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MESA, AZ-With two tenants in hand, developer Diversified Partners LLC of Scottsdale is ready to launch construction on its 214,400-sf Mesa Ranch Plaza. Construction is scheduled to begin Q1 2008 on the 19-acre project, at an estimated $35 million cost.

Mesa Ranch Plaza is at Stapley Drive and Southern Avenue on the City’s north side. Tenants preparing set up shop in the retail center are Pro’s Ranch Market, a Hispanic grocery store which has taken 61,320 sf, and La Curacao USA, a chain of Hispanic-focused departments stores. La Curacao just signed a 10-year-lease for 100,000 sf at Mesa Ranch Plaza, leaving approximately 48,000 sf of space remaining.

Robert Kubicek Architects & Associates of Scottsdale is the architect and Advanced Construction Management LLC, also from Scottsdale, is the general contractor. Raymond Floyd and Eddie Moreno of The Floyd Co. in Tustin, CA are handling leasing.

According to Rich Murphy, SVP with CB Richard Ellis’ Phoenix office, the lease is La Curacao’s second in the Valley. La Curacao also opened 100,000 sf in the 892,469-sf Desert Sky Mall at 7611 W. Thomas Rd. in Phoenix 60 days ago, and signed another long-term lease for 90,000 sf at Southgate Plaza at Interstate 10 and South Sixth Avenue in Tucson.

Murphy tells GlobeSt.com that the Mesa Ranch Plaza appealed to the Los Angeles company because the center provides an ideal location to its targeted customer. “La Curacao cateres to the first-generation Hispanic customer, and in this side of the Valley, is the pocket of this demographic,” explains Murphy, who partnered with CBRE’s VP Max Bippus and sales associate Becky Peixotto on behalf of the tenant.

In addition to targeting Hispanic neighborhoods, La Curacao’s management is seeking out locations with 100,000 sf available. But Murphy says those are the only parameters. “They don’t really care if the product is older or ground-up, it just has to be within the Hispanic demographic,” he explains. In addition to looking for more potential retail space throughout Phoenix and Houston, La Curacao is also looking for land on which to build a 150,000-sf warehouse.

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