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GILBERT, AZ-Following a five-year hold, Life Community Church has sold three of its four buildings in Gilbert Commerce Center to Western America LLC. In addition to retaining a 25,000-sf building, the church has leased 2,192 sf from the new owner as part of the deal.

Ann Sondrol, associate with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial LLC’s Phoenix office, says the church was ready to pull the money from the property, which is why the 98%-leased office complex, situated on eight acres at 459 N. Gilbert Rd. was brought to market. Sondrol, who teamed with Grubb & Ellis’ senior vice president Eric Wichterman to broker the sale, says the church acquired the 20-year-old asset in 2002 for $8.9 million. “They’d occupied it before buying it at that point,” she adds.

Sondrol tells GlobeSt.com that the Seattle-based buyer vied with another bidder for the class B office space, crediting Western America’s reputation and sophistication as the dealmakers. She says the new owner plans to upgrade the complex, but a budget hasn’t been determined nor has Western America determined what company will handle leasing. Los Arcos Realty & Management in Scottsdale will continue to manage the asset at least through year’s end.

Gilbert Commerce’s tenant mix consists of local and regional companies including Mobile Post Production Inc., Gilbert Dental Labs Inc., HAD Architects LLC and Varsity Gold Inc. The average lease rate is $15.38 per sf. According to Grubb & Ellis’ Q3 2007 figures for Phoenix, Gilbert Commerce Center is in an office submarket with a 3% vacancy and an average rent of $18.65 per sf for class B product.

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