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PHOENIX-First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. has sold the just-completed, 335,459-sf First Riverside at 51st Avenue to Pacifica Real Estate Group. The 67%-leased distribution center, sitting on 20 acres, has brought $26.8 million.

Patrick J. Feeney Jr., senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis’ Phoenix office, says the project at 2300 S. 51st. Ave. attracted eight offers. Feeney, who teamed with CBRE senior vice presidents Daniel P. Calihan and Joseph H. Porter III, says the Santa Barbara, CA-based buyer was selected because of its ability to close.

“Their plan is to lease it up and hold it long term,” Feeney says, adding the first two tenants will move into the new building in late January. He tells GlobeSt.com that the inbound tenants are American Building Supply, which has a seven-year lease for 151,376 sf, and Frito-Lay Inc., which signed a five-year lease for 81,126 sf.

“There’s little doubt that already having tenants on hand helped spur this sale,” Feeney says. “The investment community is changing because of the credit squeeze. Leased properties are considered more valuable today than six or eight months ago. We were fortunate to do these two prelease deals.” CBRE is marketing a 46,271-sf space for 48 cents per sf, triple net and a pair of 28,343-sf suites for 52 cents per sf, triple net.

Feeney says the sale represents First Industrial’s last development site for a 70-acre plot that it acquired many years ago. The majority of the land was sold four years ago to users.

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