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SCOTTSDALE-Smart & Final Inc. has leased 27,827 sf of retail space at East Thunderbird Square, giving the warehouse food and foodservice supplier its seventh location in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

“It’s a pretty special center,” says Patrick Sauer of CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Phoenix Velocity Retail Group, which brokered the deal for the tenant. “It’s a great neighborhood and they’re expecting to do very well there.”

Don Raskin, owner of the East Thunderbird Square-North shopping center at 13802 N. Scottsdale Rd. where Smart & Final will be located, tells GlobeSt.com that he was first approached by the firm’s representatives about a year ago, but negotiations were delayed because another grocery store, ABCO, was located in the same plaza. That hurdle was overcome earlier this year when ABCO went out of business. A 15-year lease with Smart & Final was finally sealed after 90 days of negotiations, Raskin says.

According to Sauer, the store is expected to open by mid-November. He said it’s just one of 10 new outlets the Los Angeles-based Smart & Final expects to have in the Phoenix metropolitan area within the next two years.

The 131-year-old grocer operates 235 warehouse stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Nevada, Idaho and Northern Mexico as well as two foodservice distribution companies in northern California and Florida. The stores, which carry food products as well as restaurant and janitorial supplies and feature a specialty test kitchen, are modeled after other warehouse-type stores, but do not require consumers to buy a membership.

The 164,000-sf East Thunderbird Square-North, built in 1985, has a mix that includes Home Furniture and World Bizarre along with restaurants such as Sapporo’s and Farelli’s Dinner and a Movie. Raskin said the complex recently was remodeled with new store fronts and signs to give it an updated appearance.

Sauer and Darren Pitts of CB Richard Ellis’ Phoenix office represented Smart & Final in the deal. The building owner, East Thunderbird Square-North, was self-represented.

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