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PHOENIX-Insurance giant Mutual of Omaha will expand its operations by about 1,000 sf under a six-year lease for 6,047 sf on the firm’s central Phoenix offices.

Gordon Raguse with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial tells that the insurance company looked at other locations, but opted to stay in the 4041 N. Central Ave. office high-rise because its $15.75 per sf lease rate was about $3 per sf to $4 per sf below comparable properties in the surrounding area. “They had great signage, it was centrally located and the prices in the central corridor were $3 to $4 better than we could have found in Squaw Peak and other areas,” he says. “For the difference, they could get the expansion, keep the signage and save $3 to $4 per sf . Economic-wise it made sense to stay put.”

Renovations to the office tower at the southeast corner of Indian School Road and Central Avenue also helped solidify the lease renewal, Raguse says. The building, which is about 60% occupied, was upgraded with revamped lobbies and parking expanded in the last two years. Raguse represented the tenant in the lease renewal. The building owner, Metropolitan Life Insurance, was assisted by Don Mudd and John Bonnell, both with Trammell Crow Co.’s Phoenix office.

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