PHOENIX-A pharmacy benefits group has subleased 100,000 sf in a Tempe office building and plans to open a call center that could have as many as 700 employees in the next year.

Express Scripts Inc., a St. Louis-based firm, subleased space from MicroAge in a building the bankrupt company has at 3001 S. Priest Dr., according to Larry Downey, a broker in the Phoenix office of Grubb & Ellis. The company plans to take occupancy next month and ramp up to full occupancy by next year. The facility will be the company’s eighth call center and its largest.

Express Scripts has more than 41 million customers nationwide, and the company handles everything from pharmacy claims to mail-order prescriptions.

Tempe is a popular location for back-office and call-center operations due to its close proximity to Sky Harbor International Airport and an abundance of student workers from Arizona State University willing to work for low wages.

MicroAge, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, used the facility as a customer service and warehouse hub for its Pinacor unit, which ran into operational problems and closed earlier this year.

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