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50 commercial real estate companies to watch in 2022

This article originally appeared in AZ Big Media.

Arizona is scorching hot, and we’re not talking about the weather. Following 2020’s uncertainty, the commercial real estate (CRE) industry showed no signs of slowing down in 2021, with many commercial real estate companies reporting unprecedented amounts of business, from the number of construction projects underway to the record-breaking size of individual deals to the dollar amounts trading hands.

At the forefront of these transactions are the 50 commercial real estate companies to watch in 2022, which are highlighted below. As some of the top CRE companies in Arizona, they’ve seen tremendous growth in 2021 and will be the ones driving the industry forward in 2022.

Withey Morris

Withey Morris is Arizona’s leading land-use exclusive law firm. In addition to launching its podcast, “Dirt to Development,” a behind-the-scenes look at all the dirt on land use, politics and development in Arizona, the firm is proud of two recent keystone projects. The 3.4 million-square-foot Parkway 303 West, set on 262 acres in Glendale, features six buildings for offices, retail shopping and more. The Central Park is a 15-acre mixed-use high-rise development in Central Phoenix with approximately 760,000 square feet of office space, 170,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial/retail space, and 600 residential units.

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354 new apartment units could come to Gilbert

Two gated multifamily infill projects totaling 354 units may be headed to Gilbert.

The Planning Commission last Wednesday discussed the proposed 93-unit Fred’s Place during study session and voted unanimously in the regular meeting to recommend Council approval of the 261-unit Higley Apartments.

“We’re seeing a lot of multifamily coming into town,” Commissioner David Blaser said. “I’m just curious if staff has any input, recommendation as it relates to how much land in Gilbert is dedicated to multifamily and how much more can it bear?”

He asked what was the ideal percentage and how Gilbert compared with neighboring Valley municipalities.

Planning Manager Eva Cutro said 3% of Gilbert’s total land use was zoned multifamily.

Cutro said that of all types of residential development in Gilbert, 11% is multifamily. That compares favorably with Mesa and Scottsdale, where apartments comprised 48% of all residential dwellings; Chandler, where multifamily represents 30% of all housing units and Phoenix, with 40%.

Fred’s Place

 The applicant for Fred’s Place is requesting a minor general plan amendment and rezone on 14.47 acres at the northeast corner of Recker and Williams Field roads in the Cooley Station master-planned community.

Currently the land is zoned for Village Center but under the proposal, 4.95 acres would be used for a shopping center and 9.52 acres for multifamily. The site is surrounded by commercial and residential developments.

Read more….

Zoning Attorneys Regale Audience With Project Tales

This article originally appeared in the Gilbert Sun News.

Seven years after it was chased out of Gilbert neighborhoods – twice — Springstone finally opened Gilbert’s first mental-health hospital in 2020.

Under the guidance of land-use and zoning attorney Adam Baugh, the 72-bed Copper Springs East went from being the brunt of public outcry to becoming a welcomed addition to the community.

Baugh formed a coalition, getting police and fire officials lined up behind the project and medical professionals who spoke of the need for such a facility in town, as teenage suicides were ramping up. The Planning Commission in December 2017 unanimously approved the conditional use permit for the facility.

“The way my community is formed, the way it grows, is not by accident,” said Baugh, who has lived in Gilbert since 2003. “It’s interesting and it’s deliberate and for the greater good.

We as a town benefited with having that hospital here dealing with anxiety and mental health issues.”

For Baugh, every shopping center, master-planned community and mixed-use development has a tale to tell and he and Withey Morris law partner Jason Morris are sharing them on a podcast called “Dirt to Development.” Baugh came up with the concept after years of regaling others with behind-the-scenes anecdotes of projects in the state.

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National developer proposes $150M mixed-use project for Goodyear

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Branson, Missouri-based HCW Development is proposing a $150 million mixed-use project with multifamily, a hotel, restaurants and retail development for Goodyear.

The proposed project will be located on the northeast corner of Yuma Road and Estrella Parkway on about 27 acres just north of the Goodyear Ballpark, which houses spring training facilities for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians.

The site is part of 180 acres the city recently approved for a general plan amendment to allow for residential and commercial space at the intersection, which was once designated as the city center.

The development, dubbed Ballpark Village Northeast, will be comprised of a retail site with mostly restaurants and boutique retail on about 7.7 acres, a four-story franchise-branded, extended stay hotel on about two acres and two gated multifamily developments on about 17.6 acres.

The multifamily projects will total 550 units — one will include a four-story luxury project and the other will be a three-story walk-up facility, according to the developer. The residential units will front the streets, while the parking is located behind the buildings.

“You create more of a pedestrian-activated environment that I think was the intent of this area long ago,” said Adam Baugh, a land use attorney and partner at Withey Morris. “We see a chance to make the streetscape more active with pedestrian movements that can walk toward the retail amenities next door.”

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Withey Morris PLC Hires Land Use and Zoning Attorney Alex Hayes

PHOENIX, AZ – Withey Morris, a prominent Arizona land use law firm for over 20 years, hired Alex Hayes as a land use and zoning attorney. 

Alex is a skilled and highly effective communicator with broad experience developing and influencing public policy. With over a decade of political and government relations experience, he has a nuanced understanding of how to navigate complex regulatory environments and achieve results. 

“I’ve always been interested in the intersection of business and politics,” shared Hayes. “My dad was a very active figure in Arizona politics in his career, and it was always fascinating for me to see the far reaching influences and impacts of the behind the scenes work. This, along with my work for Senator John McCain, both in his Washington D.C. office and on the campaign trail, has been a major influence on my career thus far.”

“Alex shares our enthusiasm for growing relationships throughout the development process,” said Adam Baugh, partner and owner. “His valuable government affairs and lobbying experience at both the federal and state levels give him a leading edge and will certainly play a major role in overcoming intricate challenges we often face when navigating the human factor and the political aspect of the development world.”

Hayes is a 2012 graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law where he was a member of the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. He is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hiking, trail running, skiing, and fly fishing. He is currently a Board Member with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. 



International travel inspires neighborhood market near downtown Phoenix

While traveling around Central and South America, JT Taber II and Jacqueline Garay noticed many communities had neighborhood corner stores, which served as a local gathering space as well as a place to purchase necessities.

The two, now newlyweds, had purchased a home in the Garfield neighborhood near downtown Phoenix, and Taber had been eyeing a shop space at 10th and Pierce streets, across the street from the Gallo Blanco restaurant where he had previously worked.

“I loved this space, and I knew the landlord, and I had told him that if the space ever became available to let me know,” Taber said. When the space opened up, the two decided to fulfill their vision of a small neighborhood market, which would fill some needs they had identified in the area. The store, called Buena Vida Bodega, sells food, beer and wine, flowers, local art, gifts, plants and other items, most of which are sourced from local producers.

Garay said while living in the neighborhood, the two sometimes found themselves wishing there was a place nearby where they could buy certain items, without having to drive into the more commercial areas on the north side of Interstate 10.

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Withey Morris Launches One-of-a-kind Podcast Called “Dirt to Development”

This article originally appeared in Greater Phoenix In Business Magazine.

Firm dishes dirt on land use, development and inside arizona politics

What do you get when you combine people plus politics plus development plus drama in Arizona? You get a unique, informative and entertaining podcast called “Dirt to Development.” The podcast, co-hosted by Withey Morris partners Adam Baugh and Jason Morris, provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of the biggest developments in Arizona – along with the people, politics, developers and neighbors that make it all happen. Listeners will hear insane stories and insights from industry experts, local developers and intriguing community personalities. After years of sharing these hilarious and irreverent stories over dinners and drinks, it’s time for Arizona to hear its own story told by those who build it.

“When you think of how development occurs, there are a lot of ingredients that go into developing a building site and different components and people have to come together to pull it off,” said Baugh. “Every shopping center, every community development has a story behind it. Many people don’t realize what goes into taking a cornfield to a master-planned community or taking an old infill property to an adaptive reuse in Arizona. These are the stories we want to tell.”

Through storytelling, the podcast will deliver Information, education and amusing anecdotes covering a variety of topics including:  how to work with neighbors, how to balance the role of politics in a case, strategies for land use cases, and tips and insights on how to achieve successful entitlements.

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Developer Plans Luxury Multi-Family Apartment Community at Harkins Theatres Location

This article originally appeared in North 32nd News.

On October 6, the Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to approve The Wolff Company’s rezoning and proposed development for a 278-unit luxury apartment community at the northwest corner of 34th Way and Bell Road. The site is currently occupied by the Harkins North Valley 16 movie theater. Earlier this year, the local movie theater company announced it would be closing permanently after 20 years due to cost-prohibitive upgrades.

The Wolff Company, a Valley-based, third-generation family-owned residential developer, submitted its application for the proposed luxury multi-family residential development earlier this summer. The 278-unit residential community will consist mostly of three-story residential buildings, surrounding a centralized clubhouse, pool and amenity area. Known for its amenity-rich communities and high-quality finishes, The Wolff Company incorporated a number of features into the proposed design, including a pool area, barbeques, fitness center, coworking-style workstations, exhibition kitchen, game room, sport court and dog park. The residences will feature quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, wood-style plank flooring, and in-unit washers and dryers in a mix of studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom configurations. 

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Arizona has an affordable housing problem. Could modular homes be part of the solution?

Having enough housing, and specifically affordable housing, continues to be a concern for many across the state. But Chris Waters and Adam Baugh say a different type of home construction may be part of the answer.

A few Phoenix-area cities are looking into modular homes — built in a factory and then stacked like LEGO bricks on site.

Waters is director of business development for Chandler-based Z Modular, which is working with Glendale and Avondale, among other cities. He says his firm can build roughly 100 apartment units in about two months in the factory. It then takes about six months to put them up and finish when they get to the final site.

Listen here

People & Projects To Know

Congratulations to our own Adam Baugh for his recognition in the 2022 edition of AZ Big Media’s People And Projects To Know in commercial real estate! Find it on page 12 of the annual publication here:



This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

How a once tiny West Valley city has turned into an industrial development magnet

Years before Buckeye was designated a city, people were flocking by the thousands to the West Valley suburb, which was once a small town largely made up of family-owned agricultural and dairy farms.

“It was ‘Drive until you can afford,’” recalled Deanna Kupcik, the president of the Buckeye Valley Chamber, whose family came to Buckeye in the 1950s.

Single-family homes continued going up and residents moved in because of the relatively low price to buy land and inexpensive housing, she said.

In the 2000s, when the population jumped from just 6,500 to 50,000, some people were buying upwards of five homes, Kupcik said. City officials contend that a variety of “high value” housing options is what drove people to Buckeye.

Eventually, Buckeye was hit hard like the rest of Arizona by the Great Recession, so construction stalled. But as the economy started to recover, so did the West Valley municipality, which recent Census data shows was the fastest-growing city in the nation from 2010 to 2020.

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Withey Morris Selected Among 2022 Best Law Firms

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Withey Morris PLC, a prominent Arizona land use and real estate law firm, in its 2022 edition of Best Law Firms. Firms receive recognition for “professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers,” according to U.S. News-Best Lawyers.

“This high caliber of recognition is significant to our firm,” said Jason Morris, partner. “A key differentiator for us is our deeply-rooted relationships – those we have with our clients – and the political and business communities throughout Arizona. We also have a tremendously talented team and the great work they do plays a significant role in this distinguished honor.” 

For 11 years, Withey Morris has earned top tier recognition in the following practice areas:

  • National – Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Metropolitan Phoenix – Land Use & Zoning Law, Government Relations and Real Estate Law

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A New Real Estate Trend?

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Developer proposes turning Phoenix movie theater into apartments

A plan to redevelop a Harkins Theatres location in north Phoenix could spark yet another new trend — repurposing outdated retail real estate to meet changing market demand.

Developer Wolff Co. hopes to raze the North Valley 16 movie theater and redevelop the site into apartments. Jason Morris, partner at Withey Morris and zoning attorney for the redevelopment project, said the site is no longer desirable as an entertainment use, but was very attractive to different apartment developers.

“There are a lot of retail centers out there that just aren’t going to work and probably shouldn’t work anymore,” Morris said. “The ones that are surviving are doing a different type of retail, like restaurants. In Arizona, which has a higher rate of retail per capita than the rest of the country, it is likely all of this retail isn’t going to stand the test of time and these sites will transition to other uses.”

According to CBRE Group Inc., experts forecast the U.S. will see a 20% reduction in retail real estate inventory by 2025. The U.S. averages 56 square feet per capita.

Morris’ client, the Wolff Co., plans to redevelop the site, located at 34th Way and Bell Road, into a 278-unit luxury apartment complex, which Morris said is in high demand in the highly residential area.

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The Industrial Edge

This article originally appeared in AZRE magazine.

Available land and increased infrastructure are propelling industrial development in the Valley’s southeastern and western peripheries.

The past few years have seen unprecedented growth across Greater Phoenix. A favorable business environment, mild winters and an overall high quality of life have attracted corporations from across the nation and globe to the Grand Canyon State. As a result, farmland and empty plots throughout the Valley have rapidly become the sites of large manufacturing and distribution facilities.

“Industrial has been the darling of the recession and the COVID response. It’s the one use that excelled above the rest and had the most energy money and interest behind it,” says Adam Baugh, partner at Withey Morris.

Both the East and West Valley have received the lion’s share of industrial investment. According to Baugh, there’s been nearly 20 million square feet of ground broken so far in 2021. The trifecta of high demand, investor interest and available land have led to atypical behaviors in the market.

“You typically wouldn’t build until you got a user, but demand is so hot that people are willing to build on speculation. Traditionally, developers wouldn’t spend that amount of money because of the risk,” Baugh notes.

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Manage Digital Opposition to Real Estate Development

This article originally appeared in In Business magazine.

by Adam Baugh

In my line of work with real estate and land-use entitlements, it’s not uncommon to engage with upset neighbors opposed to development. Whether it’s called NIMBY-ism (Not In My Backyard) or CAVErs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything), changing the status quo can certainly elicit strong emotions and intense anti-development sentiment. 

In days past, those opposing a zoning case might circulate a petition, wear matching shirts or buttons or bring signs to protest at city hall. Today’s opposition is much different and includes social media postings, digital meetups, activist websites, online trolling and harassment, e-petitions, video production and more. In a recent instance, I saw one individual create personal websites attacking local city councilmembers to shame them for a vote they had yet to take, for a case that had yet to even be filed. Essentially, it was a proverbial shot across the bow, warning that if they took such action, they would risk public ridicule, shame and scorn.

Nobody is immune to what an online vigilante might post about them or their project. There is simply no accountability for them and if their aim is to stir up opposition, it’s frankly very easy to do. Thus, in a digital world, how might one manage and respond to digital opposition to new development? Here are some tips that have worked well in other situations.

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All Withey Morris Attorneys Honored by Best Lawyers

This originally appeared in Attorney at Law.

Best Lawyers in America 2022 once again recognized every land use and zoning attorney from Withey Morris PLC, a prominent Arizona land use and real estate law firm for more than 20 years.

The 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in America includes the following Withey Morris attorneys and practices:

William Allison – Government Relations Practice and Land Use and Zoning Law
Adam Baugh – Land Use and Zoning Law
Jason Morris – Land Use and Zoning Law
Benjamin Tate – Land Use and Zoning Law – “Ones To Watch” award
Michael Withey – Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law


20 Names to Know in Residential Real Estate

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

It’s no secret the residential real estate market is hot in Phoenix.

With an influx of new businesses and executives moving to the region to get a piece of the action, the Phoenix Business Journal has created a list of 20 names to know in residential real estate.

Those new to the Valley of the Sun looking for a quick tutorial on some of the top movers and shakers in this industry can get a start here. While the list is not comprehensive, it does provide a look at some of the most active and long-standing real estate professionals in the Valley.

The list spans from the most active homebuilders to the top real estate agents.

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Residential Real Estate Dallas developer’s controversial midtown Phoenix apartments get zoning approval

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

With Phoenix City Council giving zoning approval on a contentious $50 million apartment project in midtown Phoenix, Dallas-based Trinsic Residential Group is set to begin construction on the 210-unit project.

The 4-story apartments will be built on three acres at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and Coolidge Street, along Phoenix’s Grand Canalscape.

Homeowners in the surrounding area spoke loudly against the project, complaining about density, height, traffic and parking, said Jason Morris, partner of Withey Morris PLC and zoning attorney on the project.

“Sometimes rezoning three acres in the middle of the city can be exponentially more challenging than entitling 3,000 acres on the outskirts,” Morris said.

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Attorney: Site work on Taiwan Semiconductor supplier parcel coming soon

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Even before Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. bought its land in north Phoenix for its massive chipmaking plant, the city of Phoenix and the Arizona State Land Department had identified and begun rezoning sites for suppliers that will work in tandem with the tech giant.

The first of the supplier sites, two noncontiguous parcels totaling roughly 224 acres located near Seventh Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road, was bought by Mack Real Estate Group at a state land auction in March. But, before the auction, Jason Morris, founding partner of Withey Morris and the zoning attorney for Mack, said there was a lot of work behind the scenes that had to be done to make sure the developer could hit the ground running.

“It is impressive what the city of Phoenix has done,” Morris said. “They are putting a lot of resources into TSMC, so it only made sense if they are able to reap the rewards, not only from TSMC but also the suppliers.”

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Cookie Cutter’ Or ‘Right Type’? Phoenix Council Approves Grand Canal Project

For months, residents of a historic Phoenix neighborhood have been fighting an out-of-state developer over an apartment project. On Wednesday, the City Council voted on the proposal along the Grand Canal in the central city.

Phoenix calls it the Grand Canalscape, a 12-mile system for people to safely walk, run and bike. It’s a source of pride for city leaders and neighbors like Ken Waters who called the proposed 218-unit apartment complex the anti-prototype for the area.

“You’re setting the model, a cookie cutter precedent for the rest of Canalscape,” he said. “In its present form, it’s a traffic bomb. Twelve hundred cars per day on the inside of the neighborhood, no arterial streets, they’re all trapped.”

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Withey Morris PLC And Three Attorneys Recognized Among The Best By Chambers USA 2021

This article originally appeared in Commercial Executive Magazine.

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business once again recognized prominent Arizona land use and real estate law firm Withey Morris PLC, among the best firms in Arizona, earning the highest ranking – Band 1 – in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use practices. William F. Allison, Jason Morris and Michael B. Withey were also among the top lawyers in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use practices.

Chambers USA, considered the most trusted worldwide law resource guide, ranks the top lawyers and law firms across all the United States of America. Rankings are the result of thousands of in-depth interviews by the largest research team of its kind that is trusted across the globe to objectively rank the world’s best lawyers and law firms.

“We are very proud to continue to earn this elite recognition,” said Jason Morris, Withey Morris founding partner and owner. “These results exemplify our team’s steadfast commitment to serving as the best-in-class counsel to our clients, our strong municipal relationships and our devotion to economic development across Arizona.”

Withey Morris PLC And Three Attorneys Recognized By Chambers USA 2021

This article originally appeared in Attorney at Law.

PHOENIX, AZ—Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business once again recognized prominent Arizona land use and real estate law firm Withey Morris PLC, among the best firms in Arizona, earning the highest ranking – Band 1 – in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use practices. William F. Allison, Jason Morris and Michael B. Withey were also among the top lawyers in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use practices.

Chambers USA, considered the most trusted worldwide law resource guide, ranks the top lawyers and law firms across all the United States of America. Rankings are the result of thousands of in-depth interviews by the largest research team of its kind that is trusted across the globe to objectively rank the world’s best lawyers and law firms.

Name To Know: Adam Baugh

This feature originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

When Adam Baugh, zoning attorney with Withey Morris PLC, took on a zoning case in Queen Creek for a build-to-rent community, he knew he had his work cut out for him.

Queen Creek homeowners had vehemently rejected an apartment community for that same 26-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Riggs and Ellsworth roads several years ago .

A land use market study commissioned by Queen Creek showed that the town needs to diversify its housing stock so that not all homes sit on an acre, Baugh said. Read more...

Best friends make Gilbert roads safer for cyclists

Withey Morris partner and Gilbert Chamber of Commerce board member Adam Baugh is working to make the town’s roads safer for cycling. After Adam’s friend, Evan Stubbart, was hit by a car riding his bike on Greenfield Road in Gilbert, the two decided to raise more awareness about cycling and the law which requires vehicles to give three feet of spacing to cyclists. They raised $35,000 to donate to a local non-profit (The Gilbert Parks and Recreation Foundation), and through that group, they partnered with the town of Gilbert on a bicycle safety campaign.

Watch the interview on Arizona PBS here.

New York developer invests $100M for more build-to-rent East Valley homes
This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.
A New York-based real estate private equity fund manager and developer is investing $100 million in the Valley’s rapidly growing build-to-rent market, in which detached single-family homes are constructed in a rental community with rich amenities.

GTIS Partners LP is developing a build-to-rent community in Queen Creek, paying $7.9 million for a 26-acre parcel on April 20. Phoenix-based Sonoma Communities is co-developing that project at the northeast corner of Riggs and Ellsworth roads. Read more

2 men make Gilbert safer for bicyclists

Withey Morris partner and Gilbert Chamber of Commerce board member Adam Baugh is working to make the town’s roads safer for cycling. After Adam’s friend, Evan Stubbart, was hit by a car riding his bike on Greenfield Road in Gilbert, the two decided to raise more awareness about cycling and the law which requires vehicles to give three feet of spacing to cyclists. They raised $35,000 to donate to a local non-profit (The Gilbert Parks and Recreation Foundation), and through that group, they partnered with the town of Gilbert on a bicycle safety campaign.

The emphasis on the campaign has been awareness and education. It started with placing the attached pictured signs in the area near Evan’s bike accident and other roads in town with the most bike accidents (Gilbert Road and Guadalupe). They used the town’s accident data and Strava heat maps to determine those locations (see attached map image). Their next step is to create a digital PSA campaign, more signage, and some green painted bike lanes. Read more

Withey Morris Named Arizona’s Largest Lobbying Firm

Thank you to the Phoenix Business Journal for putting us at the top of your Lobbying / Government Relations list! Though we are fortunate to have a considerable number of clients, we continue to pride ourselves on the service and attention we give each one. Read more

Big swath of land near Loop 202 at South Mountain planned for industrial, tech uses

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

A 240-acre site on the west side of the Loop 202 South Mountain freeway extension is being primed for a large-scale industrial development, which the development team said will further the city of Phoenix’s goals to have a technology corridor along the region’s newest freeway.

“The introduction of the 202 has really changed the area,” said Adam Baugh, partner at Withey Morris and zoning attorney for the project, called the Dobbins Industrial and Tech Park. “This is bringing employment and nonresidential development to that area.”

Baugh’s client, Indiana-based Scannell Properties LLC, is seeking to have a mix of uses on the property, which is located west of Loop 202 and is bisected by Dobbins Road. Uses planned for the area include light industrial, office, technology, manufacturing, and other employment uses, according to city of Phoenix documents.

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How Gilbert went from ‘nothing but jackrabbits and rattlesnakes’ to a boomtown

This article originally published in the Phoenix Business Journal.

In recent years, the town has become the place where international companies want to locate, and business and government leaders say the momentum will continue.

Over the course of three decades, the East Valley town of Gilbert went from what people then described as “nothing but jackrabbits and rattlesnakes,” to the place where international companies chose to locate and hire thousands of people.

The growth has been due in part to extensive preplanning and high standards held for the town, a panel of experts discussed at an event hosted in January by the Phoenix Business Journal.

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Archer Hotel eyes Hawkeye property

A resort developer is testing the waters to see if Sedona could someday soon be added to its list of other destinations across the nation.

Representatives from LodgeWorks Partners were on hand virtually to give a presentation and answer questions during the Tuesday, Jan. 19, Sedona Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Their presentation on the former Hawkeye Red Rock RV Park was part of the commission’s first look at the proposed Uptown Community Focus Area.

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Jason Morris and Mike Withey Named Two of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2021

Congratulations to Jason Morris and Mike Withey for their recognition as two of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2021 by Az Business magazine!  The prestigious group is chosen by Az Business magazine’s editorial team in collaboration with industry experts. The attorneys were selected from a pool of more than 2,000 of the state’s most talented and successful attorneys. Selections are based on each lawyer’s professional success and ratings, impact on his or her law firm, impact on the communities she/he serves and impact on the legal profession.

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Can’t Leave Home Without It

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of AZRE magazine.

CRE professionals share their must-have outdoor items.

In October, Baugh, his daughter, and some friends from the commercial real estate world did a rim-to-rim hike at the Grand Canyon, doing a hike under a full moon during the overnight portion of the excursion. Baugh said his family does it all – camping, white water rafting, riding 4×4’s and enjoys the time outdoors with regular hikes in the San Tan or Superstition Mountains or the Tonto Basin. Read more

My View: How Amazon’s final-mile delivery is changing big-box retail

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

In this Phoenix Business Journal guest column, Adam Baugh looks at the impact of Amazon’s continued expansion and its potential impact on the many empty big-box retail stores that sit empty across the region, if they were to be converted into warehouse facilities for the global e-commerce giant. Read more

Jason Morris Recognized as 2021 AzBusiness Leader

Congratulations to Jason Morris for his recognition in the 2021 edition AzBusiness Leaders magazine. Read more

Special report: Already an industrial powerhouse, Goodyear longs for office development

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

A heavy slant towards industrial employment may have insulated the city of Goodyear from some of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but West Valley advocates still hope to attract more office buildings that will allow residents to work closer to home.

Goodyear isn’t equipped to accommodate companies looking for office space right now because there is a dearth of high-quality office development in the city, Lori Gary, economic development director for the city, said.

“Looking to the future, I believe that we are going to see a lot more office come in,” said Gary, one of four panelists in a virtual real estate event hosted Oct. 27 by the Phoenix Business Journal. “We have a lot of professional workers already in Goodyear, as well as in the West Valley. We’d love for them to be able to work closer to home if they choose to do that.”

Read more….

Council approves plan for Arrowhead RV

At its Oct. 20 meeting, Peoria City Council listened to a presentation on land use and zoning by attorney Jason Morris of Withey Morris PLC, then approved a requested rezoning for his client, Arrowhead RV.

The council action followed the Peoria Planning Commission approving the rezoning of a the site at 11150 W. Beardsley Road from Suburban Ranch to the Arrowhead RV and Boat Storage Planned Area Development

Arrowhead RV & Boat Storage is on 20 acres at Beardsley Road and 112th Avenue.

In June, city council approved a general plan amendment for the former site of Linden Tree Nursery, redesignating the area employment business commerce from traditional residential, paving the way for the Arrowhead facility. Read more

Withey Morris Selected Among Best Law Firms for 2021

PHOENIX, AZ—U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Withey Morris PLC, a prominent Arizona land use and real estate law firm, in its 2021 edition of Best Law Firms. Firms receive recognition for “professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers,” according to U.S. News-Best Lawyers.

For the past decade, Withey Morris earned top tier recognition in the following practice areas:
● National – Land Use & Zoning Law
● Metropolitan Phoenix – Land Use & Zoning Law, Government Relations Practice, Real Estate Law

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Palmeraie Phase II begins Scottsdale municipal process as Paradise Valley observes

This article originally appeared in the Paradise Valley Independent.

Five Star Development has provided a sneak peek into the Palmeraie Phase II proposal — a luxury mixed-use project sitting just east of Paradise Valley town limits — that will serve as a connection between the Ritz-Carlton resort and the city of Scottsdale.

The Palmeraie Phase II includes hospitality, retail, fitness, office and various commercial spaces and open space amenities, officials say.

Palmeraie Phase II, 6990 N. Scottsdale Road, is at the southwest corner of Scotts-dale Road and Indian Bend Road totaling about 20 acres, according to the project’s application.

Within the entire Five Star Development campus, Palmeraie Phase II is in the northeast corner of the site. Immediately west of the Palmeraie is the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley and associated developments.

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Metal supplier to grow Phoenix footprint, add employees

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

An industrial metal supplier that caters to a variety of customers, from artists to hospitals, is growing its Phoenix footprint and plans more hiring to accommodate its growth.

Los Angeles-based Industrial Metal Supply recently completed a rezoning to construct a new Phoenix location that will total 133,000 square feet near 38th Street and Southern Avenue. The new location is about two miles from the company’s existing Valley facility.

Industrial Metal Supply currently employs about 80 people in Phoenix but plans to eventually add about 25 more in the expansion, Neil Sherman, owner and CEO of Industrial Metal Supply, said. The company has outgrown its existing space near the border of Tempe and Phoenix and was looking to grow capacity and employment.

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Growth Mindset

According to historians, the oldest cartographic relic is the Babylonian World Map, a 600 B.C. clay design depicting landforms and water features of the ancient world. Over 2,600 years later, Google Maps provides precise geographical context, location and detail using satellite imagery. Examine the Withey Morris Project Map using Google’s technology, and the full scale, scope and breadth of the firm’s projects immediately become apparent. “It is astonishing because unless I look at the map and see the magnitude of it, it is hard to fathom how many cases we have been involved in,” says Jason Morris, attorney and founding partner, Withey Morris. “I also feel a tremendous sense of pride.”

Thousands of colorful pins, each representing a distinct land-use project, blanket the Valley landscape and reveal why the firm is recognized as Arizona’s premier entitlement, zoning and real estate law practice. “It is a function of having the perfect combination of an amazing team coupled with outstanding clients. Our clients have been loyal to us for two decades,” says Morris. “I have zoned hospitals, rehabilitation centers and care homes. We have worked on stadiums and arenas and a variety of nonprofits. But I do not think it is any one case, so much as the totality of being able to drive down the street and appreciate Withey Morris’ huge impact on the landscape of the city.” Read more... 

Unlocking The Loop

This article originally appeared in the September/October issue of AZRE magazine.


The Loop 303 may soon be renamed Merit Partners Parkway if the developer keeps doing what it has been doing along the West Valley freeway. Merit Partners is one of the developers developing the PV 303, a 1600 acre business park that spans both sides of the 303 from Thomas Road north to Camelback Road in Goodyear. That development, at full buildout, could include more than 20 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space. Read more

Why Valley’s tribal land is a big draw for commercial development

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

As opportunities for large-scale developments within the city of Scottsdale have become harder to come by, developers and builders have turned their focus east, to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which has quickly become a destination for a slew of commercial projects. 

In the past five years, nearly 1.7 million square feet of commercial space has come online on the reservation, according Newmark Knight Frank research. That slice of the Valley is home to Salt River Fields, the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as the Great Wolf Lodge, Medieval Times restaurant and Arizona’s only White Castle burger restaurant.

Development in the corridor has nearly doubled in the past five years, and the area now encompasses about 3.5 million square feet of developed space. The reservation is directly east of Scottsdale, and is bounded by Pima Road on its western edge. Read more

Scottsdale City Council approves Stockdale Capital’s boutique apartment project

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Stockdale Capital Partners LLC, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm with a rapidly growing presence in metro Phoenix, has received zoning approval for a boutique apartment complex in downtown Scottsdale.

Plans call for building a $25 million, 3-story structure that would include 54 units atop a podium which covers at-grade parking on a 1.2-acre parcel on Indian School Road and Fifth Avenue, said Jason Morris, partner with Withey Morris who handled the zoning case that garnered 4-3 approval on Aug. 24. The ground floor would include 900 square feet for a small retail operator, such as a coffee or juice kiosk.

To be called Canalside, the property sits on an odd-shaped site that backs up against the canal and a Salt River Project substation, Morris said. Read more

Canalside: New residential building slips into Fifth Avenue vacant lot

A new 54-unit multifamily residential proposal received a split 4-3 vote by the City Council to provide a small pocket of housing in Old Town Scottsdale.

The tight Council vote was rendered on Aug. 24, after the project receiving unanimous recommendations from the Development Review Board and Planning Commission this summer.

Called Canalside, owners Stockdale Capital Partners, represented by Jason Morris of Withey Morris PLC, sought a zoning district map amendment for a mixed-use development consisting of 54 units of multifamily residential, and approximately 900-square-feet of non-residential open space. Read more

Lessons Learned from a Land Use Lifesaver

By Adam Baugh 

At the beginning of COVID, when the world suddenly halted in March, my children and I decided to build a bike shed. 

It was a great time bonding with my daughters, but the end product looked nothing like the fancy shed we intended. Corners weren’t square, hinges didn’t close evenly, and several wood boards were warped. I enjoyed the family time, but at the end of the day, I really wished I had hired a professional to construct it, or at least help us build it with quality plans.  

This experience reminds me of the many times I’ve been asked to rescue a zoning case from a frustrated owner/developer after they’ve tried using a “rent-a-planner” to do the work and quality of a seasoned land use attorney. While I certainly understand budget and cost efficiencies when entitling a project, like my shed experience, in most cases the client will end up spending more on the task and often obtaining inferior results. Read more... 

Apartment project proposed for downtown site

A new apartment project is planned for a vacant plot of land in downtown Scottsdale.

The project, named Canalside for its proximity to the Arizona Canal, is scheduled to go before to the City Council for approval on August 24.

According to plans filed with the city, Canalside will include 54 apartment units in a 50-foot building and around 900 square feet of retail space on the 1.17-acre site, which is wedged between Indian School and the Canal just east of 68th Street. Read more

Expansion at Picacho Peak RV Resort aims to bring in more winter visitors, long-term residents

PICACHO — Nestled in the shadow of Picacho Peak, an area recreational vehicle and manufactured home park is poised to nearly double in size with the addition of new upscale residences, larger sites and more amenities. Read more….

Every Withey Morris Land Use and Zoning Attorney Honored by Best Lawyers in America®2021

From “Ones To Watch” to “Lawyer of The Year,” Arizona’s Top Land Use Law and Real Estate Law Firm Bestowed With Top Honors

PHOENIX, AZ – Best Lawyers in America® 2021 recognized every land use and zoning attorney from Withey Morris PLC, a prominent Arizona land use and real estate law firm for more than 20 years. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected lawyer ranking service in the world. William Allison, Adam Baugh, Jason Morris, Benjamin Tate and Michael Withey were among the best lawyers in land use and zoning, with Michael Withey receiving the honorable “Lawyer of the Year” recognition for this practice.

The awards recognize attorneys with the highest level of confidential peer feedback in specific practice areas and geographic region. Read more

Merit Partners buys land for $1.5 billion Glendale industrial park

A Phoenix-based developer instrumental in the Red Bull and White Claw facilities being built in the West Valley has closed on a 614-acre parcel of land in Glendale that will be the site of a $1.5 billion logistics park development. 

The parcel at the southwest corner of Bethany Home Road and Loop 303 is part of the 864-acre Allen Ranches property and sold for $70.5 million. The industrial portion of the development will be called Camelback 303. Read more

Construction work underway at Papago Plaza redevelopment in Scottsdale

This article originally appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal.

Construction work has begun at Papago Plaza, a redevelopment project near McDowell and Scottsdale roads in south Scottsdale.

Final grading is being done onsite for installation of electrical and water lines. Pivot Development, which is developing the hotel, restaurant and retail space at Papago Plaza, began razing the former shopping center in late 2019. Read more…