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TOLLESON, AZ-An Irvine, CA investor and developer bought 13 acres, with plans to build a five-building, 170,000-sf light industrial complex. Construction should begin by next summer on the as-yet unnamed project, which will have an all-in price tag of around $80 per sf.

Rick Lee, principal of Lee & Associates’ Phoenix office, says buyer LBA Realty liked Tolleson’s growth, especially on the industrial side. Lee represented LBA in the land acquisition from Scottsdale-based Tolleson Premier Properties LLC, which was represented by Matthew Tafoya with Don Bennett & Associates in Goodyear. Lee says the spec development at 97th Avenue and Roosevelt Street will be geared toward smaller industrial users.

“There’s around five million sf of high-bay, big-box warehouses being built throughout the area, but not a lot of small-bay product, and we think there’s a niche there,” says Lee, who is also handling leasing. The development will have five buildings, with units as small as 4,000 sf, and each unit boasting a truck well and grade-level door. The breakout will be 10% to 15% office flex space, with the remaining consisting of warehouse product.

Lee tells GlobeSt.com that the development is geared toward service tenants, such as HVAC companies, and plumbing or electrical firms. “This isn’t for large manufacturers, but more for smaller companies catering to people and businesses in the Valley,” he adds.

Once launched, the development will take between seven and eight months to complete. Lease rates have not yet been determined, though the average ask area wide is $6.45 per sf, net for warehouse and distribution product, and $13.02 per sf for flex space, according to Grubb & Ellis Co.’s Phoenix Industrial Market Snapshot for Q3 2007.

LBA has been aggressive of late. Recently, the firm acquired a 261,000-sf office building from Verizon in Thousand Oaks, CA.

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