Blog Archives

The Bust Belt: How exurban expansion paves the way for the next housing crisis

[Source: Ryan Avent, Culture11] — Tucked in a desert valley 100 miles southwest of Las Vegas, the town of Kingman, Arizona has persisted for over a century, first as little more than a railroad siding, then a Route 66 fill-up point, enjoying its quiet, arid life with dignity.

In recent decades, its 28,000 residents have watched nearby Sin City transform from a gambling oasis into a sprawling desert metropolis of two million people, a crowd rapidly butting up against the area’s geographic limits and water supply.  All the while, Kingman persisted in isolation, due to the intervening desert and the winding, two-lane bottleneck of highway 93 as it crosses the Colorado River at Hoover Dam.  Now that’s all going to change…

The timing of these developments makes the risk of failure particularly high. The worst national housing bust since the Great Depression hit the cities of Las Vegas and Phoenix significantly harder than most of the rest of the nation.  Prices there are down over 30% from the peak of the bubble, and high foreclosure rates and substantial excess inventory suggest that the recovery will be painful and protracted.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix’s Franklin School wins state preservation award

The non-profit Arizona Preservation Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, announced the winners of the 2008 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards at a luncheon ceremony at the Sixth Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Partnership Conference, “Preservation on the Line.”  Each year, 10 awards are given to individuals, businesses, organizations, and projects in recognition of outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona’s prehistoric and historic patrimony.  This year’s Honor Award winners are:

  • Brunenkant Bakery Building, Florence
  • Central Commercial Company Building, Kingman
  • City of Glendale’s Department of Planning
  • Curley School, Ajo (Grand Award)
  • Franklin Police and Fire High School, Phoenix
  • James A. Walsh Federal Building, Tucson
  • McCullough-Price House Restoration, Chandler
  • Noel Stowe, Arizona State University
  • Santa Cruz County Courthouse, Nogales
  • Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Affairs Office

A panel of judges representing the fields of archaeology, architecture, history, and preservation, as well as a representative from the Governor’s Office, selected the winners from nominations submitted from across the state.  Click here for more details and photos of this year’s award recipients.  To view past Honor Award recipients, click here.