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PHOENIX-The leasing and management duties at one of the most visible high-rises in midtown Phoenix have been moved to a new firm.

The Phoenix office of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. has been hired to manage and lease the Viad Corporate Center, a 483,000-sf, class A office tower at the intersection of Viad Way and Central Avenue. Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc.’s Phoenix office previously held the contract.

“The Viad Corporate Center is still one of the most recognized towers in town,” says Jerry Noble, Trammell Crow’s senior associate in Phoenix, tells GlobeSt.com. “The ownership has taken an active part in repositioning the building.”

FP Arizona Inc., an Arizona-based pension fund, bought the 23-story tower in 1996. It is part of a 12 million-sf, class A office building portfolio that is managed by GIC Real Estate Inc. Trammell Crow also serves GIC Real Estate. in the Washington DC market.

The tower is the headquarters for Viad Corp., created about four years ago in a divestiture of Dial Corp. Dial relocated its headquarters to a building near the Scottsdale Airpark in Scottsdale, and Viad, which provides food to airlines and services and goods to trade shows, stayed put in about 48,000 sf. Other tenants include America Group, a title company; PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Cavanaugh Law Firm; Morrison & Hecker, a law firm; and Aon Insurance.

The tower has an occupancy rate of 90%, but has nearly 60,000 sf available for sublease. Two floors belonged to Dial and one to National Bank. The building’s sublease space vacancy is a reflection of the entire midtown market, which has a glut on the market. The vacancy rate is about 14%, but balloons to 19% to 20% when sublease space is factored into the equation. Part of the problem results from the dissolution of MicroAge, which is in bankruptcy and has vacated an office building just north of the tower. Phelps Dodge also exited more than 300,000 sf in an office tower south of the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Thomas Road. Phelps Dodge is set to move into a new corporate headquarters in downtown in November.

Viad Corporate Center boasts an amenity package that few in the midtown area can match. It includes a flower shop, sundry shop, full-service cafeteria, on-site fitness center and state-of-the-art video conference center. “It’s been a while since we had a tower on Central,” Noble says of the assignment. “It’s a fantastic project for Crow to take on a building on Central.” Trammell Crow’s Phoenix team consists of about 50 employees, including 13 full-time brokers.

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