Centerpoint Towers Sold to Zaremba Group for $30 Million

The unfinished Centerpoint towers in downtown Tempe have been sold to the Zaremba Group for $30 million, we just heard from Mark Winkleman, CEO of ML Manager.

His succinct e-mail says all that we know about the deal, so here it is:

After sorting through over 300 interested buyers from around the Country, Canada and England we selected the Zaremba Group as the purchasers of the Centerpoint towers. The sales price is $30M and the closing will be no later than October 15th. The buyer is a national real estate company based in Cleveland, but has a Scottsdale office.

This is good news, no matter what Zaremba plans to do with the towers -- because at least something's being done.

The towers have stood unoccupied, incomplete and lonely since construction at the Sixth Street and Maple Avenue site stopped in July of 2008.

Well, not totally lonely -- as we detailed in our October 2009 feature article on the towers, the buildings have had unauthorized visitors including drunken partiers and transients.

True, Zaremba may just want to hold onto the property, hoping to flip it next year for a nice profit -- in which case we're getting excited for nothing. But we're hopeful the company will announce some plans for the place -- a hotel, student housing.

At $30 million, Zaremba got a steal -- an appraisal last year put the value at $35 million "as is." The towers have possibly deteriorated a little since then, but not much. Finishing the project's still going to be really expensive -- we're talking tens of millions, way more than the purchase price.

Nearby business owners and city officials are counting on some signs of life -- along with desperately needed dollars -- to eventually emerge from the twin monoliths.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.