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PHOENIX-A lengthy search for Valley Metro Rail Inc.’s new headquarters has ended with the agency signing a 10-year lease for 57,007 sf of class B-plus office space in US Bank Center. The five-floor pact is valued at $14 million.

The overseer for the Valley’s new light-rail system will move into the 101 N. First Ave. tower in December from 411 N. Central Ave. “We were originally trying to renew our lease at 411 N. Central, but when the City of Phoenix acquired the building for Arizona State University’s new campus, there wasn’t room for us and we had to look elsewhere,” Don Rodie, a senior director with Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc., tells GlobeSt.com.

“There were only two buildings that could accommodate our space needs on contiguous floors,” Rodie says, citing a requirement for a Downtown location. US Bank Center was up against Phelps Dodge Tower at One Central Ave., which fell out of contention when the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management took down 40,902 sf of class A office space and pushed occupancy to 95% in the 20-story, 410,000-sf structure. “They signed a lease before we were ready to make a commitment,” Rodie says.

Rodie says Valley Metro Rail will take over floors nine through 13 in the 31-story US Bank Center. As part of the pact, Valley Metro Rail gets a monument sign and early termination option at the five-year mark, the tenant’s broker says. The lease brings the 366,114-sf office building to 90% occupancy. Judy Klein with Amerimar First Management and the CB Richard Ellis Inc. team of Charles Miscio and Keith Lambeth represented the building owner, Bankam LLC.

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