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PHOENIX-Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. and an institutional partner have taken control of the last of three office buildings in the region that were owned by the Shidler Group. Sources say the close-out deal came close to meeting the $66.25 million that San Diego-based Shidler paid in 2006 for the 370,400-sf US Bank Center in the CBD.

Dallas Lucas, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Pacific Office Trust, says it had been Shidler’s intent to sell the 31-story landmark at 101 N. 1st Ave. and two other office buildings to the REIT following its merger with Arizona Land Income Corp. Previously sold were the one-million-sf CitySquare at 3800-4000 N. Central Ave. and 226,700-sf Black Canyon Corporate Center at 16404 N. Black Canyon Hwy. “A couple of those transactions occurred after the merger and now we own all of the square footage in the Phoenix market,” Lucas says.

Lucas says improvements are still being done to the US Bank Center although many upgrades were completed during Shidler’s hold. The building’s occupancy is 90%, with tenants including Jacobs Engineering Group and Valley Metro Rail, which is overseeing the light-rail development in the region. Lease rates hover $28 per sf, gross.

John Bonnell, senior vice president with Phoenix-based Grubb & Ellis BRE/Commercial LLC, says there is limited roll in the building during the next two to three years, which is reflective of the CBD market. “Unlike other markets that are going through the crazy economic environment, Downtown Phoenix seems isolated because so many things are happening,” Bonnell says. “That’s a submarket with a 7% to 8% vacancy rate.” Grubb & Ellis’ senior associate Brett Abramson, vice president Brian Kocour and Bonnell hold the building’s leasing assignment.

Bonnell tells GlobeSt.com that US Bank Center is seeing some good activity, with one prospect considering a half floor and smaller groups looking at its spec suites. “Lots of people want to be Downtown these days, both employees and owners,” he adds.

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