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PHOENIX-Liberty Property Trust has been working to maintain the current tenant base and add new names in the 805,639-sf Liberty Cotton Center. The owner has signed 102,159 sf of new leases, renewals and extended others for the 280-acre flex industrial park.

Education Management LLC, which already occupied 25,000 sf at Cotton Center, doubled its leased space after one year at 4217 E. Cotton Center Blvd. Mark Krison, senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix and Liberty Property’s broker, says tenant improvements are underway in the 96,000-sf building. Education Management will take over the extra space in 30 to 60 days.

At 4405 E. Cotton Center Blvd., General Motors Assurance Corp. agreed to extend its 26,659-sf, full-building lease. The Malvern, PA-based Liberty Property Trust did a direct deal with GMAC’s broker, David Barrett, program manager of corporate services for CB Richard Ellis.The newcomer to Cotton Center is Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., which took 25,500 sf in the recently completed 4435 E. Cotton Center Blvd. The deal is an expansion for the international mining company, which has its headquarters at One North Central Ave. in the CBD.

Krison tells GlobeSt.com that the just-signed leases have terms ranging from five to seven years. The park’s average rent is $16 per sf triple net annually. “Some of the considerations are a little higher. Those deals involved extra parking and tenant improvements,” says Krison, who teamed with CBRE’s senior vice president Robert H. Crum to close two of the three transactions. Don Rodie, senior director for Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc. in Phoenix, represented Freeport-McMoRan Copper. C&W executive director Larry Downey negotiated on behalf of Education Management.

Krison says Liberty Cotton Center is nearly 80% built out. About 34 acres remain for speculative and build-to-suit projects. “There’s been good interest in the buildings and sites. A lot are looking at the space, but nothing is pending at this time,” Krison says.

Liberty Property Trust acquired the 17-building park in April 2007 for $188 million. The buildings range from 21,257 sf to 108,874 sf.

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