SCOTTSDALE, AZ-St. Paul Travelers Inc., taking advantage of a solid income stream and upside potential, has acquired the 111,200-sf Via Linda Corporate Center. The Minnesota investment group has paid $19.9 million for the class A office building, which is occupied by two tenants.

The buyer beat 12 other offers from private and institutional players with its offer for a quick close, aggressive pricing and an all-cash deal for 9060 E. Via Linda property, according to Chris Toci, executive director with Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc., who represented the seller, LBA Realty of Irvine CA along with colleagues Ted Harrison, James Wilson and Michael Beall. “There was a good sampling of all the food groups, except for the REITs,” Toci says.

Toci says LBA inherited the 21-year-old office building in the early 2006 merger with Bedford Properties Investors Inc. of Lafayette, CA. LBA has one local property left from the Bedford portfolio: the 140,157-sf Executive Center at Southbank at 3600 E. University Dr. Toci says the owner, which has other assets in Greater Phoenix, is working right now to renew Executive Center tenants.

Via Linda’s two tenants are Sentry Insurance Co. and Caremark Rx Inc. Both leases will roll in March 2008. Toci tells that each lease has a renewal option and significant room for a bump-up in rent. He says the rate was $21.73 per sf when they signed their deals, but the going market rate now is $24 per sf to $25 per sf.

Toci points out that barriers to entry are as much an advantage to the acquisition as the income stream and subsequent upside. “There’s not a lot of land in the immediate area. And with everything going on at Scottsdale Memorial North, I think they were enamored with the strong demographics and the fact the tenants had a reason to be there,” he says.

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