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PHOENIX-Phelps Dodge Tower, Phoenix’s newest CBD high-rise, has finalized lease negotiations with two more tenants, further validation that the downtown is a location worthy of Fortune 500 companies, say boosters.

The signings come about a month before the 20-story office and retail project is due to deliver. When it opens, at least two more tenants should be on board. With the finalized leases, all but 125,000 sf of its available tenant space has been pre-leased. The tower’s construction has been under way since February 2000.

The law firm of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite has signed a 10-year lease to occupy 45,414 sf of office space-floors 11 and 12. The firm will relocate from its current Phoenix headquarters to Phelps Dodge Tower in August 2002.

Also finalizing a lease is the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is taking 29,165 sf on the sixth floor for its administrative office. HUD will move into the 410,000-sf building in January.

Copper giant Phelps Dodge is the anchor tenant. It has lined up a November move from a leased high-rise in mid-town Phoenix.

“We believe that Copper Square area, as the heart of the city, is an appropriate place for all corporate headquarters,” says Brian Kearney, executive director of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership. “Phelps Dodge’s willingness to make a commitment here says a lot about the benefits of locating those types of operations here.” The addition of the new Phelps Dodge headquarters does more than add to the downtown skyline and bring in 400 more workers, it convincingly validates the concept that downtown Phoenix is a well-suited host for Fortune 500 companies, he says.

Phelps Dodge choose the downtown site over one in Scottsdale and the corner of 24th Street and Camelback Road primarily because of its location in the Valley. “We chose this location for many reasons,” says Steve Whisler, Phelps Dodge president, CEO and chairman. “Most importantly, we considered our competitive business environment and the needs of our employees. Phelps Dodge is proud to be a part of the revitalization of downtown Phoenix and our employees are looking forward to moving into the heart of the city. There is a certain energy in the downtown area now and this makes it a great place to locate a business.” Phelps Dodge will move 400 employees into floors 14 through 20.

The 20-story tower includes a 1,000-space parking garage, part of which is underground and the remainder of which takes up floors two through five above grade. The ground floor will include a lobby and 10,000 sf of retail.

Ryan Cos., the project developer, is taking 18,000 sf on the 13th floor. A team of 85 will occupy the office space.

Brad Anderson of the Phoenix office of CB Richard Ellis along with Patti Boyd-Gentry of Patricia B. Boyd & Associates of Phoenix represented the building owner. Jay Hoselton of Coldwell Banker Commercial Metro’s Phoenix office acted on the law firm’s behalf while Anderson and Boyd negotiated for HUD in its lease.

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