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PHOENIX-Newport Beach, CA-based PMRealty Advisors has its first tenant for a two-building, 176,000-sf office project that delivered nearly seven months ago in northwest Phoenix. Payment Systems for Credit Unions Inc., based in St. Petersburg, FL, is taking 35,642 sf or the entire second floor of the rear building at Deer Valley Office Plaza.

R. Craig Coppola, principal of Lee & Associates Arizona, tells GlobeSt.com more deals are in the pipeline for the business park located at the northwest corner of 19th Avenue and Loop 101. Talks are under way with a 2,500-sf user for the same building, a 68,939-sf design positioned at 20430 N. 19th Ave., that Payment Systems has selected while prospects in the 20,000-sf to 40,000-sf range are being courted for the project’s larger structure. Another pact could be signed within 45 days, but it’s still a bit too early to talk.

Coppola says Payment Systems’ signing and the ongoing talks show the office market is still active, a needed sign for an emerging area like Deer Valley. The Loop 101 completion in the summer opened development floodgates, giving the Deer Valley submarket one of the highest office vacancies in the region as it struggles for its share of tenants. “It’s the first time ever that office building construction has ever been done there,” says Coppola. “It’s exciting to be part of the growth up there.”

Certainly, Payment Systems’ seven-year lease, valued at slightly less than $5 million, is a bright spot in an otherwise dismal market. Brighter yet is the fact that Payment Systems plans to use the class A office location to consolidate several US offices, Blaine Black, vice president of Trammell Crow Co.’s Phoenix office, tells GlobeSt.com. TIs begin in January, with move-in planned for April 1, 2002.

The tenant is relocating from 410 44th St. in Phoenix proper. Payment Systems, fully owned by credit unions, also has offices in Honolulu, Herndon, VA, Jacksonville, FL, Novi, MI in addition to its headquarters city of St. Petersburg. The firm provides financial services’ solutions to more than 500 credit unions and their six million cardholder accounts. And that kind of profile, says Coppola, makes the signing even sweeter. “They’re a great quality tenant,” he stresses.

Coppola and Bill Blake, also a Lee & Associates Arizona principal, represented the building owner, PMRealty Advisors. Black and Pat Devine, a senior associate for Trammell Crow, handled talks for the tenant.

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