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PHOENIX-California-based SunAmerica Investments Inc. will be kicking off a 1.1 million-sf office campus near Sky Harbor Airport.

Washington Park is a multi-phase corporate office development at the southeast corner of 44th and Van Buren streets in east Phoenix. Construction should get under way in August, with completion set for fall 2002. “Washington Park’s development focus is to create a corporate-campus environment, with on-site amenities such as retail, restaurant, and hotel opportunities, to attract to the area `Fortune 500′ type companies,” says Jonathon Vento, president of Phoenix- based DFD Architecture, which designed the project.

The office building will range from five to 10 stories and will be built in phases. SunAmerica has owned the 25-acre site for several years. The project is about a mile north of Sky Harbor International Airport and positioned at the confluence of Hohokam Parkway, Loop 202 and Sky Harbor Expressway.

The Gateway submarket had experienced some decrease in demand, but has since absorbed much of its new space. At the start of the third quarter, the vacancy rate in the Gateway area was 11.8%, down from 12.7% in the previous quarter. Only the north Scottsdale area, with a 11.2% vacancy rate, is lower. The Valley’s overall office vacancy is 15.2% and jumps at least 3% higher if sublease space is factored into the total.

Washington Park will be competing directly with Cotton Center, which is at the southwest corner of 48th Street and Broadway Road, and Riverpoint, situated at the southwest corner of 32nd Street and Interstate 10. Cotton Center, which has been open for nearly two years, has captured a number of high-profile clients and construction on Riverpoint began last week by Kitchell Development.

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