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PHOENIX-A local building that served as the administrative and lending office for Bank One has been sold for $10.8 million to a Chicago buyer one year after the seller gutted the property and tuned it into a profitable two-story office project.

The 1600 East Northern Avenue LLC, an entity formed by Mark Barrati of Chicago, picked up the 70,174-sf Northern Corporate Center from locally based Northern Corporate Center LLC, led by Doug Dragoo of Carefree. Eric Wichterman, with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial here, tells GlobeSt.com that the seller gutted the interior, revamped the lobby, painted the exterior and added fresh landscaping to the 1600 E. Northern Ave. building then leased it to 96% occupancy within 11 months to tenants that include Health Services Advisory and ProNet Solutions Inc.

“It was a substantial feat,” Wichterman says of the seller’s quick lease-up, “especially given the fact that it was right after (the terrorist attacks on) Sept. 11.” The multi-tenant office property quickly picked up tenants, not only because of its recent renovations, but also because of a location near the North Mountain Preserve, Wichterman adds. Both were key selling points, as well. “It quickly leased up in our somewhat weak office market. That showed it has an appeal for tenants,” he says.

Wichterman, along with Stan Shafer and Jeff Wentworth, also with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial, represented both parties in the sale. Wentworth is also the property’s designated leasing agent for a remaining small suite. That space, which will bring the building to full occupancy, is renting for about $21.25 per sf full service.

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