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TOLLESON, AZ-Ryan Cos. is off and running with a 140,000-sf, build-to-suit distribution center in the West Valley. The developer is investing about $7.4 million in the project, including land costs for nearly 13 acres at the northwest corner of Van Buren Street and 83rd Avenue in Tolleson, a small suburb on the western edge of Phoenix.

By year’s end, Graybar Electric, a St. Louis-based distributor for subcontractors, will be able to move into its new location. Ryan has shored up three Graybar Electric projects to date. The first facility recently delivered in Minneapolis. Another project is in the works, but its location is being kept under wraps for now.

There is an abundance of available distribution space in the West Valley, more than four million sf at last count. Graybar opted to build its own because it was looking for a uniquely shaped building for heightened efficiency, says John Strittmatter, president of Minneapolis-based Ryan’s Southwest Division. “It would have been difficult for them to fit into a traditional distribution building,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

The building is going up in Ryan’s 95-acre business park. The park already has attracted major tenants such as Cardinal Health, which built a 110,000-sf distribution building, and Costco Marketing and Western Molding, which share a 242,000-sf distribution building. Despite the West Valley’s space glut, the park is proving particularly appealing because it is close to Interstate 10 and the Loop 101 exit, Strittmatter says. “It’s a little out of our comfort zone, but we have been delighted,” he says. “We couldn’t be any happier with the way it has evolved.” Fifty acres are still available.

Strittmatter says there won’t be any sizeable distribution project come off the drawing board in the near future in the West Valley. Ryan may continue to develop in the area, but will focus on smaller projects, around 100,000 sf, and gear it to tenants seeking 15,000 sf to 30,000 sf, he says. “I don’t think you will see any new spec bulk buildings in the foreseeable future,” he says.

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