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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-A Phoenix-based retail developer has won a 22-acre North Scottsdale parcel in a state land auction, offering a high bid of $11.6 million for the site. The deal sets in motion development of a $15-million, 140,275-sf retail center to rise on the southeast corner of Hayden Road and Thompson Peak Parkway.

“How the state structured this one is that you’re bidding on the appraised value. As you are bidding on the appraised value, your ground rent goes up,” Gary Pederson, vice president and general counsel for Pederson Group Inc. in Phoenix, tells GlobeSt.com. “It went up pretty significantly, bidding was pretty competitive.” It was the firm’s first foray into state auctions, he says.

Pederson beat out two competing bidders and subsequently entered a 65-year ground lease with the state. Although the site was appraised at $6.8 million earlier this year, the lease was based on the $11.6-million bid, Pederson explains. The firm will pay 5% of the value for the first year of the lease; 3.75% in the second and third years; and 10.85% for the fourth year. A 0.5% bump will occur every five years for the remainder of the term.

The company plans to break ground on the North Scottsdale Mercado in first quarter 2005, eyeing a fall opening. Pederson has started negotiations with a potential grocery store anchor for what is being touted as a class A, upscale retail destination with rents exceeding $30 per sf. The majority of stores will front Hayden Road.

Butler Design Group Inc. of Phoenix was hired as architect. The general contractor has yet to be picked.

Pederson Group is one of Scottsdale’s leading retail developers. Its pipeline right now includes the Promenade, a one-million-sf project under construction at 16211 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale and a 335,000-sf center at 24th Street and Baseline Road in South Phoenix. The firm also owns the 145,517-sf Grayhawk Plaza at 20851 N. Scottsdale Rd.

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