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• Utah is ranked No. 18 in a list of state economies with the most racial equality, compiled by WalletHub. In order to determine which states have the most racial equality in terms of employment and wealth, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics. Our data compares the difference between white and black Americans in areas such as annual income, unemployment rate and homeownership rate. The most equality exists in New Mexico, according to WalletHub. The least exists in the District of Columbia. In breakout categories, Utah was No. 5 for having the lowest unemployment rate gap. Details are at https://wallethub.com/edu/state-economies-with-most-racial-equality/75810/.
• Summit County leads all Utah counties in SmartAsset’s study of places with the biggest average tax refund checks. The divided the total amount of money refunded by the IRS by the number of refunds given out to residents in each county. Summit had 14,250 taxpayers receive refunds averaging $4,107. It had 6,600 taxpayers that owed an average of $14,006. Following Summit County were (in order) Wasatch, Duchesne, Morgan, Uintah, San Juan, Davis, Rich, Salt Lake and Utah counties. Details are at https://smartasset.com/taxes/tax-return-calculator#Utah/taxReturn.
• Nav, a Salt Lake City-based service giving business owners a path of financing, has expanded its executive team with four appointments: Rebecca Sandberger, vice president of legal and compliance; Erik Johnson, vice president of product; Andrew Anderson, head of finance; and Maris Berzins, vice president of engineering. Sandberger is responsible for optimizing Nav’s objectives through complex business transactions and ventures, as well as minimizing legal risk. She is an experienced general counsel with an extensive track record of executive leadership and managing the legal function for companies at all stages of development and growth. Prior to Nav, Sandberger worked at Goldman Sachs, Compliance Solutions GmbH, Nature's Sunshine Products, Reckitt Benckiser and the University of Utah. Johnson will lead the company’s product team in expanding its offerings to increase customer acquisitions and engagements across various segments of the business. Johnson has spent 20 years in product roles at companies in finance, media and commerce. Prior to joining Nav, he founded and held various roles at several innovative startups and led product development at Wells Fargo and CBS.com. Anderson will focus on developing and overseeing the execution of an innovative and unique financial strategy for the company. He has more than 15 years of experience in both public accounting as well as in companies ranging from startups to large, multi-national corporations across various industries. Berzins will lead all aspects of engineering, including customer-facing web and mobile, backend services, quality, data science, dev ops and IT. He is an experienced product and engineering leader with more than 20 years of experience managing engineering organizations. Prior to Nav, Berzins served as the vice president of the Unified Commerce Platform in the Starbucks organization. He has also held leadership roles in several startup ventures in the e-commerce and mobile development spaces and spent 10 years at Microsoft in engineering and leadership roles.
• The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo $17,708 and Utah State University in Logan $37,708 in housing counseling grants to help individuals and families access HUD-approved housing counseling to help them avoid foreclosure and make more informed homebuying and rental choices. Nationwide, nearly $40 million was awarded. Nearly half of the state and local counseling agencies that were awarded HUD grants received preference because they will provide counseling to individuals and families within designated Opportunity Zones. In fiscal year 2019, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies served more than 1 million households.
• Utah has received $344,937 in federal grant funds to help boaters keep waters clean. Nationwide, $32.8 million in grants, with a non-federal match of $21.9 million, was awarded. The Utah funds come from the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program, which provides funding to communities to build and maintain facilities that help boaters keep rivers and streams clean; and construct, renovate and maintain marinas and other boating facilities for outdoor recreation. The Utah funds include a federal share of $200,000 and a non-federal share of $144,937.
• The U.S. Department of the Interior has finalized the transfer of ownership of two federal water projects in Utah to local water use organizations. The Emery County Project in east-central Utah and the Uintah Basin Replacement Project in northeastern Utah will be the first water facilities to be transferred from federal to local ownership under the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act signed into law last year. The law expedites the title transfer process for eligible projects, such as diversion dams, canals, laterals and other water-related facilities. Upon conveyance of title, the Moon Lake Water Users Association will take ownership of the Uintah Basin Replacement Project, and the Emery County Water Conservancy District will take ownership of the Emery County Project. The Uintah Basin Replacement Project title transfer will convey ownership to project facilities and lands necessary for project operation, maintenance and replacement — including the Big Sand Wash Feeder Diversion and Pipeline, Big Sand Wash Reservoir enlargement and Big Sand Wash Roosevelt Pipeline. The transfer includes 14.7 acres of fee title lands and 980.4 acres of easements. The Uintah Basin Replacement Project provides water for agricultural irrigation and Roosevelt City and facilitates better water resource management and conservation in the Uintah Basin. The Emery County Project title transfer will convey ownership to all project facilities and federal lands necessary for project operation, maintenance and replacement, including the Joes Valley and Huntington North dams and reservoirs, Swasey Diversion Dam, Cottonwood Creek-Huntington Canal, Huntington North Service and Feeder canals and evacuation pipeline and Upper Lakes Reservoir. The transfer includes 1,104 acres of federal lands adjacent to and necessary for operation and maintenance of those facilities. The project serves irrigation, recreation, fish and wildlife, and municipal and industrial needs in Emery County.
• Santorini’s Greek Grill and Siegfried & Jensen donated $8,000 in gift cards ($3,000 in Old Navy and $5,000 in Santorini’s gift cards) to Safe Harbor Crisis Center during a Community Caring Day event sponsored by Station Park in Farmington. The mixed-use lifestyle center invited the public to support local causes that day by giving blood, donating gift cards or dropping off school supplies. Anyone who donated received a free meal from Santorini’s. Safe Harbor Crisis Center provides shelter, supportive services and advocacy to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as education, awareness and resources for the community. Other participating charities at the event included ARUP’s Blood Services mobile blood vehicle and Young Automotive’s Young Caring for Our Young Foundation.
• CREDE, based in California, has begun construction of Park Avenue Apartments, a 238-unit multifamily complex in Sugar House. Developed in partnership with Cottonwood Residential, Salt Lake City, CREDE broke ground on the project in July 2019, with completion set for fourth quarter 2021. Park Avenue Apartments is a mid-rise multifamily project featuring studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment homes. The building will also feature 1,400 square feet of retail space, a fitness center, and a resort-style pool.
• Orion Real Estate Partners, based in Los Angeles, has acquired Lookout Pointe Apartments, a garden-style apartment community in Provo. Financial terms were not disclosed. The company said it will invest about $1 million in interior and exterior improvements at the 115-unit community. It is Orion's first acquisition in Utah and the firm anticipates expanding its portfolio in Provo and Salt Lake City. CBRE Multifamily Capital provided an acquisition loan through Freddie Mac and Orion engaged Salt Lake City-based Apartment Management Consultants to provide property management services. Orion, with its affiliates, has acquired 1,486 units and currently owns 1,149 units in Colorado, Texas and Utah.
• Black Creek Group, a Denver-based real estate investment management firm, has purchased a 383-000-plus-square-foot industrial building in Salt Lake City. The property, Legacy Logistics Center Building II, is fully leased to an e-commerce provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Urban Utah Homes and Estates at The Gateway has three new affiliate Realtors: Xochitl Medrano, Marcella Montemurro and Susana Clar. All three are bilingual.