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PHOENIX-A $2.5-million retail project that will bring a string of new stores to the Camelback Corridor is underway with the construction of a 19,400-sf shopping plaza at 16th Street and Camelback Road.

The Weitz Co.’s Southwest Division recently broke ground on the site, the largest remaining parcel in the Camelback Corridor, with construction on the eight-acre parcel slated to be completed by October. “It’s a very high-traffic corner for retail in that part of Phoenix,” Clay Wells, business development manager for the Weitz Co. tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s a prime opportunity for retailers who don’t have exposure in that part of the city.”

The site was previously owned by Marriott Corp. which had planned to construct a Residence Inn and a Springfield Suites at that location. The hotel giant sold the land to Orix Alliant for $10 million in December in one of the highest priced land deals in the Valley when Marriott scuttled its plans after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks created a sharp downturn in the economy.

The new shopping plaza, designed by Phoenix-based architects DFD CornoyerHedrick, has already signed at least two tenants, including the Mexican Restaurant Chipotle and a coffee shop known as Coffee, Tea & Bean. Wells said the owners currently are negotiating with a bank to construct a branch office on the property. Plans for the site also call for a 33,249-sf Circuit City electronics store and a 14,375-sf Eckerd drug store to anchor the shopping plaza. The project is a joint venture between Chicago-based Orix Real Estate Equities and Avalliant Partners.

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