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PHOENIX-Following a half-year area-wide search, a division of Sodexho USA is taking down 40,490 sf at Opus Cotton Center in a deal valued at $6.4 million. The 10-year lease commences for local division Sodexho America in November 2006, with the consideration including build-outs and renovations for the class A space.

Sodexho, headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD, will use its new space at 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd. for conference and training facilities. “As opposed to hiring space at a Hilton hotel for a training course or seminar, employees will come to this facility from all over the country for training,” says tenant rep Greg White, senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis Group Co.’s Phoenix office.

White tells GlobeSt.com that Sodexho, which has other offices in the market, investigated potential office space throughout nearby Chandler and Tempe, as well as Phoenix. Cotton Center ended up with the new tenant because of its location, access to the freeway and nearby amenities. “With a situation like this, you want space that’s close to the airport, close to hotels and close to amenities, and Cotton Center had all three,” White adds.

Sodexho is an international food and facilities management services company. The company has additional facilities in Chandler, Yuma and Casa Grande. The transaction brings the 124,300-sf, 2002-constructed Cotton Center to a 90%-plus occupancy.

Mike Beall, Pat Harlan and Jim Wilson of Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc.’s Phoenix office represented Cotton Center owner Opus West in Phoenix.

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