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Jason Morris Named One of Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2019

If you’re wondering what it takes to be one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, experts say you might want to start subscribing to the “it takes a village” philosophy. Read more… 

Lawyer Jason Barclay Morris Showcases Professionalism With A Pop of Pizzaz

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Legal Trends to Watch in 2019

Arizona Business Magazine’s annual outlook issue included insight from our own Adam Baugh on what’s ahead for land use entitlements. Read more

Avoid Common Zoning Headaches

Work with a professional to head off problems that can derail projects, says BUILDER blogger Adam Baugh.

I recently took a call from a property owner furious about a city violation notice. For three years they have operated a contractor’s supply and inventory yard without a complaint until receiving a recent violation notice for operating an industrial use in a prohibited zoning district.

A home builder client was in the last days of closing when they discovered a Vehicular Non-Access Easement (VNAE) prevents them from accessing the adjacent arterial street, forcing them to either forfeit their earnest money or purchase the site and solve the problem later. Read more

Industrial project could be spark for Glendale development

Lincoln Property Co. has plans for a 1.2 million-square-foot build-to-suit industrial project in west Glendale. Read more

Papago Plaza rebirth seeks to be keystone to south Scottsdale revitalization

A development lauded to transform the defunct 1960s Papago Plaza in south Scottsdale has unanimously passed Scottsdale City Council. Read more

Working With Nonprofits To Expand And Improve

We weren’t aware of the extent of the services at Neighborhood Ministries, a community organization providing outreach and empowerment programs. One of our clients fortunately introduced us to Neighborhood Ministries. We took a tour.

It’s hard to take a tour of their property and see what they’re doing and not get incredibly excited and buy in,” Jason Morris said.

On a pro bono basis, Withey Morris has been working on a project for Neighborhood Ministries for about a year. The City of Phoenix’s Historic Preservation office allowed Neighborhood Ministries to proceed with a project that will provide a much-needed Head Start program. Read more… 

Neighbors riled by church’s plan to sell land to home builder

A church’s plan to sell land to a developer to build 52 single-family homes has residents from the three surrounding neighborhoods up in arms.

The 11-acres of infill property is located on the south side of Madera Parc Drive, east of Cooper Road, next to the First United Methodist Church. Read more

Our Work By The Numbers

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Az Business Magazine Names Jason Morris Leader in Construction Law

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Foreclosure of Tax Liens: An Underutilized Tool for Arizona Real Estate Investment

Tax liens on property in the Phoenix area and throughout Arizona offer the potential for guaranteed return and a low-risk windfall for investors who understand the legal requirements. Read more

Art studios, creative space planned for Cold War-era armory in Phoenix
Plans include eventually adding live/work space for artists

A Cold War-era armory on Roosevelt Street near Grand Avenue could get a second life as a home for skilled craftworkers and artists.

The building was state-owned before Jay Visconti of California-based Northwood Properties bought it with the intent to adaptively reuse the space. The price was not disclosed.

“This is exactly what I’ve been doing for the past 20 years,” Visconti said. “We take buildings that are past their useful life and come up with an adaptive reuse for them.” Read more

Fido gets way over dog spa neighbors’ objections

A doggy daycare for Fido to play, socialize and even spend the night is expected to open at Gilbert Fiesta shopping center sometime in October or November.

Franchise owner and Gilbert resident Tina Edenfield got the green light for Dogtopia last week from Town Council, which voted 6-1 to uphold the Planning Commission’s granting of a conditional use permit.

Councilman Jordan Ray filed an appeal of that June decision after he received a letter from homeowners to the east concerned with potential noise from barking dogs. Read more

Potential Uses Guide Paradise Valley Lincoln Medical Plaza Redevelopment Talks

Paradise Valley Town Council Thursday, June 14 is expected to issue marching orders to its Planning Commission putting in to motion the redevelopment of the Lincoln Medical Plaza.

Known at Town Hall as a Statement of Direction, the document will give the Paradise Valley Planning Commission guidelines of scrutiny for the pending medical facility overhaul, which includes a complete demolition of the existing site. Read more…

Four Withey Morris Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America


Best Lawyers in America® 2019 recognized four attorneys from Withey Morris PLC, a prominent Arizona land use law firm for more than 20 years. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected lawyer ranking service in the world. The awards recognize attorneys with the highest level of confidential peer feedback in specific practice areas and geographic region.

The 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in America includes the following Withey Morris attorneys and practices:

  • William F. Allison – Government Relations Practice and Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Adam Baugh – Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Jason B. Morris – Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Michael B. Withey – Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law
The Mall Decade

Nothing screams “the 1980s” like the Valley’s bygone shopping mall heyday. We go nostalgia-shopping at Chris-Town, Metro Center and other titans of ’80s retail.

It was the fashionable way to spend a Saturday afternoon for Valley kids back in the 1980s – eating bottomless bowls of whipped-cream-topped, chocolate syrup-drizzled sundaes at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour. But for then-12-year-old actor Frazier Bain, who was about to be immortalized as the bratty younger brother in the cult classic i, it was sheer torture.

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Redevelopment plans for vacant Scottsdale plaza include new hotel, residences

A hotel, grocery store and residential development are all in the mix to replace the vacant Papago Plaza on McDowell and Scottsdale roads.

Preliminary plans include a 116-room hotel and 247-unit apartment complex. Restaurant and retail pads will front Scottsdale Road. The existing Wells Fargo bank on the corner of Scottsdale and McDowell is not part of the development.

“This area has seen so much interest, with the redevelopment directly to the south and the development along the McDowell Road corridor,” said Jason Morris, a zoning attorney working on the project who is a partner with Phoenix law firm Withey Morris PLC. “There are so many moving parts to create a true mixed-use development and making sure the retail works with the residential and the hotel.”

(This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.) Read more…

Five Infill & Adaptive Reuse Tips

The number of projects that involve renovating buildings and turning them into new spaces has climbed steadily since the recession due to newer adaptive-reuse programs. Identifying potential legal issues early can prevent major pain later. Here are five tips to guard against common legal issues when redeveloping and restoring infill properties. Read more

Project Spotlight: Freedom Financial Phase I

Freedom Financial Phase I is part of a 40-acre, 300,000 sf development project at the intersection of Loop 202 and Loop 101 in Tempe, AZ. Phase I is a new, build-to-suit, 4-story building that features steel construction, glass curtain wall and a unique 298,178 sf parking garage. The interior features an open office space including meeting and training areas, with an executive boardroom and offices on the top floor. The tenant improvement also features amenities such as galleries and eating nooks on each floor; providing a modern, comfortable environment for its staff. Read more

The Fabulous Baker Boys: A Super Team Under One Roof

Although father-and-son team Dave and Alex Baker recently moved into our offices, our relationship with the duo goes back several years.

When Withey Morris founding partner Jason Morris first finished law school, Dave and Jason worked together at a law firm. Jason specialized in land-use issues and Dave became a real estate specialist certified by the State Bar of Arizona in 1992 to do transactional real estate litigation. After Jason co-founded Withey Morris in 1996, the two kept in touch. Jason sent cases to Dave for transactional issues. Dave sent cases with land issues to Jason. Over the years, they discussed having a more formal relationship so they could both better serve clients. Read more