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  • (Salt Lake Tribune) Before you open your mailbox in coming days, brace yourself for bad news: Your property values probably have gone down.

    Now take a deep breath and get ready for worse news: You probably won't see your taxes go down. Instead, they could go up.

    That's the bittersweet reality of Utah's taxation laws, where governments are guaranteed at least the same amount of revenue year after year, whether the real estate market goes gangbusters or collapses.

  • (Deseret News) With the number of existing homes sold in Utah recently falling to the lowest level in 15 years, it's no surprise that some people who are trying to sell properties are becoming desperate — so desperate that about one of every six houses listed for sale is priced for less than was originally paid for it.

    According to data compiled by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, 17 percent of residential property listed for sale or under contract is a short sale — approximately double the amount of one year ago.

  • (Deseret News) Two new stimulus grants totaling about $1.7 million will help Salt Lake County keep financially distressed families in their homes and build infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods.

  • (Deseret News) The yellow and red banners hanging on streetlights and buildings make the claim, but the proof is in the construction crews and cranes, the coming soons and the grand openings.

    Downtown is rising.

    "It feels different; it feels alive," said Jason Mathis, executive director of the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance. "Something special is happening in Salt Lake that isn't happening in other metropolitan areas."

  • (Deseret News) The Smith's Food & Drug that has served residents of American Fork for 29 years is closing at 6 p.m. Saturday.

    Shopping in the Utah County bedroom community has changed, with a new Wal-Mart, Costco and other stores opening in retail complexes east of I-15. Typically, Smith's remodels its stores every 10 years, and the American Fork store was due for a remodel, but the company has decided to close the store's doors.

  • (Deseret News) The planned development of more affordable housing in downtown Salt Lake City got a strong push this week as a state funding agency announced the approval of nearly $10 million in bonding for a proposed complex.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) A start-up organization, co-founded by developer Mark Cohen and two Zions Bank executives, will oversee use of Utah's $20 million in federal neighborhood stabilization funds.

    The state purchasing division awarded the competitive bid -- reopened because of a flawed first round in early May -- to Utah Center for Affordable Housing (UCAH), a self-described "new organization with no agenda or history."

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) New information on property values and growing budget gaps at the state level has the Canyons School District rethinking its pledge of no new taxes.

    Officials now propose hiking property taxes 3.8 percent, about $46 annually on a $311,000 home.

    The increase will net about $4 million, enough to the preserve the district's original $198 million spending plan plus another $2 million in expenses.

    "We have to raise enough money to pay our bills," said Canyons spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook.

  • Real-estate agents say 17 percent of the homes for sale in Salt Lake County are selling for less money than the balance owed on a mortgage. Salt Lake Board of Realtors Communications Director Dave Anderton says three-quarters of the short sales involve homes that cost less than $300,000.

    Original Article

  • WASHINGTON TERRACE -- Want to live in a million-dollar home for the price of renting an apartment?

    You might want to call Cathy Cardenas.

    Cardenas is the founder and president of Designer Home Tending, a Bountiful-based company that finds people to live in homes that are up for sale.

  • FARMINGTON -- Davis County property owners may be able to get resolutions to property valuation disputes before October.
  • American Fork » Utah's priciest-ever highway project will also be an experiment in value shopping. As three mega-contracting teams prepare their bids for the $1.

    Original Article

  • A pair of inventors want to take the nation's highways and turn them into a source of green energy, with right-of-ways...
  • CEDAR CITY - First Wind, the company building Utah's largest wind farm in Milford, announced Tuesday it has closed two financing transactions for a total of $191 million.
  • NORTH SALT LAKE - Summer is the season for road construction, and for commuters driving through Davis County, things will probably get worse before they get better.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) A failed Southern California bank opened Monday under the name of a Zions Bancorp subsidiary after federal regulators seized it late last week.

    Zions' California Bank & Trust bought $1.5 billion of deposits and $1.4 billion in loans from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which asked CB&T and other banks to bid on the assets. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Vinyard Bank by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Friday.

    Terms of the deal weren't released by the banks or the government.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) Zions Bancorp's losses in the second quarter narrowed noticeably over the prior six months, but the bank holding company still struggled with loans that borrowers can't repay.

    The $40.7 million loss in the April-through-June period was driven largely by Zions' need to cover more than a 400 percent increase in bad loans since the second quarter of 2008. It also felt obliged to build up its reserve for additional bad loans expected in the future, the company said Monday.

  • Salt Lake County is getting more than $1 million in federal grants to help families avoid losing their homes or quickly find new ones. The money comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Original Article

  • ST. GEORGE - The slumping economy may have slowed growth in Southern Utah lately, but planners are still putting local "smart growth" initiatives developed during the boom years to the test, particularly with the two large-scale developments that make up the "South Block."

  • Ensuring the public knows the real story of the "real estate" industry in Utah is one of the main goals of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, 2009 Board President Ryan Kirkham says.

  • Microsoft is intensifying its fight with rival Apple, and the House That Bill Gates Built is taking the battle right to Apple's doorstep. Microsoft confirmed last week that it will be opening retail stores akin to Apple's stores in the U.

    Original Article

  • (The Herald Journal) Logan’s biggest pending road project — the widening of 1000 West — has moved closer to construction with the Utah Department of Transportation’s public presentation of revised designs.

    Some living along the corridor, which runs between U.S. Highway 91 and 2500 North at Main Street, weren’t satisfied with UDOT’s original plan to build narrower-than-standard lanes and to situate the sidewalk up against the road.

  • ZION NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Zion National Park officials are proposing major repairs for nine miles of road.

    Park officials have completed an environmental assessment of the Mount Carmel Highway project, which would rehabilitate the road from Canyon Junction to the East Entrance.

    The road was completed in 1930 and has only had routine maintenance. Park officials say it's been damaged by rain, snow, heat and heavy traffic over the years.

    The first phase of the work could begin next year. The park is taking public comment on the project until July 28.

  • (Deseret News) University of Utah officials have named local architect Prescott Muir as director of the School of Architecture.

    Muir, who has worked as an adjunct professor at the U. since 1993, has been influential in designing various projects in Salt Lake City, including the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and the Bridge Project for Artspace. In Ogden, he worked on the Ethel Wattis Kimball Visual Arts Center and the Pleasant Valley Library. In addition to his local work, Muir has been involved in multiple projects in southern California.

  • SANDY(Deseret News) — When Mayor Tom Dolan first took the helm of this south valley suburb in 1994, the municipality was in the throes of labor pain.

    Its booming population growth was served by just a spattering of commercial businesses, taxes were high and development conflicts were at a climax.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) The number of Utah households in danger of losing their homes almost doubled in the first half of the year as more people lost their jobs and were struggling or unable to pay their monthly mortgage bills.

    On a state-by-state basis, Utah had the nation's fifth-highest rate of filings in the January-through-June period, with 1.46 percent of all houses receiving at least one foreclosure filing, according to a report released Thursday by listing service RealtyTrac Inc.

  • WEST JORDAN (KSL) -- The City of West Jordan is finally moving forward on funding parks that have been left unfinished for years, thanks to two residents who lobbied the city council on where to use its unallocated funds.

    The uncompleted Oaks East Park near 8200 South and 6100 West is nowhere for kids to be playing. In fact, it gets downright dangerous after it rains.

    "The water was really high, and there were two kids standing in knee-deep water poking at the grates," said nearby resident Michele Howey.

  • (Salt Lake Tribune) If you're curious where all that federal stimulus money went, you might want to look under the lamp shades at Julie Christensen's house. Twenty-eight energy efficient light bulbs and a new water heater and furnace brought the young mom to tears earlier this year as her home was transformed with weatherization dollars courtesy of the federal plan.

    The Magna family, which relies on food stamps to feed its two children, didn't pay a cent. "It's so nice to finally have help," Christensen said this week.

  • ST. GEORGE - Officials have touted a new $160 million airport as a way to diversify and expand the local economy when it opens, but the largest public works project in St. George's history may already be making a difference, even while it's being built.

  • CEDAR CITY - After months of planning and construction, utilizing city-wide donations and cooperative efforts, the new hospitality house at Valley View Medical Center is finally open.

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