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PHOENIX-The Valley’s most opulent suburban office building has come to market, carrying a $19.8-million price ticket.

The 125,340-sf Del Webb Corp. headquarters is surplus property since the takeover earlier this year by Pulte Homes. The three-building complex includes such lavish features as marble paneling, columns and flooring as well as skylights and waterways along interior corridors. “It’s one of the finest suburb office buildings I’ve seen,” Don Arones, an office broker in the Phoenix office of Grubb & Ellis Co., tells GlobeSt.com. “This is the kind of property you can’t duplicate. It’s like a piece of art.”

The complex consists of an 87,640-sf, two-story office building; 30,190-sf conference center; and 7,600-sf, two-story branch office building. The center is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of 24th Street and Arizona Biltmore Circle.

The infamous Western Savings & Loan built the center at the height of the early 1980s building boom, the days of lavish spending for the S&L that eventually did a tailspin into bankruptcy and dissolution.

Del Webb is looking at alternative office space in other parts of the Valley, perhaps north Scottsdale which is being eyed by Pulte Homes as a landing spot. Arones is the listing broker along with Grubb & Ellis’ Larry Downey. Arones estimates the replacement cost for a similarly detailed office would be more than $300 per sf. The asking price breaks down to $157.86 per sf. “The building is well suited for somebody, a company, most likely a single-tenant that’s looking for a signature building,” he says.

The listing brokers will kick off a national campaign next week, complete with advertisements in the Wall Street Journal and marketing packages to corporate echelons that would be likely users for an office of this caliber, Arones says. There are very few office users in town fitting the usual profile for a company seeking space of this scale, he says.

Arones says the design lends well for companies that favor team concepts. “It’s a building where you can see everybody if you are one level,” Arones says.

The area surrounding the center is equally rich in amenities and has been an office market hotspot for the last five years. The intersection of the 24th Street and Camelback Road–the nexus of professional services in the Valley–is a little less then two miles south of the Del Webb headquarters. That corner also hosts the Biltmore Fashion Park and clusters of fine dining and shops. Less than a half-mile away is the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, considered by most to be the finest hotel in the Valley. The headquarters complex sits on a rise facing Squaw Peak.

Arones expects to draw some interest from companies looking to flee high-rise buildings in urban settings in light of the Sept. 11 attacks. “We are not looking to take advantage of some disaster, but it is natural that there a lot of people who are thinking about that now, not being in a big building,” he says. “They want to be in something small where they are not as much of a target.

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