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PHOENIX-Grubb & Ellis BRE/Commercial LLC’s local office has been tapped to fill the 255,477-sf One 11 Tower. The office building, located on the southern end of the CBD, is 45% occupied.

The leasing assignment comes on the heels of a $15-million renovation of the 1980s building at 111 W. Monroe St. CB Richard Ellis’ Phoenix office had the assignment during the building’s sale in early 2007 for $40 million and renovation by the buyer, One 11 Plaza LLC.

Casey Brown, president of ECL Inc. in San Diego, says CBRE did an excellent job with the building since it was almost empty when it was bought. “There wasn’t anything negative about the team we had, but changes in the brokerage community opened the door for us to evaluate other alternatives,” says Brown, whose company is part of the ownership, One 11 Plaza LLC.

Grubb & Ellis senior vice president John Bonnell explains to GlobeSt.com that the class B building’s low occupancy is because it had been slated for conversion to office condominiums by the previous owner. As a result, leases weren’t renewed or new tenants seated. When the condo office fell out, the San Diego-based limited liability company claimed it for its value-add potential, according to Bonnell.

Brown says upgrades have included a new skin and refinishing elevators, lobby and all common areas. In addition, a Northwind HVAC system, which uses chilled water and melting ice to cool structures, was installed. Now, the owners are upgrading the streetscape.

These days, One 11 Tower is offering office space in a submarket with vacancy standing just over 10%, according to Grubb & Ellis’ first quarter report. “We can put together almost 80,000 sf of contiguous space,” Bonnell says. “It’s one of the only existing Downtown buildings that have it.”

Bonnell says the targeted tenant mix is corporations, law firms, insurance companies and financial institutions. “This has medium-size floor plates that work for medium to larger tenants” he adds. The leasing team includes senior vice president Don Mudd, vice president Jason Moore and senior associate Brett Abramson. The space has been tagged at $24 per sf to $26 per sf, full service.

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