Daily Archives: April 1, 2008

Poo…we didn’t make the top 10

[Source: Who’s Your City?, Richard Florida] — It’s a mantra of the age of globalization that where you live doesn’t matter: you can telecommute to your high-tech Silicon Valley job, a ski-slope in Idaho, a beach in Hawaii or a loft in Chicago; you can innovate from Shanghai or Bangalore.

According to Richard Florida, this is wrong.  Place is not only important, it’s more important than ever.  Globalization is not flattening the world; on the contrary, the world is spiky.  Place is becoming more relevant to the global economy and our individual lives.  The choice of where to live, therefore, is not an arbitrary one.  It is arguably the most important decision we make, as important as choosing a spouse or a career.  In fact, place exerts powerful influence over the jobs and careers we have access to, the people meet and our “mating markets” and our ability to lead happy and fulfilled lives.

Who’s Your City?” provides the first ever-rankings of cities by life-stage, rating the best places for singles, young families, and empty-nesters.  And it grounds its new ideas and data to provide an essential guide for the more than 40 million Americans of who move each year on how to choose where to live, and what those choices mean for their lives, happiness, and communities.

NFIB backs measure to curtail developer tax breaks

[Source: Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal] — The National Federation of Independent Business is backing efforts at the state Legislature to restrict property tax breaks Arizona cities dole out to real estate developers and larger businesses.  State Sen. Ken Cheuvront, D-Phoenix, has proposed Senate Bill 1260 to limit deals that involve keeping certain land in public hands and then leasing it to private entities.  Those actions allow the private developer or business to pay lower property taxes because the land is owned by a government entity.  Cheuvront wants to reform the so-called Government Property Lease Excise Taxes to put the practice more on par with traditional property taxes.

US Airways Group Inc.’s corporate headquarters in Tempe, Cabela’s sporting goods store in Glendale, the Scottsdale Princess Resort, and several major downtown Phoenix developments, including the Colliers Center, CityScape, and Arizona Center, all benefited from GPLET tax breaks.  NFIB state Director Michelle Bolton said the property tax breaks from cities help a few “giant development companies and big businesses.   The system is gamed and it’s criminal,” said Bolton of the specialized tax breaks.  NFIB prefers across-the-board lower taxes and a friendly environment for all businesses, including smaller operations.  Cities and economic developers who support the GPLET practice counter that it helps projects and developments that otherwise would not get built in the state.

ASU breaks ground on $30M nursing addition

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Arizona State University celebrated the groundbreaking of a $30 million addition to its college of nursing on Tuesday.  The building is expected to open in 2009.  The five-story downtown Phoenix project will provide more teaching and office space for the college, which ASU officials say, is the largest college of nursing in the country.  It has 2,000 students.  “We don’t just want to be the largest, we want to be the most innovative,” said Bernadette Melnyk, dean of the College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation.  “Our mission is to improve the health care of this city, this state and this country.”

ASU is in the midst of a multi-million dollar building spree in the heart of Phoenix.  In 2006, the university opened a downtown Phoenix campus.  The project, which got funding from a $220 million city bond, is key part of city plans to revitalize the heart of the city.  So far, the campus includes the college of nursing, the University College and the College of Public Programs.  In the fall, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will move downtown from the Tempe campus.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]