Growth, growth, and more growth!

As Real Estate Continues To Be One Of The Major Economic Drivers In Arizona and the American West, We Talk With Jim Bond About The Current State of The Market

Growth, growth, and more growth!

As chair of our real estate law practice group, attorney Jim Bond leads one of the largest real estate groups in the Mountain West and Central California, encompassing all aspects of the industry, from acquisition and finance, through development, leasing and sale. Our attorneys represent a wide range of clients, including industrial, commercial, title/escrow companies, agriculture, financial institutions and residential clients.

We recently had the pleasure of talking with Jim about his work in this high-profile arena, as well as his life in the legal profession.

As the chair of our real estate practice group, talk about the future of commercial real estate. Do you see a sea change on the horizon as more and more companies evaluate their office space footprint in the age of hybrid working models?

I think we are at a really interesting time as it relates to evaluating office needs. Some companies that are currently looking to either relocate or renew leases that are about to expire will have flexibility to adjust their office space based on hybrid working models. However, many other companies will not have that same flexibility (at least now) because they signed long-term leases before the pandemic. Those companies are locked into their current leases unless they have a landlord who is willing to renegotiate the lease.

From a development standpoint, office developers have a unique opportunity to create new office product that can better meet the needs for hybrid working models compared to some of the older office buildings that exist today.

You’re active in the Phoenix community, especially when it comes to growing responsibly and sustainably. What’s the near-future look like for the valley of the sun as rental rates are high, the housing market is on fire – and loads of people continue to move here?

Growth, growth, and more growth! The Phoenix area continues to be a hot destination for relocation, especially in light of rising taxes and the impact of climate change in neighboring states. This will continue to fuel our housing market, both in the single-family and multi-family areas. Rents and housing prices should continue to stay high until more supply hits the market. Many of our residential developers are struggling to find enough deals in this hot market to keep up with the increasing demand.

In true Fennemore fashion, you’re also well-versed in Indian law and tribal land issues. What’s the current landscape in this sector look like?

Development on tribal land has been gaining momentum over the past few years and is now one of our fastest growing areas. The tribes are generally very pro-growth and are making it easier and easier for developers to move through the development process. As the Phoenix metro area expands, the undeveloped tribal lands offer some of the best locations with convenient access to major freeways. I expect that we will continue to see major developments continue to spring up on tribal land for the foreseeable future.

What would you tell your younger self – or a first year law student contemplating a career in the legal profession?

The legal profession is a lot of work! But it’s incredibly rewarding to be a real estate attorney in Phoenix and to be part of such an important part of our City’s economy and growth. While I’m sure our litigators love giving depositions and doing whatever else it is that they do in courtrooms, I would tell any first-year law student to strongly consider being a transactional attorney, especially in real estate. I love being able to drive around different parts of the City and actually see a tangible result from the work effort.

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn, and how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

I’ve been very fortunate to not have had a major failure, but have had plenty of smaller ones along the way. Every single bump in the road has taught me something that has helped me get to where I am today. I’m a big believer that it’s hard to be truly successful at something unless you have setbacks along the way and can learn where you need to improve.

Who is your hero? Or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?

Definitely my parents. They set a great example for me regarding work ethic and what it takes to be successful in whatever you do. I’m sure they would love to give me grief over this since I always insisted that I knew better than them, but they certainly have had the greatest impact on my life and career.

Post-pandemic, what are you reading; listening to (music or podcasts); and watching/streaming?

I finally gave in to my wife’s teasing and decided to ditch my CDs in favor of Apple Music. I’m sure most of the world already knows this, but that opened up an entirely new world when it comes to music! I’ve also been listening to a lot of podcasts (Freakonomics Radio, Tim Ferris, and Golf’s Subpar are some of my favorites) and watching way too much reality TV (there’s no way I’m revealing what shows!).

You’re an involved father with three children. What do you learn from your kids?

To enjoy life! They don’t care if I’m working on a new $10 million acquisition or a new lease for a major corporate headquarters. My kids are a great reminder that it’s important to be able to unplug and recharge, whether it’s by watching them play golf, playing with their latest toys, or reading bedtime stories.

Okay, final question, your family is throwing a lavish dinner party. Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you would invite.

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and George W. Bush. Also happens to be the other members of my dream foursome on the golf course!

Here’s to Jim, and all of our attorneys currently impacting the continuing growth of the American West.

How can we help with your sustainable development plans? Our substantial experience allows for efficient, practical application of the law that is catered to each client’s individual needs. For more information, please visit:


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