Daily Archives: October 7, 2009

ASU to open downtown Phoenix children’s mental health center

[Source: Kristena Hansen, Phoenix Business Journal] — Arizona State University announced a Nov. 2 opening for a health center that specializes in the treatment and prevention of child and adolescent mental health disorders.  It will be located at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation in downtown Phoenix.

The Southwest Health Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child-Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Disorders is funded in part by a grant from United Healthcare and will be staffed with a team of psychiatric and mental health nurse practioners and psychologists.  The new center will offer comprehensive mental health evaluations, evidence-based treatment, medication management and treatment, family and group therapy, and preventative intervention programs.

“In Arizona, five of 15 counties do not have child psychiatrists to which primary care providers can refer their patients,” said Dean Bernadette Melnyk.  [Note: Read the full article at ASU to open downtown Phoenix children’s mental health center.]

ASU students organize panel on Phoenix homelessness

[Source: Rachel Jimenez, Arizona State Press] — The ASU Wells Fargo Student Center held a homelessness panel at the Downtown campus Tuesday to discuss the myths and misconceptions of homelessness.  Creative writing senior Eichelle Armstrong had the idea for the panel and put it together.  “When I was a freshman I lived [in] downtown [Phoenix] and had a friend who was deathly afraid of the homeless,” she said.  Because of this, Armstrong decided to create a discussion where students can learn the realities of homelessness.

The panel consisted of five experts and they spoke to eight participating students.  Panelist Terry Araman, who works for the Lodestar Day Resource Center, said officials from Maricopa County conduct a study about the homeless population annually.

The Maricopa Association of Governments study found a 20 percent increase in homeless people between January 2008 and January 2009.  There were about 2,918 homeless people in Maricopa County as of January 2009.  However, that number doesn’t include people living in shelters across the Valley.  Numbers aren’t yet available for 2009, according to the study, but there were 4,793 people living in shelters in 2008.

The study reports that there are 280 homeless people under the age of 18, an increase of 280 percent since 2008.  The number of homeless adults increased 14 percent to 2,698; and the number of homeless families increased 248 percent, to 37.

Through present economic hardships, many individuals and families have been evicted or have lost their jobs or mortgages, Araman said.  “We’ve been seeing a lot of what we call the ‘new homeless,’” he said.  [Note: Read the full article at ASU students organize panel on Phoenix homelessness.]

Phoenix office vacancies tie 17-year high

[Source: Cathy Luebke, Phoenix Business Journal] — The office vacancy rate has increased for the ninth consecutive quarter in Phoenix to 24.2 percent.   That also marks the highest point since 1992 when total office space stood at 43 million square feet compared with today’s 74 million tally, according to CB Richard Ellis third-quarter MarketView report.  A year ago office vacancies accounted for 17.1 percent of the market.

West Phoenix has the highest rate of vacant space, 39.2 percent; the central business district has the lowest, 15.7 percent, according to CBRE.

“Uncertainty in the economy has significantly impacted tenant activity in the metropolitan Phoenix office,” the report said.  “However, for those companies that are in the market for space, they will have multiple opportunities from which to choose at extremely competitive pricing.”

The average asking price per square foot on a full-service lease for existing buildings was $23.44 as if Sept. 30, according to CBRE.  That compares with $24.96 in the first quarter and $25.96 at the end of 2007.  Nevertheless, construction continues. CBRE reports 1.9 million square feet of space expected to come online by first-quarter 2010.  More than half in downtown Phoenix. That compares with 4.6 million at the end of 2007.  [Note: Read the full article at Phoenix office vacancies tie 17-year high.]