PHOENIX–California has become a more attractive area over Arizona for development opportunities for Opus West, which plans to continue to expand its development network in the golden state, Tom Roberts, president and CEO tells

Five years ago, three-fourths of Opus West’s development projects were in Arizona, mostly in the Phoenix metro area, where the company is based. Now just one quarter of the firm’s business is here; most of the it is in California.

“When we became active in the middle 90s we were the only game in town,” he says. “In the past two years there has been a tremendous amount of new competition and a lot of local development of space. We are less dominant in this market.”

For the past two years, Opus West has developed about the same amount of space in the Phoenix area–about one-million sf of office space, 500,000 sf of industrial and 300,000 sf of retail. If anything that pace could slow over the next year, Roberts says. “We are a little more cautious,” Roberts says. “We are a little bit leery about the amount of space we are putting on the market every year.”

Opus West hasn’t pulled back in Arizona as much as it’s grown in California, he says. In the past two years, Opus West has doubled its revenues, most of that growth coming from its expansion in California, Roberts says. This year’s revenues are projected to hit $400 million.

Opus West, which has offices in Sacramento, Irvine and San Francisco, opened a regional office in April in Los Angeles and plans to open another office in San Diego at the start of the year, Roberts says. “LA was probably the last market that recovered in California,” he says. “We saw several deal opportunities. It’s a market we think we should have a presence in.”Since Opus West opened its office in Phoenix in 1979, the company has developed more than 18 million sf of office, industrial and retail space throughout the West. The firm is part of the Opus Group of Companies.

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