PHOENIX-Investors were disappointed when New York City-based Artemis Fortis changed its mind about selling a class A office building in the heart of the prestigious 24th Avenue and Camelback Road Corridor. But, Crown West Realty LLC refused to take “no” for an answer and nabbed the asset for just under $32.5 million.

“I guess you could say that we snuck in through the backdoor,” says Richard Rollnick, president of Crown West. “After it was taken off the market, we took a very hard look at the submarket and determined that we could pay more money.”

Artemis Fortis and Crown West were represented by Barry Gabel and Dennis Desmond, both senior vice presidents in Phoenix with Trammell Crow Co. Bob Olshan, a vice president of Crown West, headed up the acquisition process internally. The all-cash takedown closed with new debt placed through Bank of America, Rollnick says.

Rollnick tells that the Spokane, WA-based company was able to pull together an offer and close on the nine-story, 235,000-sf building in three weeks. “We’re very fortunate to be able to add such a high-quality asset with such as prestigious address to our portfolio,” he says. “It’s the top submarket in Phoenix.” Crown West now owns 1.2 million sf in the Valley.

The three-year-old building, situated on 1.7 acres across the street from Biltmore Fashion Park, was 40% occupied at the time of sale. The tenant roster includes Principal Financial Group, CNA Insurance and Care First Health Plan.

“The building has under performed for the last few years because of unfavorable market conditions and a poorly defined leasing strategy,” Rollnick says. Crown West plans to lease up the building by offering high-end, turnkey suites ranging from 2,000 sf to 10,000 sf. The building’s top two stories–each with 30,000 sf of contiguous space–are available. There are no other full floors available in the submarket,” Rollnick says.

The TCC team of Jerry Noble, Pat Devine and Grey Mayer will handle the leasing for the building while Crown West manages it. The company plans to upgrade the lobby, elevator interiors, common areas and exterior lighting. Additionally, it is pursuing other services for the building such as a restaurant or gift shop.

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