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PHOENIX-The under-construction East Gateway Centre, a two-building class A project, has secured its first tenant. Malcolm Pirnie, a New York-based environmental engineering company, is taking 26,000 sf for a regional office in a 10-year lease valued at $6.6 million.

East Gateway Centre, which delivers by December, is located near the intersection of 44th and Van Buren streets near the airport. Construction began in February on the two, four-story office buildings that total 228,800 sf. A parking deck adjacent to the buildings also is under construction.

McShane Corp., a Rosemont, IL-based development firm is the developer. McShane Construction Corp. and project architect Cornoyer-Hedrick, Inc. of Phoenix are providing design-build services.

Once the once of the most decrepit areas of the Valley, the area near 44th Street and Van Buren Street has been the midst of the regeneration for the past five years. But it’s only been in the past two years or so that the collection of office properties in the area has begun to drive out seedier elements and introduce redevelopment to the more blighted areas. A number of office projects have gone up the past three years and more and more upscale tenants are locating in the area.

Not only does the area provide quick access to the airport, but also a confluence of freeways comes together in the area. Nearby freeways include Interstates 10 and 17, Papago Freeway, Red Mountain Freeway, Sky Harbor Expressway and Hohokam Expressway.

The airport area, which is considered up to Van Buren Street and between 20th Street and Priest Drive, has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the Valley. The vacancy rate is just 5.7% for office space, compared to 9.9% Valleywide.

Brokers Tom Adelson, Jim Fijan, Jerry Roberts and Kevin Calihan, all of the CB Richard Ellis Phoenix office, have negotiated the pact for the developer. The Phoenix office of United Systems Integrators Corp., with brokers Jim Watson and Frank Rivas, has represented the tenant.

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