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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-After a seven-year hold, a California investor has sold the 147,056-sf Gainey Center I in the city’s central core. The office building has brought $52 million from Principal Real Estate Investors LLC, which paid the highest per sf price for class A office space to date in the metro.

According to Jim Fijan, executive vice president with CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix, New Cities Land Co. in Monterey, CA opted to sell the 97%-occupied building at 8601 N. Scottsdale Rd. because of an extraordinarily strong market. “Scottsdale is a submarket where there is a lot of capital looking for deals, but not a lot of deals on the market,” he says.

Teaming with CBRE executive vice president Jerry Roberts, Fijan tells GlobeSt.com that the three-story building attracted 10 offers during a month-long marketing period, then went to a best-and-final round with three bidders. The Des Moines-based Principal had the highest offer, but the seller also liked its track record for closing, according to Fijan. “The other two were competitive,” he points out.

Fijan says the appeal from investment circles was the central Scottsdale location. Plus it didn’t hurt that the main tenant, Wells Fargo Bank, has 48% of the class A space leased for the long term. “Wells Fargo moved their regional offices to this location because they realized they could service north and south Scottsdale out of this one area,” Fijan adds.

Phoenix-based Opus West Corp. developed the 5.5-acre site in 1999. Gainey Center I will continue to be managed by Metro Commercial Properties of Phoenix with CBRE continuing to lease it.

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