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PHOENIX-Lauth Property Group is planning to build a spec office park with 540,000 sf of class A space on a just-bought 20.1-acre tract. The $13.95-million, off-market buy has closed less than a month after the Indianapolis-based developer sold 17 acres two miles to the west near Sky Harbor International Airport.

The three-building Washington Point Business Center will break ground in first quarter 2007 at the corner of State Highway 143 and Washington Street. Completion is anticipated for fourth quarter 2007. The construction cost, as are the proposed lease rates, is still being fine-tuned.

Lauth picked up the development site in an off-market deal with Landbanc Capital of Beverly Hills, CA. Landbanc had acquired the acreage about a year ago and held it as an investment. “They weren’t sure what they were going to do with it, though they were planning some developments,” says Jim Fijan, executive vice president with CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix.

Fijan, who represented the seller, says Lauth was brought in because of its interest in developing by the airport. “This looked good for them. They liked the airport area and they wanted to make an offer on it,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

Lauth, a general contractor, plans to build Washington Point Business Center in two phases. Fijan is teaming with CBRE’s Jerry Roberts to lease the park. Ideally, Fijan says they want to get as much preleased as possible before the space comes on line. And the ideal tenant is one whose must-haves include airport and freeway accessibility to the entire Valley.

Fijan says acquisition and construction financing was provided by Compass Bank. The Denver-based SEM Architects Inc. designed Washington Point Business Center.

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