Gilbert Edition - July 2020

GILBERT EDITION

REAL ESTATE

ONLINE AT

2020EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 11  JULY 29AUG. 25, 2020

Gilbert housingmarket stays strong despite coronavirus Low inventory creates competition, seller’s market

GILBERT REAL ESTATE STAYS HOT Realtors describe the Gilbert residential real estate market as a seller's market as demand

June 2018-May 2019 June 2019-May 2020

continues to exceed supply, making for increasing prices and shorter turnaround on selling homes.

BY TOM BLODGETT

greater eect was on how homes are sold with technology, such as utilizing virtual walkthroughs to make sellers more comfortable. The biggest issue facing the market is not COVID-19, but low home inven- tory—a condition that predates the pandemic, Realtors said. This in turn has caused increased demand, which increases competition for homes on the market and drives prices up, in some cases above asking price. Additionally, a dip in activity during the state’s shutdown is over now,

The Gilbert residential real estate market has heated up despite fears of what the coronavirus pandemic could do to housing prices. In fact, some Realtors and agents said they see few eects from the pan- demic, mostly in small segments. “It’s denitely a great time for peo- ple if they’re still looking at buying or selling,” said Realtor Adrianne Lynch from Conway Realty in Gilbert. “Gil- bert is still a great opportunity.” While the pandemic may have aected some market segments, the

AVERAGE DAYS ONMARKET

MEDIANHOME SALES PRICE

NUMBER OF HOMES SOLD

SOURCE: WESERVCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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School districtswrestle with reopening details

Mike Thomason said. “From the end of May till now, things have changed three or four times. I do want to tell you, the precautionary tale for our teachers, our students, our sta, we are doing the very best we can in an ever-changing world of COVID.” All three districts plan to start instruction remotely only until in-person instruction is allowed. Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order June 29 that pushed in-person school start dates back to Aug. 17, and that could be pushed even further back if the state’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to remain so high. Higley USD planned to start July 27 as originally scheduled, while Chandler USD and Gilbert Public

Instruction models

Gilbert’s districts are oering dierent options for learning this fall.

BY TOM BLODGETT

The three school districts that serve Gilbert announced plans for return to school in the fall, but all three admitted those plans are subject to change as the COVID-19 environment changes. “We have done the very best we can to put together an incredible program for opening school next year, but with that being said, from last week to this week, things have changed,” Higley USD Superintendent

Gilbert Public Schools

Higley USD

Chandler USD

SOURCES: GILBERT PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGLEY USD, CHANDLER USD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 14

2020 EDI T ION REAL ESTATE

REAL ESTATE EDITION

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS IMPACTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATION

MARKET TEAM EDITOR Tom Blodgett GRAPHIC DESIGNER Isabella Short ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Michelle Gavagan METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Amy Ellsworth, aellsworth@communityimpact.com MANAGING EDITOR Krista Wadsworth ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across six metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON

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Local road projects

FROMAMY: For those of you who are Realtors, have Realtor friends or family, or have bought or sold a house recently, you probably already know that the housing market remains hot here—much like the temperatures on our thermostats these days. Our Real Estate Edition content provides information about the current trends in real estate, even in the midst of the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the community.

Amy Ellsworth, PUBLISHER

TOWN& EDUCATION

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Gilbert and local school district news

FROMTOM: My two daughters are public school teachers, so our family keeps close tabs on plans to reopen schools for the fall in their districts and others, and they struggle to make plans that will be relevant when schools reopen. There is much uncertainty, as decisions regarding the COVID-19 situation and resulting guidance frequently change. But we know the issue is top of mind, not just for my family, but many throughout Gilbert, which is why we have made one of our front-page stories about those plans. Tom Blodgett, EDITOR

BUSINESS FEATURE Mitch’s Beads DINING FEATURE

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9

Union Grill & Tap

Real EstateEdition INSIDE INFORMATION

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Guide to renancing REAL ESTATE

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June residential market data

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CORRECTION: Volume 2, Issue 10 Doctor e-visits are available only for existing patients. A graphic on Page 13 indicated new patients also could utilize them. The corrected version appears in the e-edition at communityimpact.com. CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE All content in this print publication, both editorial and advertisements, was up-to-date as of the press deadline. Due to the fast-changing nature of this event, editorial and advertising information may have changed. Please visit communityimpact.com and advertiser websites for more information.

stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US 610 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 205, Gilbert, AZ 85234 • 4804824880 PRESS RELEASES gilnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

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GILBERT EDITION • JULY 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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Janela Bay

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PHOTOS BY TOM BLODGETTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

E. WILLIAMS FIELD RD.

E. CHANDLER BLVD.

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4 Howler’s Sports Bar opened July 15 at 1026 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. The family-friendly bar and restaurant includes pool, darts and live music on Thursday nights. It is the rst of three Howler’s opening in the Valley, with one opening in Scottsdale in the fall and Peoria in the winter. 480-687-2864. https://howlerssportsbar.com 5 Janela Bay opened a store May 18 at 2174 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 114, in the SanTan Village shopping center. The company creates and sells fashionable, modest swimwear for women and girls of all ages. The swimwear is designed by women for women with the aim of providing exceptional t and quality. The Gilbert store is the sixth location, four of which are in Utah and the other in Idaho. 623-926-9252. www.janelabay.com 6 Journey Five opened June 12 at 2540 S. Santan Village Parkway, Ste. K101, Gilbert, in the SanTan Pavilions. It oers modest, on-trend, aordable women’s dresses, tops, shoes and bags. This is the second location of the clothing store, with the original in Layton, Utah. 480-597-7578. www.journeyve.com 7 Men’s Ultimate Grooming—MUG opened June 1 at 5498 S. Power Road, Ste. 105, Gilbert. The business oers grooming services for men and boys, including haircuts, shaves, shampoo and scalp massages, blending, and coloring and waxes for eyebrows or ear and nose.

The Power Road location is one of six in the Valley, including three in Gilbert. 480-219-5119. https://mughaircuts.com/ location/gilbert-power-rd 8 Midnight Taco opened a second location May 7 at 1395 E. Warner Road, Ste. 100, Gilbert. The Heritage District taco stand oers late night service, but this brick-and-mortar location opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday and closes at 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday. It has carne asada, pollo asado or al pastor street tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos. 480-246-1621. www.midnighttaco.com 9 Modern Foot & Ankle Centers opened May 1 at 2680 S. Val Vista Drive, Ste. 177, Bldg. 14, Gilbert. Dr. David Lauri- no and Dr. Darick Freestone oer podiatry services from conservative treatment to surgical options. 480-909-3700. https://modfootankle.com COMING SOON 10 German discount grocery chain ALDI has broken ground and is building a Gilbert location at Market Street and Pecos Road, but the company has not announced an opening date. www.aldi.us 11 Big O Tires is opening a store at Higley and Williams Field roads. The tire sales and repair shop also does service on alignments, brakes, batteries, suspension and front ends, oil changes and other

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HUNT HWY.

NOWOPEN 1 Bravura Salon opened May 8 at 979 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 101. Stylist Brittany Miller’s specialties include color; men’s and women’s cuts; extensions; and specialty stylings for weddings, proms or other special occasions. 480-845-2170. https://bravurasalon.glossgenius.com 2 A Mesa Gateway location for Christian Brothers Automotive Care anticipates opening July 27 on the Gilbert border at 5627 S. Power Road, Mesa. This E. HUNT HWY.

is the fth location in the Southeast Val- ley. It puts an emphasis on honest diag- noses. It oers a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty on labor and new components installed. 480-470-5259. www.cbac.com 3 Cobra Tire & Auto Service opened June 1 at 711 S. Lindsay Road, Gilbert. The family-owned and operated professional shop sells tires and does comprehensive automotive repairs and alignments. It has a sister store in central Phoenix. 480-497-6272. www.cobratireandautoservice.com

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RELOCATIONS 14 Arizona Iron Furniture moved from its Val Vista Drive location to 2765 S. Market St., Gilbert. It sells outdoor furniture, patio accessories and shade products. 480-917-0658. www.arizonaironfurniture.com 15 GR8FR8 Logistics opened in a new facility July 6 at 2218 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 240, Gilbert. The company, an agency of Rockfarm Supply Chain Solu- tions, oers third-party logistics, freight forwarding, asset-based atbed trucking and a truck brokerage. 480-347-0428. www.gr8fr8logistics.com 16 The Sleep Number Store at SanTan Village will be moving to a nearby new location at 1829 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 102, Gilbert, in SanTan Pavilions in mid-August. The store sells Sleep Number adjustable mattresses. 888-411-2188. www.sleepnumber.com RENOVATIONS 17 HD South will reopen Sept. 1 after a July closure to do maintenance work on the 107-year-old building at 10 S. Gilbert Road, which was the original Gilbert El- ementary School. The work was to shore up and reframe the stairs to the base- ment. The building is home to the Gilbert Historical Museum and hosts cultural programming. 480-926-1577. https://hdsouth.org

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The Aspens at Mariposa Point has become Verena at Gilbert.

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routine services. 866-834-2652. www.bigotires.com

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12 BMO Harris is planning to open a branch at Gilbert and Warner roads. The Chicago-based bank does personal and business banking. 888-340-2265. www.bmoharris.com 13 EoS Fitness plans to open a gym at Val Vista Drive and Pecos Road in Gilbert in the fall. It will be the second Gilbert location of the big-box gymnasium chain and 25th in the Valley. https://eostness. com/location/gilbert-s-val-vista-dr-e- pecos-rd

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GILBERT EDITION • JULY 2020

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT

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ONGOING PROJECTS 1 VAL VISTA DRIVE RECONSTRUCTION

section from Ocotillo Road to Merlot Street with a raised landscaped median, bike lanes, sidewalks and street lights. It would then reduce to four lanes to the south. Traffic signals will be installed at Appleby, Ocotillo and Chandler Heights roads. Status: Construction has started at Appleby, and crews will work their way south. Hard closures on Val Vista from Appleby to Chandler Heights are nearly finished, but local traffic and businesses within the closure will be accessible in the meantime. Timeline: March 2020-July 2021 Cost: $25.96 million Funding sources: bonds, town funds and Maricopa Asso- ciation of Governments funds 4 LEFT-TURN IMPROVEMENTS Because of left-turn sight distance restrictions for turning traffic, the town is modifying 10 intersections to improve sight visibility in all four directions. Status: The intersection at Gilbert and Ray roads has been completed. The next intersections have been selected for improvements: A Val Vista Drive and Gua- dalupe Road (east and west legs only), B Val Vista and Elliot Road (all four legs), and C Val Vista and Ray Road (all four legs).

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The town will do a major reconstruction of deteriorated asphalt pavement on Val Vista Drive from Baseline Road to Guadalupe Road. Signals will be updated to flashing left turns. Status: Work will continue in the curb lanes with an occasional need for two-lane restrictions in order to accommodate work. Timeline: March-November Cost: $6.32 million Funding source: town of Gilbert bonds and funds 2 CANDLEWOOD LIFT STATION AND FORCE MAIN Gilbert is replacing the Candlewood Lift Station, which is a facility designed to move wastewater from lower to higher elevation, and about 5,000 feet of force main, which is pipeline to convey wastewater, from the West Hackamore Road alignment to the force main at Gilbert Road. Status: Pipeline work is substantially complete along West Hackamore Road. Lift Station construction contin- ues on the east side of Cooper Road. Timeline: Sept. 24, 2019-October 2020 Cost: $10.16 million Funding sources: town of Gilbert funds 3 VAL VISTA DRIVE WIDENING The town is widening Val Vista Drive from Appleby Road—about where Val Vista narrows to one lane in each direction—to Riggs Road. The result will be a six-lane

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Timeline: July-TBD Cost: $10.29 million Funding source: town funds

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 20. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT GILNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TOWN&EDUCATION

News from Gilbert, Gilbert Public Schools, Higley USD & Chandler USD

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT

GILBERTPUBLICSCHOOLS The Gilbert Public Schools governing board approved on June 22 budgets of $258.7 million in maintenance and operations and $15.04 million in unrestricted capital for the 2020-21 school year. The combined property tax rate is anticipated to be $6.2503 per $100 assessed valuation. HIGLEYUSD The district approved on July 15 a maintenance and operations budget of $90.42 million and an unrestricted capital budget of $24.99 million for 2020-21. The combined property rate is anticipated to fall from $6.4698 to $6.422 per $100 in assessed valuation. CHANDLERUSD The district approved July 15 a maintenance and operations budget of $331.37 million and an unrestricted capital budget of $26.59 million for 2020-21. The combined property rate is anticipated to fall from $7.0533 to $7.0302 per $100 in assessed valuation. SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS Gilbert Town Council Aug. 11, 6:30 p.m., Aug. 25, 6:30 p.m. 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert 480-503-6871 • www.gilbertaz.gov Gilbert Public Schools Board Aug. 11, 6 p.m., Aug. 25, 6 p.m. 140 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert 480-497-3300 www.gilbertschools.net Higley USD Board July 29, 5 p.m., Aug. 12, 5 p.m. 2935 S. Recker Road, Gilbert 480-279-7000 • www.husd.org Chandler USD Board Aug. 12, 7 p.m. 1525 W. Frye Road, Chandler 480-812-7000 • www.cusd80.com Follow us on Twitter: @impactnews_gil MEETINGSWE COVER FOR RESULTS FROM AUG. 4 PRIMARY AND TOWN ELECTIONS, GO TO COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Gilbert entities respond to protests

Sponsor asks town to partner onUSS Arizona submarine GILBERT The USS Arizona submarine’s sponsor formally asked the town to be the sub’s municipal sponsor on the town’s centennial July 6. Nikki Stratton, the grand- daughter of the battleship USS Arizona survivor Donald Stratton, made the request in a letter to Mayor Jenn Daniels and the Gilbert Town Council. It will be up to council to accept Nikki Stratton’s oer. The municipal sponsor for the submarine, named for the battle- ship sunk at Pearl Harbor, would largely be a ceremonial home- town, with any costs underwrit- ten by the Navy League of the United States-Phoenix Council.

GILBERT In response to the fast-moving events following

George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody, the town launched an initiative for town leadership, police ocers and school ocials to listen to residents’ stories and begin implementing changes. “This isn’t just a [police depart- ment] issue,” Gilbert Police Chief Michael Soelberg said. “This is a community issue. It’s a human issue.” Nationwide protests eventually hit Gilbert. Chandler Black Lives Matter organized the biggest protests that happened June 6-7 on Gilbert Road, which were peaceful and done with police cooperation. “The fact that we’re founded on being united, we’re founded on diver- sity, that’s what makes the United States of America amazing, dierent from other countries and more successful,” said Prisciliano Davalos,

A Gilbert Police ocer hugs the child of a protester.

Chandler BLM’s founder who goes by the stage name TURBO REP. Even before the protests, Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels launched the “Listen. Learn. Act. Amplify.” initiative as a means of creating actionable change. The rst step was three “Listening Space” forums for residents to speak to ocials from the town, police and schools.

Council nalizes budget, property tax levy inmarathon session

Superintendent Thomason sets plan to retire in spring HIGLEY USD Saying his heart will always be with Higley USD, Mike Thomason announced plans to retire as the school district’s super- intendent this spring at the July 15 governing board meeting. Thomason started the second year of a three-year contract July 1 and asked the gov- erning board to amend his contract accord- ingly, a request it approved on a 5-0 vote. Thomason said he will stay on through a mutually agreed upon date in the spring to ensure a smooth transition to a new superintendent.

TOWNBUDGET

GILBERT Town Council passed a $992.84 million

$992.84M budget

$25.88M property tax levy

budget and a $25.88 million secondary property tax levy at a highly charged meeting June 16 that lasted nearly ve hours. Council passed the issues on 5-2 votes with Council Mem- bers Jared Taylor and Aimee Yentes voting in dissent. Mayor Jenn Daniels and council members said they had

SOURCE: TOWN OF GILBERT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

received many calls and emails from citizens on the issues, mostly against the increase in the levy or some budget spending, particularly against a proposed possible expansion of town ambulance service.

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GILBERT EDITION • JULY 2020

BUSINESS FEATURE

BY TOM BLODGETT

Lisa Lawitz (left) said her husband is “a kid in a candy store” when they purchase beads. (Photos courtesy Mitch’s Beads)

Mitchell Lawitz says his customers come from all walks of life, and some have started their own businesses.

Mitchell Lawitz said he has no idea how large his inventory is.

Mitch’s Beads Owner has followed four-decade path from swap meet to Gilbert store T he seeds of Mitch’s Beads were planted in a Phoenix parking lot 40 years ago. breaking the bank, but I’m feeding my family.”

VAST ARRAY OF BEADS Mitchell Lawitz said semiprecious stones are his forte and what has been most popular for the past 20 or 30 years. There are perhaps 25 dierent kinds, such as rose quartz. But one that does not come under that heading is turquoise, which is its own category, Lawitz said. Lisa Lawitz noted its popularity in Arizona. “That’s why it has its own category,” she said.

That’s where we learned. And we were selling there on the week- ends, and that’s how we grew our business.” Norm had tried many jobs after moving from New York to Arizona, all unsuccessfully, including a costume jewelry store. It was at that business where a bead salesman suggested he try selling beads, which proved to be the thing that took o. Eventually, Normmade it into a brick-and-mortar store, Beads Galore, which had a long run in Tempe. Norm later retired and has died, and as the store declined, his sons closed it in 2016. Mitchell and his wife, Lisa, then opened Mitch’s Beads in Gilbert, where they reside. “It’s a growing area, and I just took a chance,” he said. “I’m not

At the store, customers will not just nd beads, but tools and sup- plies like chain and leather cording. Business is steady through the year, too, Mitchell said, without seasonal ups and downs. Even through the coronavirus pandemic, he only saw a small drop-o in business. His customers could be crafting enthusiasts building necklaces, bracelets or anklets for themselves, Etsy store owners or even other retail stores. Some will show o to the Lawitzes their creations. “I’m amazed at what people can do with my beads,” he said. “It’s imagination. That’s only what limits you in our business. And they can take my product A and B and come up with C and D, and it’s amazing.”

The lot was for Phoenix Grey- hound Park, the dog-racing site that on the weekends was home to Phoenix Park ‘n Swap, an open-air swap meet for vendors of all stripes. The dog track has been shuttered for a decade, and the swap meet is a shadow of its former self, but when Mitchell Lawitz started tagging along behind his dad, Norm, one could nd anything from small wares to diamonds. “I was 14 years old; one day he surprised us with coming home with about $100 worth of beads,” Mitchell said. “And he told us: ‘Boys, learn how to string these beads.’ We started going out to the ea market o 40th Street and Washington.

Mitch’s Beads 854 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 101, Gilbert 480-855-6610 http://mitchsbeads.com Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE

UnionGrill &Tap Gastropub serves familiar bar food with an Arizona twist L ee Malin may be from London, but he attests the American dream is alive and well. Malin knows it rst hand, having come to the U.S. as lead singer of a band, Score. After music did not work out, Malin worked up from a dish- washer in California to general manager of Union Grill & Tap in Gilbert. “We lived the dream for a while, and the dream just didn’t quite pan out,” Malin said. “Now here I am working on another dream.” After music, Malin found he needed another way to “you know, eat.” A friend got him a job as a dishwasher at Gallagher’s Irish Pub, and he worked up in the restaurant business from there. Malin later came to Gilbert, getting a job in 2018 with Union about six months after it opened. The restaurant is owned by the same group that operates The Hub sports bars in Mesa, but with a Gilbert location was looking to do something a bit dierent, Malin said. Thus, the Union brand was born and became more of a gastropub of familiar bar food with an emphasis on Arizona brands and avors. That includes the beer, wine and spirits. Malin appreciates the alcohol from the state, saying with a chuckle that he has “drunk my way around” and knows. “[Arizona] can go toe to toe with anything on the East Coast, anything on the West Coast without a doubt,” he said. Malin noticed a denite uptick in business last winter. He credits his restaurant team, an ownership group he calls the most supportive he has worked for and the surrounding community, including the nearby Banner hospitals. “We’ve made a lot of friends, a lot of good, good people,” Malin said. “They’re doing so much good for a lot of people. The love around you is fantastic. I’ve never experienced anything like it.” BY TOM BLODGETT

“ARIZONAHAS SOME OF THE BESTWINE, I BELIEVE, INTHE COUNTRYWITHOUT A SHADOWOF ADOUBT. SOME OF THEWINERIES HERE ARE ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL.” LEE MALIN, GENERAL MANAGER

Lee Malin, Union Grill & Tap general manager, said he loves customer suggestions and thinks Gilbert is a great location.

ARIZONA TOUCHES Here are some of the oerings that Union Grill & Tap has with an Arizona theme.

FOOD

BEER

Malin struggled to suggest one Arizona beer because the state has so many good choices, but he chose Senchado Green Tea Lager from Four Peaks Brewery. “It sounds crazy, but it’s really good,” he said.

SPIRIT

Union uses Arcadia vodkas, including Arcadia Cucumber, from O.H.S.O. Distillery in Scottsdale in some of its signature drinks.

It’s Hot in Here ($13.49) is a spicy burger that Malin said “people are really, really liking.”

E. BANNER GA

D R .

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UnionGrill &Tap 1686 N. Higley Road, Ste. 101, Gilbert 480-935-5800 http://uniongrilltap.com Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat.

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GILBERT EDITION • JULY 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

INSIDE INFORMATION

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ  DESIGNED BY MATT MILLS

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by renancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. Mortgage rates have steadily declined since November 2018, according to weekly data from Freddie Mac, also known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Matt Frankel, a certied nancial planner and mortgage analyst at The Ascent by Motley Fool—a general personal nance advice resource—shared advantages and disadvantages of the renancing process. REFINANCING U N D E R S T A N D I N G WHAT TOCONSIDER 1. 2. Is the current market rate at least 1% lower than your existing mortgage rate? Are you planning to stay in the same home for at least 5 more years ?

HOWTO START

• Always consult multiple lenders to nd the best mortgage rate. Start with a current lender. • Multiple inquiries from mortgage lenders aect an individual’s credit score no more than a single inquiry , Frankel said.

Renancing isn’t free. … It becomes amath problemof whether the savings you’re going to get fromyourmortgage payment are going to bemore than you’re paying.

MATT FRANKEL, MORTGAGE ANALYST AT THE ASCENT

THE INS ANDOUTS OF REFINANCING

TRACKINGMORTGAGE RATES

Although the U.S. weekly average rate for a 30-year mortgage is trending downward, mortgage rates vary by credit score, Frankel said.

Pros • Can lower monthly mortgage payments • May eliminate private mortgage insurance Cons • Can be costly, as homeowners must pay lender and closing fees again • Paperwork

0 3.1% 3.2% 3.3% 3.4% 3.5% 3.6% 3.7% 3.8% 3.9% 4.0%

3.82%

3.73%

3.56%

3.13%

ANOTHER OPTION

3.36%

A homeowner can also choose cash-out renancing, meaning an existing mortgage is replaced with a new home loan totaling more than the remaining debt. The dierence is paid in cash and can be helpful in paying other debts, as a mortgage is often the lowest-interest loan available, Frankel said.

March 12, 2020 Dec. 12, 2019

June 25, 2020

June 13, 2019 Sept. 12, 2019

SOURCE: FREDDIE MACCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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11 bayequityhomeloans.com/bolesgroup bolesgroup@bayeq.com

GILBERT EDITION • JULY 2020

CONTINUED FROM 1

The number of homes sold in Gilbert ticked up in most areas of town. However, not as many homes were available for sale, and the resulting low inventory made for a seller’s market. The increased competition meant homes sold faster and at higher prices than the previous year. ESTATE MARKET AT A GLANCE 201920 GILBERT REAL

agents said. “Once the buyers felt even more comfortable to come out, they have come out in droves,” said Realtor Dena Greenawalt, who is president of West & SouthEast Realtors of the Valley, or WeSERV, a networking group that supports Realtors with resources and education. Eects of COVID19, low inventory Gilbert resident Amanda September, a Realtor from Comfort Realty, said she saw just a short-term eect: less list- ings during the shutdown. “People were hesitant ... not know- ing what the market was going to do,” she said. September said listings were down 15% in April and 22% in May, a time that is normally the peak for the Val- ley’s real estate market. But the list- ings have come roaring back in June and July, and she expects data will back that when it comes in. That is particularly true in Gilbert, said September, who called the town an anomaly. “I think the optimism lies in the fact that the days on market have decreased, and the demand is still there,” she said. “People still want to come to Gilbert. Gilbert is still one of the top and hottest cities in the Valley right now.” Greenawalt said certain market seg- ments, like retirement communities for the 55-plus age group, found the market more dicult than the market at large. What has aected the market more than the pandemic has been the low inventory of homes available for sale in Gilbert. That situation started before the pandemic. With demand not waning, competi- tion for homes is erce, driving prices up in all price ranges, Greenawalt said. She said she listed a home in late June for $325,000, which she thought was a fair market price, and one she did not expect to start a bidding war. However, within the rst two days of it being listed, it had 95 showings and 54 oers. Similar cases indicate Gilbert is a seller’s market in Gilbert, Realtors agreed. However, the news is not all bad for buyers, particularly rst-time buyers who have been paying rents, which have been historically high in the Southeast Valley. That stands in con- trast to historically low interest rates.

“It’s a great opportunity for [rent- ers] because it’s aordable,” Lynch said. “And with the interest rates, it’s comparable to what they’re paying in rents.” And, with its high ratings in many quality-of-life rankings, Gilbert remains attractive to buyers at all prices ranges, September said. “I certainly don’t think we’re in for a housing crash that a lot of people think we are,” she said. “I think Gilbert is going to be one of those little areas where we’re here to stay,” she said. “It’s going to continue to be a highly desirable town to live in.” Technology comes into play September said part of the hesitancy for sellers about putting their homes on the market during the pandemic was having strangers in the home. “I heard that a lot,” she said. “We’re worried about people coming in, and are they going to respect our space and wash their hands and not touch things? And howmany people are they going to bring in the home? People were hesitant to have open houses and generally wanted to respect the stay- at-home orders.” That’s where technology came to the rescue, Greenawalt said. “We obviously had to get very cre- ative,” she said. “We were deemed essential by the governor, so we were able to work and do things. Open houses, those things didn’t hap- pen, but we worked through it with more virtual tours, more video walk- throughs with clients, things like that.” Lynch said a virtual tour with photos gives people an idea of the home, but a video walkthrough allows buyers to see all they want to see. “If you’re on FaceTime or Zoom and you’re physically walking through the property with them, they’re seeing everything they want to see,” she said. “I’ve had clients that wanted to look at the doorknobs or what the tile looks like, and I’m walking them through the house as if they’re there. We sold several homes that way.” Housingmarket stays strong While COVID-19 has shaken the economy through the labor market, retail sales and stock market, real estate is a dierent story, said Green- awalt, who is from the RE/MAX Alli- ance Group in Gilbert. “Real estate economists and experts are trying to make sure that agents

60

85233

85234

85296

87

85295

202

85297

85298

N

DAYS ON THEMARKET AVERAGE June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

85233

85234

85295

33

30

38

30.5 -19.74%

32.5

28

-9.09%

-13.85%

85296

85297

85298

31.5

30.5 -3.17%

34

34.5 +1.47%

46.5

42

-9.68%

HOMES SOLD NUMBER OF

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

694

864

767 +10.52%

923 +6.83%

966

1,013

1,052 +8.9%

944 -6.81%

674

959

709 +5.19%

902 -5.94%

June 2018-May 2019 June 2019-May 2020 TOTAL HOMES SOLD IN GILBERT 85233 13.42% 85298 18.55%

85233 14.48%

85298 17.03%

85234 16.71%

85234 17.42%

85297 13.38%

5,170 homes sold

5,297 homes sold

85297 13.04%

85295 18.68%

85296 19.59%

85296 17.82%

85295 19.86%

* BECAUSE OF ROUNDING, THE TOTAL PERCENTAGE EQUALS 99.99%

SOURCE: WESERVCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REAL ESTATE 2020EDITION

HOME SALES PRICE MEDIAN

HOME SALES PRICE BYMONTH MEDIAN

June 2018-May 2019

June 2019-May 2020

$300,000 $337,500 +12.5% $316,000 $346,500 +9.65% $338,500 $363,000 +7.24%

$315,000 $352,000 +11.75%

85233

85234

85295

85296 85297 85298

$500K

$450K

$310,500 $338,000 +8.86% $395,000 $425,000 +7.59%

$400K

$350K

$300K

0

Jan. 2020

Feb. 2020

Mar. 2020

July 2019

Aug. 2019

Sep. 2019

Oct. 2019

Nov. 2019

Dec. 2019

Apr. 2020

May 2020

June 2020

SOURCE: WESERVCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

understand and the public under- stands that what was going on with the pandemic was not a real estate-re- lated issue, and that [the real estate market] might have been an innocent bystander in some ways,” she said. “We’re not going to see the same things we saw in 2008 when the mar- ket took a huge nosedive.” The 2008 housing crash came

because the Great Recession came out of the housing market with the subprime mortgage crisis. But studies on the last several recessions showed that prices contin- ued to rise through all but the Great Recession, Greenawalt said, with the housing market acting as a stabilizer to the economy. “People are still buying homes [in

recessions], and they tend to hunker down then, so they’ll do remodel projects and things like that,” Green- awalt said. “So the homeowners are still keeping that economy going.” Another dierence from 2008 is how much equity homeowners have. Greenawalt said data shows about 42% of homeowners own their homes free and clear, and more than 60%

have positive equity in the home. “We don’t really know what’s going to impact us going forward, but we don’t expect the market to slow down,” she said. “We don’t expect prices to go down.”

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GILBERT EDITION • JULY 2020

Gilbert Public Schools Studying Health precautions

CONTINUED FROM 1

Schools plan to start remotely Aug. 5. For CUSD, that represents pushing back its original start date from July 22. The governing boards for GPS and CUSD approved plans that call for families to choose among three learn- ing options: in-person with enhanced safety protocols, online only and a hybrid model that includes both. GPS calls its hybridmodel a ex option and CUSD concurrent enrollment. The hybrid options, like in-person, would not be able to start before Aug. 17 because they involve some in-per- son instruction. The online instruc- tion will be run through the districts’ virtual academies. HUSD approved a choice of in-per- son or online only. The district did not previously have a virtual academy but applied June 30 to the state to be able to do so. All three districts will use Florida Virtual Online curriculum for their online instruction. In each case, the districts will have families choose their preferred mod- els for their children’s instruction and then work to match stang with demand. GPSwrestles with start date While the GPS governing board accepted the district’s plan, as devel- oped by a task force representing all stakeholders, without reservation, it wrestled more with when to start. Superintendent Shane McCord said that while it was not ideal, he thought it best that the district start school as originally scheduled Aug. 5, even if it means instruction can only done remotely until in-person instruction is allowed to start. Barbara Newman, GPS executive director for teaching and learning, said the three-option plan oers

• Desks and tables will face one direction in rows when possible • Hand-washing and sanitizing will be conducted multiple times each day • Students will report to classrooms upon arrival at school • Students will have individual supplies when possible with

other items being sanitized • Parents must ll out form with daily review of symptoms • Stringent health oce requirements for students returning from illness • Face coverings, per state and local agency guidelines positive case • Any sta member who has had primary contact with someone who has a conrmed COVID-19 case is asked to self-isolate for a minimum of ve days and contact human resources

The three school districts that serve Gilbert have developed plans and protocols to follow for conducting school this fall during the coronavirus pandemic.

Remote, online start dates Remote learners will switch to in-person no sooner than Aug. 17

Higley USD

• Families asked to conduct daily check for symptoms or close contact with anyone showing symptoms or having tested positive • The district has developed a ow chart to follow in response to a report of a

Chandler USD

• Personal protective equipment available

mask on their own • At least 20 seconds of handwashing or hand

• Face covering required when social distancing not possible • Alternative safety measures for those who have trouble breathing in or removing a

sanitizer use on arrival; after physical activity; before and after meals; and sneezing, coughing or blowing nose

SOURCES: GILBERT PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGLEY USD, CHANDLER USD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

choices for families to decide what is best for students academically and best for their health and wellness. The plan also provides support to students who experience a disruption in learning due to sickness or future closures and is exible so as to be modied if circumstances change. The district will oer online learn- ing, either exclusively or as part of the ex option, through its Gilbert Global Academy, which has oered online learning in past years and will be expanded to handle students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Parents were asked to choose from among the models in July. Teachers and sta received train- ing, and sta will be reassigned to

elementary or secondary, is the use of Canvas, a popular web-based learning management system. Steve Tannenbaum, Williams Field High School principal, said the district likes the consistency of Canvas, which oers a home page when students log in that gives required district links and individual teacher and profes- sional learning community resources, weekly modules, assignment links and a calendar. To accommodate online learning, the board approved on July 1 the pur- chase of Florida Virtual Online curricu- lum that online students will use in the coming school year. The Florida curriculum is used in

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