PHOENIX-Equus Development Corp. has paid $9.8 million for Century Plaza and plans to redevelop the 15-story, 218,532-sf office building into residential condominiums. Equus, which is headed by president Doug Edgelow, purchased the class B-minus building from the Praedium Group of New York City.

“[Equus] was looking for an office building on Central Avenue to convert,” says Chris Ackel, a senior associate with CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Phoenix office who represented Equus in the transaction. “Central Avenue is really starting to emerge as a condo market.”

Situated on roughly three acres at 3225 N. Central Ave., Century Plaza is ideal for residential condominiums, says Rick Abraham, a senior associate with CBRE who represented the Praedium Group in the transaction. He was assisted by CBRE’s Bob Young, Steven Brabant, Glenn Smigiel, Charles Miscio, Ashley Brooks, Keith Lambeth and Jim Bayless.

Abraham tells that Century Plaza received 10 offers. “There’s this whole revival going on with Central Avenue. There’s a lot of activity down there and if you’re ever thinking of selling, now would be the time,” he says.

Ackel tells that Equus had been interested in acquiring Century Plaza for nearly 12 months, but the 30-year-old building went under contract and dropped out of escrow twice before Equus got a crack at it. Equus plans to redevelop the building into 150 condos with one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans ranging from 700 sf to 1,700 sf. Prices for the units will range from $150,000 to $500,000, Ackel says. The sales office will be open early next year, and Equus plans to start construction on the condos late next year.

Century Plaza is currently 45% occupied, so Equus will only be able to work on the vacant floors until the tenants move out. Dallas-based Humphries & Partners Architects is creating the redevelopment design, which will include removing the exterior glass and replacing it with dual-paned glass at a cost of $1.2 million, Ackel says.

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