CCIM to City and County: We Need Jobs For Recovery

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Tucson Mayor, Jonathan Rothschild
Tucson Mayor, Jonathan Rothschild

The Southern Arizona CCIM Chapter held its 23rd Annual Forecast Meeting Tuesday to a packed room of over 300 attendees. The Forecast is an opportunity for Tucson Commercial Real Estate Professionals to showcase their knowledge of our local market, share their data, thoughts, insights, opinions and suggestions as to where the local market is heading.

This year there was a special effort to bring City and County dignitaries to the event. City of Tucson Mayor, Jonathan Rothschild was keynote speaker and Ward 3 Council member Karin Uhlich also attended with Hector Martinez from the City of Tucson Real Estate Department. Although several County Supervisors had accepted the invitation, none were present.

Mayor Rothschild delivered an energized and honest review of the mechanics of being Tucson’s Mayor and what it looks like going from the 1st floor to the 10th floor.  Rothschild said he gets it and claimed, “The City Council is beginning to understand that it takes a thriving economy to bring all the community services that people want.”

Rothschild’s two-year plan spoke of the Five T’s: technology, trade, transportation, tourism and teaching as a way to create future jobs for Tucsonans.

Although subtle, the message was expressed often, that we are still the state of 5 C’s: cattle, cotton, citrus, climate and copper. As members of the industrial panel pointed out to the audience, the mining industry and its off-shoot businesses has been the major impetus for private job growth during the recession.

The forecast categories were industrial, land, finance, multi-family, office and retail. All predictions were similar, ‘expect slow growth’. One member of the multi-family panel finally said as she saw it, “Let Rosemont Mine open or nothing is going to change.”

Another panelist, a local commercial appraiser, expressed his thoughts with a limerick:

               There once was a town called Tucson

               That grew environmentalists quite fearsome

               Rosemont is delayed

               Grand Canyon was filleted

               No wonder our wages are gruesome

Nick Miner, a CCIM member from Phoenix who had also attended the CCIM Forecast meeting last month in Phoenix commented, “The Tucson Market appears to be four years behind Phoenix in the recovery.”

CCIM Chapter President, James Robertson, Jr. and Brandon Rodgers, CCIM, Vice-President and Market Forecast Chair warned at the start of the meeting, “There’s a sense in the Tucson market that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we don’t think it’s a train.”