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GILBERT, AZ-Though office-condominiums are fairly common these days, the 106,000-sf, vertical-by-design Rome Towers will challenge the standard office-condos when it’s delivered to market Q1 2007. Local developer Rome Towers LLC, a Xomsa Co. will launch construction on the five-story, $20-million project on Aug. 31.

“This project is unusual in Phoenix in that most of the office-condos are single-level buildings,” comments Mark Gustin, vice president with Trammell Crow Co.’s Phoenix office. Gustin, with TCC’s Karsten Peterson and Bryan Johnson, is handling office sales for the project at 1760 E. Pecos Rd., with prices ranging $245 per sf to $275 per sf for shell space.

David B. Stadnik, principal with Rome Towers LLC, tells GlobeSt.com that vertical-by-design buildings are the next phase for the office-condo market. “From a market standpoint, office-condos are a young product, about five- to seven-years-old, and they had to be tried and tested here,” he says. “By the time we came into the market, it had been done, so now it’s time for the next step.”

Gustin tells GlobeSt.com that there’s been a great deal of interest in the three-acre project, partly because the sizes are somewhat larger than the standard office-condo. The building can accommodate a minimum of 1,900 sf to 75,000 sf on multiple floors, versus traditional office-condos, that offer 1,500 sf to 6,000 sf. Stadnik adds that there are several groups that have already signed or will sign purchase agreements. “Within the next 30 to 60 days, we’ll have one of the multi-tenant floors completely sold out,” he says.

As a result, Stadnik is looking toward more projects in the area. “We’ve had buyers state ‘build this here, and I’ll buy two floors,’” he says. “What we’ve learned through this process is that this is something that the market wants: a higher-end version of the traditional market condo with a little more prestige.”

De Rito Partners Inc. of Phoenix is handling leasing activities on the 24,000-sf, ground-floor retail component. Scottsdale-based Patrick Hayes Architecture Inc. is handling the design, and the Weitz Co. Inc. of Phoenix is the general contractor.

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