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PHOENIX-Capitalizing on future light rail development, a local partnership has bought the 76,326-sf Park Lee Shopping Center for $10 million. The buyer beat its competition with its understanding of light rail developments, including the condemnation process.

Shari A. Tucker-Gasser, senior investment adviser for Sperry Van Ness in Phoenix, says Joseph Rich of Southern California had owned the fully leased asset at 1635 W. Camelback Rd. for three years. “He’s not in the business of doing redevelopment,” she explains. “This needed some rehab and because the area is evolving because of the light rail, he felt it was a perfect time to sell.”

The seller’s broker tells GlobeSt.com that the center’s location triggered a bidding war during the 90-day marketing period. “The only reason the marketing took so long was because every time we thought we had a good offer, someone else would step up,” she says. “We must have done the best-and-final two or three times before we finally stopped and made a decision.”

Tucker-Gasser says the winner, Camelback Vector LLC, wasn’t the highest bidder, but it did have the best understanding of the property, which is located half a block away from the future light rail station at 19th Avenue and Camelback Road. Part of the asset’s land was taken by the City of Phoenix to develop the light rail line.

“They’d been through a similar process with a property they’d owned in Denver and the seller was more willing to sell to someone who’d been through this,” Tucker-Gasser explains. The buyer was represented by Jane Poucel, an associate with Colliers International Inc. in Scottsdale.

Tucker-Gasser says the new owner plans to re-face the 21-year-old shopping center. It is anchored by a Fry’s grocery store, with in-line tenants like Payless ShoeSource Inc., Rent-A-Center Inc. and Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. The sale included a vacant 5.8-acre pad site.

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