Posted on February 24, 2003

By Beverly Ford - Globe St. com

PHOENIX-Crown West Realty LLC is ramping up its Phoenix operation with the $2.1-million acquisition of a second office complex in five weeks.

The purchase of the recently constructed 38,000-sf office complex at 3230 E. Broadway marks the Spokane, WA-based investment firm's third major buy in the Phoenix market since 2001 when it acquired the 227,000-sf Elliot Corporate Center.

And, the company's buying spree is far from over, Scott Brown, the firm's asset manger tells GlobeSt.com. The company's goal is to acquire three more Phoenix area buildings in 2003. "Our intention is to expand fairly rapidly," Brown said of the company's strategy. "Phoenix is a great market. We're very optimistic about it."

The company's latest acquisition, purchased just five weeks after it dropped $10 million on a 103,000-sf corporate headquarters facility at the prestigious Southbank Business Park, is comprised of three two-story structures with an interior atrium courtyard accented by a small stream and cascading waterfall. Brown said the firm anticipates spending $300,000 to remodel the interior and exterior before putting the office space up for lease to smaller office users. Currently, about 7,000 sf is occupied by General Fiber Communications Inc.

The remodeling will include new exterior paint, signs and other office improvements that should allow the new owners to have the building fully leased in 18 months, Brown says. He's pegging the rental rate for the remodeled full-service facility to be $17.50 per sf.

Purchased from GFCI-AZ LLC, the building caught the buyer's attention because it can accommodate smaller office users at a prime location near Interstate 10 and Sky Harbor International Airport. "Both the building's location and its design are exceptional," Brown said. "And it's in an area where there isn't a great deal of small existing office space."

Tracy Cartledge and Robert Buckley, both with Insignia/ESG, represented the seller in the transaction. Crown West Realty was self-represented.