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TUCSON-With plans to develop a mix of townhouses, office condominiums and possibly residential condos, AF Sterling Home Builders has acquired 23 acres at the northwest corner of Sunrise Drive and Hacienda del Sol for $7 million. The acreage is the last large piece of vacant land in the Catalina Foothills.

“Prometheus (Real Estate Group) bought the land in 1994 and had plans to develop an apartment project on it,” explains Mike Chapman, an investment specialist at CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Tucson office. He and Bert Kempfert, a CBRE first vice president in Phoenix, office represented the seller, Prometheus Real Estate Group Inc. of Redwood City, CA.

“Prometheus decided to sell the land when it re-focused on apartment development in the Bay Area,” Chapman says. He tells GlobeSt.com that the land tract received a lot of interest, primarily from single-family developers. “They can afford to pay more for land than apartment developers,” he adds.

The acreage, with both mountain and city views, lies just south of the La Paloma Golf Course. It is bisected by a natural wash that runs north to south. “This is probably the best location of all the remaining land in all of Tucson,” says Peter Aronoff, owner of AF Sterling.

On the tract’s western front, AF Sterling plans to build 80 patio homes or detached townhouses. Aronoff estimates each dwelling will cost more than $290,000. Onthe eastern side, the company is planning a two-phase development, beginning with 40,000 sf of office condominiums and build-to-suit offices. The condos will start at $175 per sf.

The success of the first phase will determine if the second phase will be more office condos or residential condos, Aronoff says. The acreage can accommodate an additional 40,000 sf of office condos or 50 residential units, which would be tagged in the low $200,000 range. “We’ve already had a lot of preliminary interest,” he says.

Tucson-based engineering firm OPW is still in the midst of designing the project. As a result, a construction start date has not been set. Linda Breckenridge of Long Realty Co.’s Tucson office represented AF Sterling.

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