Daily Archives: December 15, 2008
[Source: Lou Hirsch, Riverside Press-Enterprise, and Cathryn Creno, Arizona Republic] — As mall operator General Growth Properties attempts to refinance loans and avert bankruptcy, observers say the immediate outcome will have no impact on shoppers. Drew Wetherholt, national retail director in the Ontario (CA) office of brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap, said that will remain true even if General Growth is forced to sell off some or all of its malls. “The malls will not be closing,” Wetherholt said. “The consumer won’t even notice a change.”
Chicago-based General Growth is a real estate investment trust with stakes in more than 200 shopping centers nationwide. In Arizona, the company owns Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix, Park West in Peoria, and three additional centers in Tucson and Sierra Vista. General Growth is trying to negotiate an extension on $900 million in debt that was due to be repaid Friday, but warned late last week there can be “no assurance” it will get a reprieve. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
[Source: Energy Department, Arizona Department of Commerce] — Phoenix residents are encouraged to stay energy-wise during the holidays as they gear up to decorate homes, offices, yards, and other areas with cheerful lights and electric displays of joy. While Arizonans have become more mindful of their power usage and follow advice to save energy by disconnecting appliances or devices when not in use, it is not always as easy to remember to do so with holiday displays and lights, which can pull in significant amounts of electricity.
Ten strings of 100 mini-lights that are on for ten hours per day can add anywhere from $11 to nearly $16 a month to an electric bill, depending on which utility provides service. Larger bulbs can add up to ten times as much or even more; however, using LED lights can cost anywhere from $1.20 to $3 a month, saving a considerable amount of electricity and money.
Utility companies statewide are making LED vs. standard holiday light calculators available online, and providing incentives to consumers to make the switch to LED lights and decorations:
- Arizona Public Service’s light calculator
- Salt River Project’s LED light coupon
- Tucson Electric Power’s light calculator
LEDs are available at most department, hardware, grocery, and do-it-yourself stores. They cost more, but last up to ten years and will pay for themselves in the long run when properly maintained from season to season. In the meantime, residents who are not ready to transition to low-energy décor can place lights on timers to ensure they automatically turn off after a few hours; consider placing outdoor lights and displays on photo-sensor devices or outdoor-approved timers so they remain on only in the dark; for small areas, look into using rechargeable battery-operated devices.
Just south of downtown Phoenix, as noted by local photographer Cobalt123, a great habitat restoration project is in progress to return a desert wasteland and dumping ground to the former natural beauty and wildlife refuge. The Rio Salado (Salt River) was once a mighty river but dried up to serve only as path for effluent water after diversion to man’s uses. Now the historical plants are being returned with care from cuttings and seeds found in the area along the former river banks. Click here for Cobalt123’s slideshow of this thriving downtown oasis.