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PHOENIX-In its first joint venture with the Utah State Retirement Investment Fund, Wentworth Property Co. has put 2.5 million sf of under-construction distribution space under contract for north of $150 million. The transaction is slated to close in three stages.

Sacramento-based Buzz Oates Group of Cos. is developing the three properties and will have them completed within 12 to 18 months, Jim Wentworth Jr., principal of Phoenix-based Wentworth Property, tells GlobeSt.com. He says the first closing is scheduled for the second quarter when the partnership gets the deed to a 575,074-sf building at 7210 W. Van Buren St. and 71st Avenue. Subsequent closings will be held for a 1.2-milllion-sf development at the intersection of 75th Avenue and Roosevelt Street, which is a half-mile northwest of the upcoming purchase, and a 682,291-sf building, which is situated just a couple minutes away at the junction of 75th Avenue and Durango Street.

“The Southwest Valley is the ideal spot for these types of buildings. We like the buildings that Buzz Oates builds and we like the proximity of these buildings to I-10,” Wentworth explains.

Jim Wilson, a senior director for Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc., is handling the transactions between Buzz Oates and Wentworth. C&W also has the portfolio leasing assignment, which has been dubbed the Fowler portfolio because the distribution centers are situated within the Fowler School District.

The portfolio is close to two developments that Wentworth has under construction. Those projects are the 71 Roosevelt Park, a four-building, 164,000-sf development at the crossroads of 71st Avenue and Roosevelt Street, and the 139,000-sf Phoenix Industry Center, which is going up three miles to the east at 67th Avenue and Buckeye Road.

Meanwhile five miles to the west, Wentworth and San Antonio-based USAA Real Estate are planning a 1.9-million-sf industrial development on 135 acres along Interstate 10. “Some of the on-site work will begin this year, but this isn’t planned to go vertical in 2008,” Wentworth says about Interstate Commerce Center.

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