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TEMPE, AZ-In one of the largest leases in the Valley this year, Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. has signed a $21-million pact for 165,000 sf of office space in Allred Cotton Center in Tempe, inking a 10-year deal to become one of the center’s biggest tenants.

David Carder with CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Phoenix office tells GlobeSt.com that the lease will allow the Mayfield Heights, OH, auto insurer to merge several Valley offices into one location and provide enough room for 1,300 workers. Progressive currently plans to hire 400 more employees to staff its customer and policy service centers at the site, he said.

The insurance company is expected to move into Building 4 at 4425 E. Cotton Center Blvd. in January. Carder said the firm selected the location because its proximity to the Valley’s freeway system and airport.

The Cotton Center, set on 64 acres, is comprised of eight buildings totaling 660,572 sf with tenants that include Bax Global, Siemens Building Technologies, pharmaceutical giant Kiermark, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Phelps Dodge, Clark American Checks, and the audio visual company AVR. Four additional buildings are planned for development at the center in the future.

“We’re very excited about the success of this project,” said Carder, noting that the property offers tenants ample parking and loading areas and rental rates ranging from 93 cents to 98 cents per sf triple net with $15 per sf for tenant improvements on the remaining 144,328 sf of vacant space.

Carder along with Mark Krison and Bob Crum, also with CB Richard Ellis, negotiated the lease deal on behalf of the building owner, Quads 345 LLC of San Diego. Progressive Insurance was assisted by Steve Corney from the Phoenix office of the Staubach Co.

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