COVID-19 News Round-up for July 14

Credit: AZ Big Media

Budget, Policy & Stimulus News 
Navajo Nation Approves Initial Aid Expenditures 
The Navajo Nation‘s leaders over the weekend approved the tribe’s first expenditures of more than $60M in federal COVID-19 aid, about two months after receiving most of the funds in May. The tribe’s executive branch approved portions of two separate resolutions related to the spending of more than $714M given through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. (Source: AZCentral) 
Economic News 
Phoenix Apartment Rentals Still Doing Well 
Tenant traffic at metro Phoenix apartments has steadily improved since the beginning of April, according to a new report from Radix. Phoenix is among the few markets in the whole country ahead of where it was last year. (Source: Phoenix Business Journal) 
Valley Architects Adjust to New Space Needs 
As COVID-19 forces businesses to reevaluate their use of space, particularly given the trend of open floor plans, Valley architects and business leaders are stepping up to offer their insights and expertise. (Source: Phoenix Business Journal) 
Diversification Helps Phoenix Hotel Market 
The pandemic struck at the worst time for the Phoenix hotel market—during spring training and snowbird season. As expected and much like the rest of the country, the event devastated Phoenix hotel performance — but there is hope. While these two tourist groups are important to Phoenix’s travel industry, the market has diversified in recent years. Increased leisure travel and limited reliance on convention travel will help to fuel a swift recovery. (Source: 
Post-pandemic Apartments Will Need Better Connectivity 
As the pandemic suddenly transitioned major portions of the population from school and work to home, connectivity demands were turned upside down. “To account for more virtual connectivity going forward, we believe there will be a need to design in more capacity in building digital infrastructure,” says Jessica Elengical, head of ESG Strategy, Alternatives at DWS. (Source: 
Mesa Launches Virtual Effort to Help Small Businesses 
Mesa is launching a new series of free webinars to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 with their digital marketing and customer acquisition and retention centers. The first webinar is on July 21st. Each forum is limited to 50 attendees. Businesses can apply online at www.MesaAz.Gov/CARESBizTechAssist(Source: Rose Law Group Reporter) 
C&W Issues ‘Suburban Boom Report’ 
Cushman & Wakefield has just released a new report and complementing article on the growing shift to the suburbs, and as COVID-19 changes the way people live.  Per this insight, the discussion about office real estate has shifted from strictly urban to a broader range of alternatives including the suburbs. While we are not convinced that occupiers will need less real estate, we do think that where an occupier’s real estate is located may change in response to the events that have transpired since the arrival of COVID-19. (Source: Cushman & Wakefield) 
Recovering Construction Costs for a Virus Outbreak 
Now that COVID-19 impacts and costs are a fact of life, what can we expect in the way of decisions regarding compensation for costs incurred by contractors? Snell & Wilmer has published a detailed review of precedent and case law surrounding the recovery of construction costs. (Source: Snell & Wilmer 
How the Pandemic May Change Shared Space Design 
The pandemic and the way it has changed people’s view on shared spaces may affect the design and construction of workplaces moving forward. In the short term, employers may seek to make their workplace safer for employees. In the long term, architects and engineers may need to consider the possibility of future pandemics and highly contagious illnesses in their design and construction. Snell & Wilmer has presented a number of ways the design and construction industry may change in response to COVID-19. (Source: Snell & Wilmer) 

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