PHOENIX-In a first-time joint venture, Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT 1 and Jacor Partners LC are teaming to build 900,000 sf of industrial space on a just-bought 65-acre tract near Sky Harbor International Airport. Site work will get under way soon on the Rio Salado Business Center, which will be the Dallas-based fund’s inroad into Greater Phoenix.

The property is located at the junction of South 24th Street and Salt River Basin. The acquisition price was kept confidential, but industrial land in the area has traded for $45 per sf to $50 per sf. The seller’s name was not available by deadline.

“This is a market that has our interest, particularly for industrial,” Jason Mattox, executive vice president for Behringer Harvard, tells “Site work will begin soon, but there’s not a specific date on when a first structure might be started.” He says that, while the business park is still in the planning phases, the likelihood is that it won’t be completely spec.

According to a release describing the acquisition and development, the site was selected because of its location near the airport, Downtown Phoenix and the Rio Salado Habitat. The land is also within a day’s drive of Los Angeles.

Mattox says the relationship with Jacor made sense because of its roots in the market and industrial development experience. “A number of individuals on our acquisition team knew the group, had talked with them in the past so this relationship came about at the right time,” Mattox says.

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