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PHOENIX-Health Choice Arizona will move into Gateway Center, courtesy of a 66-month lease for 43,338 sf of class A office space. The managed-care provider will relocate in late October from Tempe to Phoenix.

Health Choice will take the fifth and ninth floors of the 217,314-sf Three Gateway, paying close to the market rate of $26 per sf, gross, to owner, Chicago-based Transwestern Investment Co. The office space at 410 N. 44th St., was once occupied by United Healthcare, but has been vacant since it downsized late last year.

“Transwestern, which purchased the building last year, gutted each of the floors,” says tenant rep Michael Ragland, first vice president with CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix. “They still have the ceiling tile in there. But other than that, Health Choice liked that they could design their space plan from a clean slate.”

Health Choice will vacate a 40,000-sf office at 1600 W. Broadway Rd. in Tempe. The new office is about five miles north of the current location.

“We toured through multiple properties, but they wanted to stay in close proximity to their existing office because of the central location in terms of the freeway system and because most of the employees are from that area of Greater Phoenix,” Ragland tells GlobeSt.com. He adds that, in addition to designing a from-scratch office layout, Health Choice liked Three Gateway because it would consolidate employees and it provided an on-site deli/restaurant.

“They’ve been in that other building for many years and had expanded multiple times,” Ragland says. “Because of that, employees are scattered all over the place. They’ll increase their efficiency by getting everyone on two floors.”

Ragland says the lease begins Nov. 1, with its expiration set for April 30, 2014. The building owner was represented by Jim Achen Jr. and Bill Zurek, senior vice presidents with Transwestern’s Phoenix office.

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