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TEMPE, AZ-A first-time buyer in the Arizona market has plunked down $31.3 million to purchase Airport Business Center, a 268,520-sf, multi-tenant industrial and office park near Sky Harbor International Airport. The San Francisco-based buyer, G.W. Williams Co., has acquired the 19-building park from a Canadian partnership.

G.W. Williams topped 11 other bidders in a three-month marketing of the South 48th Street park. “They like the long-term appreciation the Phoenix market offers, compared to their own market in California,” says Paul Boyle, vice president for Phoenix-based Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial LLC.

Boyle, who worked with colleague Rick Danis on both sides of the transaction, says the partnership, sponsored by Victoria Properties Management LLC of Victoria, British Columbia, is dissolving so the park was put up for sale. Victoria Properties will continue to manage the buildings at 315-425, 437-627 and 637 S. 48th St.

“Basically, they’re focusing more on their own market near Victoria,” Boyle tells GlobeSt.com. Commercial Properties Inc. of Phoenix is overseeing the leasing of the now 90%-occupied development.

“Victoria bought the property in 1996, and at the time they acquired it, there was only about 154,000 sf, with seven acres of excess land,” Boyle says. He adds the Canadian company, which purchased Airport Business Center for $6.1 million, invested a great deal into capital improvement and adding flex and office space.

In the meantime, G.W. Williams is actively seeking other opportunities in the Greater Phoenix area. Its plan for Airport Business Center is to maintain it as a long-term investment. “They’re a long-term holder and are looking at the property in the same way Victoria looked at it in 1996,” Boyle says.

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