opposition websites. These efforts describe the recent increase in opposition to infill redevelopment, rezoning and community planning.

Neighborhood outreach and citizen involvement is a bedrock principle in the development process. By ordinance, local jurisdictions require developers to notify and meet with neighbors for a variety of property entitlements such as general plan amendments, rezoning, site plan approval, variances, use permits and more. Cities and counties generally require some form of community outreach, and smart developers often engage neighborhood involvement early in the process. However, the increase in project opposition and the new methods employed by opponents require serious pause and study. Developers and zoning attorneys must learn to strike the right balance of listening and responding to neighborhood concerns while positioning their project for development success. Read more

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This behavioral health operator overcomes hurdles to build hospital in Gilbert

After a long battle convincing Gilbert residents that a behavioral health facility is not a bad thing, Kentucky-based Springstone Inc. is moving forward with plans to build a behavioral health hospital. Read more…

Fiesta Village project to heal Mesa sore spot

After years of fighting between the land owner and the city, Mesa’s most notorious eyesore is finally due for a facelift.

W.M. Grace Companies plans to turn Fiesta Village at Alma School Road and Southern Avenue into a modern mixed-use residential and retail project.

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Mike Withey – Top 100 Lawyers in AZ 2018

Withey Morris is proud to announce that Mike Withey was recently selected by AZ Business magazine as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2018.

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Copper Springs plans $14M Behavioral health hospital, facing naysayers

After meeting the same opposition from residents at two different sites within the East Valley town, the owners of Copper Springs left Gilbert and opened a facility in Avondale, which the community embraces said Adam Baugh, a zoning attorney with Withey Morris PLC. View PDF 

Rising From the Ashes: Phoenix Faces Zoning Challenges

“It makes Zero economic sense to tear down old office buildings and apartments, only to build a two-story building…allowing density is the way to revitalize these areas,” Morris said.

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Behavioral-health facility makes third attempt to build in Gilbert

“The attitude in 2017 is completely different from the temperament in 2013,” said Adam Baugh, a zoning attorney representing the company. “The town’s eyes are more open and more aware because they actually have data that supports the need.”

Read more…

New Home Central - Tract Homes in the City
Fill in the Tracts

“Each city may have its own defined term,” said G. Adam Baugh, a land use and zoning attorney with the law firm Withey Morris in Phoenix. “Infill is generally the development of vacant or under-utilized parcels within existing urban areas that are already largely developed around it,” he said. “Most communities have vacant land, which for various reasons, has been passed over in the normal course of growth and build-out. While this applies to both urban and suburban areas, it is more common in urban areas where there is new neighborhood renewal in older parts of the city.”

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Withey Morris PLC Brings On Father-Son Attorney Team Dave And Alex Baker

PHOENIX, AZ – Withey Morris, a prominent Arizona land use law firm for nearly 20 years, brought on father-son team Dave and Alex Baker of Baker Law Offices, expanding its range of real estate services. Dave Baker has over 25 years of experience in Arizona real estate transactions and litigation. Alex Baker specializes in real estate transactions and litigation, commercial transactions and litigation, entity formation and estate planning.

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PHX Neighbors Take Part in Architectural Competition

Jason Morris, a Phoenix land use, zoning a orney and partner with Withey Morris PLC never had a case take a turn like this.
In the trendy and eclec c Phoenix area called the Melrose District along 7th Avenue between Camelback and Indian School Roads, clients Bruce and Kim Raskin wanted to transform a vacant, boarded-up building into a self-storage facility. View PDF…

Land Use Case ‘Never Took Turn Like This': Phoenix Neighbors Take Part In Architectural Competition

Jason Morris, a Phoenix land use, zoning attorney and partner with Withey Morris PLC never had a case take a turn like this. In the trendy and eclectic Phoenix area called the Melrose District along 7th Avenue between Camelback and Indian School Roads, clients Bruce and Kim Raskin wanted to transform a vacant, boarded-up building into a self-storage facility

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Paying Respect to Our Past While Re-Building Our Future

As many of our cities are becoming denser, infill and adaptive land reuse are becoming  an increasingly popular option for developers. For landlocked cities such as Tempe, often the only options are to tear a building down or re-purpose the old.

Read more on pages 56-57…

People to Know: Adam Baugh, Withey Morris

The incredible, charismatic and close relationships Adam Baugh witnessed during his legal internship at the Phoenix offices of then-Mayor Phil Gordon convinced Baugh to pursue the legal world of zoning and land use.

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Adam Baugh named up-and-coming business leader in the Phoenix Business Journal’s annual 40 Under 40 class of 2017

Each year, the Phoenix Business Journal honors 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are having a major impact in the Valley both in business and the greater community. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, “The honorees come from a range of industries. They are innovators and instigators of change. They are entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. They have founded nonprofits and undertaken endeavors for the greater good that will help the community for years to come.

One of the notable traits of this class, as those before it, is the honorees’ community involvement that stands out. Their work goes beyond the 9-to-5 world and affects many.

Withey Morris PLC Hires Land Use and Zoning Attorney Benjamin Tate

“I have a strong connection to the Valley having lived in Arizona my entire life,” shared Tate. “Land use and zoning law is a perfect way for me to merge my political and legal backgrounds with my passion for development in the Valley. Joining Withey Morris allows me to have more of a direct hand in the Phoenix metro area’s growth.”

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Commission upholds demolition approval for Clinton Campbell House

“It’s not a matter of subjectivity or opinion, but a matter of math,” said Adam Baugh, attorney for Glasir.

Baugh said while he appreciates the passion behind the preservation attempts, “there are obvious realities that override” the desire to restore the house. Baugh also pointed to the staff’s recommendation of the demolition despite desire to preserve historic properties.

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Breathing New Life into Old Buildings

Many shopping centers are being renovated into new spaces with new uses as a result of changing retail trends and the growth of online shopping. A creative vision and unique zoning approach are needed to be successful, notes Withey Morris PLC Owner Adam Baugh.

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How to MacGyver your infill projects through the city

Adam Baugh, a zoning and land use attorney at Withey Morris, PLC, and pioneer of infill restaurant projects across the Valley, says these projects require “a lot of MacGyvering to get them through the city.


Top 9 Commercial Real Estate Law Firms in the Valley

“A high degree of specialization and the strength of the firm’s relationships with city staff and elected officials helps it give clients greater certainty for what can otherwise be a very unpredictable process, especially as it pertains to land use.”

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