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PHOENIX-After searching for several months for the perfect building and location for the first building supply store in Phoenix, Habitat for Humanity’s Valley of the Sun chapter has leased a 25,000-sf industrial building at 115 E. Watkins St.

“It’s a mini-version of a Home Depot where they sell donated stuff,” says Lee Noble, senior vice president in Phoenix for CB Richard Ellis Inc. The store, which will be stocked with excess donated construction materials, will open to the public in February. It is one of several retail outlets across the country operated by local chapters of Habitat for Humanity International.

“I think the best case scenario for Habitat might have been a retail property in more of a residential area,” says Bob Hubbard, an associate with CB Richard Ellis Inc., who teamed with Pat Feeney, Dan Calihan and Aric Adams to broker the deal for building owner, Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust. “But the combination of cost and functionality ended up bringing (Habitat) to our building.” According to Hubbard, the building’s sole tenant, who filled about one-third of the space, is set to exit Dec. 31.

The Habitat’s team searched more than a year to find “a space that would work that had accessibility, visibility and a good rate,” Noble, the nonprofit’s broker, tells GlobeSt.com. “First Industrial cut them a super, super deal because they’re a charitable organization.” He says the five-year lease puts about $1 million in the building owner’s pockets.

Habitat for Humanity leased the entire building, located just south of downtown in Valley Interstate Industrial Center. Built in 1980, the building offers frontage visibility to Central Avenue and boasts plenty of parking. Revenues from the Habitat for Humanity’s Phoenix store will be used to cover the local chapter’s operating costs and will enable other donations to be funneled directly into home construction for needy individuals and families.

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