The construction industry in the Southwest had a busy month in November. Los Alamos Nature Center received top honors, the NvMA recently named new officers, and malls in Phoenix are ripe for mixed-use redevelopment. In other news, one of the country's largest airports continues to be a safe bet for investors and a new veterans facility opened in Mesa.
Los Alamos Nature Center Receives Top Honors
The 6,000-sq-ft Los Alamos County Nature Center, built at a cost of $3.5 million, received the Project of the Year and Best Small Project from ENR Southwest in early November. The New Mexico-based project beat out more than 80 other projects that competed in 18 different categories. The Albuquerque Journal compiled a nice story on Los Alamos Nature Center and the other New Mexico winners in the Best Projects competition. “This award is really judged across the board,” said Doug Heller of Mullen Heller Architecture to the Albuquerque Journal. “The owner’s commitment to the project, the contractor’s contribution, the subcontractors, engineers, as well as the design. They take safety and quality of construction into account.”
Nevada Mining Association Announces New Officers
The Nevada Mining Association (NvMA) recently announced the election of its 2015-2016 officers. Kinross Gold’s Kris Sims will replace Newmont’s Tom Kerr as NvMA chairman. Kerr will serve as past chairman. Barrick’s Michael Brown and Nevada Copper’s Tim Dyhr will join Sims and Kerr as chairman-elect and vice-chairman, respectively. “Our new officers join a tremendously talented board. Each new and returning member embodies the energetic spirit of the Nevada mining community and bring decades of talent and expertise to our leadership team,” NvMA President Dana Bennett says.
Valley Partnership Talk Focuses on Mixed-Use Development
Valley Partnership’s breakfast panel discussion on Nov. 20 focused on the redevelopment of Arizona malls and power centers from retail-only properties into mixed-use spaces. Much of the talk focused on Metrocenter Mall. Carlyle Development Group purchased the mall for just $12.2 million in 2012 and is now in the process of redeveloping the parcel into a mixed-use property. The panel included Carlyle Development Group COO Warren Fink, Whitestone REIT Director of Leasing S.W. Region Chris Gerardo, RED Development Vice President of Development Chris Moloznick, and City of Phoenix Economic Development Director Christine Mackay. Macerich Vice President of Scott Nelson served as moderator for the event. The event drew a crowd of nearly 250 professionals from the commercial real estate industry.
Sky Harbor Airport Still Has Great Bond Ratings
According to Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P), Sky Harbor Airport once again received a AA- rating on its senior-lien revenue bonds. S&P also affirmed its A+ ratings on the airport’s junior-lien revenue bonds. S&P cited several factors that contributed to the strong ratings, including a large demand for air service in the marketplace, the airport’s low cost structure for airlines, an experienced and effective administrative team and the airport’s recent strong financial performance. “Sky Harbor’s excellent bond ratings reflects the consistently smart, shrewd and strong management at America’s Friendliest Airport,” says Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.
New 151-Unit Veterans Facility Opens in Yuma
A new $12.9-million assisted living center for Yuma-area veterans recently opened in honor of Veterans Day. The facility held a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house on Nov. 10. Phoenix IDA started the project in 2014 when it issued $12.9 million in bonds to Family Housing Resources-Yuma ALF to convert a former Clarion Suites hotel into the assisted living center. The finished product is a three-story, 83,000-sq-ft facility with 151 units that will serve 220 veterans and their spouses with daily living assistance needs. JWL Construction and Maya’s Construction handled the renovation.