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TEMPE, AZ-Less than six months after buying 27 acres, Wolff Co. is piecing together components for the 3.6-million-sf South Bank of Tempe Town Lake. Infrastructure work is under way for the estimated $1.4-billion mixed-use project, with vertical construction likely to begin in 2010.

“We’re planning what should go in the first phase now,” says Tim Wolff, president and chief investment officer with Wolff Co. in Scottsdale, AZ. He adds that specific timelines and phases will be unveiled at the end of this year or early 2009 once infrastructure work is completed on the site at the intersection of Rio Salado Parkway and Rural Road.

Wolff says market conditions will determine what, specifically, will be built. Although plans could change, South Bank is platted for 260,000 sf to 280,000 sf of retail, roughly 890,000 sf of office space, about 2.2 million sf in a residential component and 230,000-sf hotel.

Wolff Co. is the second developer with plans for the plot of land in the 220-acre Tempe Town Lake. In mid-2007, the land’s previous owner Pier 202 LLC unveiled its vision for what was then being called, Pier at Town Lake.

“Pier 202 was looking either to sell or for a partner that could execute this project moving forward, and that had a strong local presence for this type of product,” Wolff tells GlobeSt.com. “This was brought to us in an off-market transaction and they found we had the complementary skill sets to get the development done.”

Peter Wolff, Wolff Co.’s vice president of mixed use, says the project’s name was changed to better reflect its purpose. “We saw this as an important regional link, not a stand-alone, single project,” he says. South Bank at Tempe Town Lake fit the bill, especially since it’s located on the southern edge of Tempe Town Lake, he adds.

Much like its predecessor, Wolff Co. is talking to developers nationwide about forming partnerships. Tim Wolff says the scope and involvement of outside development is still to be determined. “We’ve executed or built all of these product types in the past, but our expertise is stronger in certain areas than others,” he says.

Although the area economy remains sluggish, Peter Wolff says the timing is perfect for planning and developing South Bank. Even if vertical construction were to begin today, he says, delivery wouldn’t be for at least two years. “We’ll be poised very well when this cycle turns around,” he says.

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