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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-Crown Realty & Development Inc., looking to spend $125 million to $150 million on commercial properties in the state, has closed an off-market buy of its first office property in the metro. Sources say the Irvine, CA-based investment group has paid about $20 million for the 152,000-sf Scottsdale Technology Center.

Scott G. San Filippo, Crown’s COO, tells GlobeSt.com that the class B complex was marketed in early 2005 and pulled until the owner could iron out some debt issues. “It was just coming back to market and we got in front of them,” he says, “and made them an unsolicited offer.” At one time, the 15.4-acre development at 14505, 14555 and 14455 N. Hayden Rd. housed American Express Co. Crown vice president Brandt McCullough not only brokered the deal, but sourced it.

San Filippo estimates another $3 million will go into renovations and a tenant-improvement pool for a building trio that’s about to be severed into separate tracts. He says the complex will be divided so the 21-year-old buildings–60,000 sf and a set of 46,000 sf twins–can be sold piecemeal should an offer come along during the repositioning. “We like the long-term hold,” he says, but we understand the market and the demand for 30,000-sf to 60,000-sf buildings. Because we can make that available, we’re going to.” Renovations will begin in 30 days.

San Filippo says the deal with three-year owner, AB Scottsdale Technology Center LLC, closed free and clear, with the buyer securing short-term financing from Bank of America. Permanent financing will be placed after the 65%-occupied complex reaches lease-up. Crown hired the CB Richard Ellis team of Jim Fijan, Tom Adelson, Jerry Roberts and Kevin Calihan to steer the leasing campaign.

Ryland Mortgage Co., one of the lead tenants, already has re-upped while the other top space-taker, GoDaddy Software Inc., has several years left on its headquarters lease, according to San Filippo. And, he adds, there are no more lease rollovers this year so the spotlight can stay pointed at filling the vacancy.

Crown Realty has roughly $500 million in resort projects under way in the Greater Phoenix metro. In swinging some attention to office purchases with the $125-million-plus pool of ready capital, there’s another office property acquisition set to close in 30 to 40 days, San Filippo confides.

“We are currently looking at a number of other real estate opportunities in Scottsdale, including some that would likely hold great interest for the public and real estate community,” Robert Flaxman, Crown founder and principal, says in a press release about the acquisition. “We are bullish on Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and this market in general.”

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