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PHOENIX-After holding onto the land for more than two years, Wellesley, MA-based Orsett Properties Ltd. has started work on the $28-million Pinnacle Peak Commerce Center, a speculative office/warehouse development.

The 211,635-sf, two-building project is situated on about 17 acres at the intersection of Pinnacle Peak Road and 23rd Avenue. “We’ve done quite a few speculative buildings throughout the Phoenix area and we’re excited about this project,” says Adrian Evarkiou, senior vice president for Orsett Properties Ltd. “We’ve owned the land for a little over two years and feel the timing is right for a spec project.” The buildings are located in the middle of the expanding Deer Valley submarket near Interstate 17 and Loop 101.

Evarkiou tells GlobeSt.com that Pinnacle Peak Commerce Center does not have a lot of competition. “There’s nothing else under construction at this time and not a lot of existing space in this particular submarket,” he says.

Tim Whittemore, Jim Wilson and Mike Beall with Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc. are handling pre-leasing for the project. The quoted rate is $13.50 per sf, triple net, says Whittemore.

According to Whittemore, the vacancy rate is about 11% for similar flex office/warehouse space. “This project is the right product, right place at the right time,” he says, noting the type of employer that is attracted to the area is a back-office user because of the ample labor pool in Deer Valley. Companies like USAA, Wells Fargo Bank and Cigna already have offices in the area.

The single-story buildings, which will feature concrete tilt-wall panels and steel joists with a panelized roof, will be completed in August 2005. They were designed by Phoenix-based Butler Design Group. The Weitz Co. is the general contractor, marking its sixth project for Orsett.

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