Younan Properties Inc. has bought downtown Phoenix’s largest office building for $21 million from MetLife. Central Plaza, a 400,000 sq. ft., Class-A office tower, was only 60% occupied at the close of the sale.

"Phoenix is one of the few markets that is oversold but is now well positioned for a major recovery, which is expected to start towards the end of 2004, early 2005," said Zaya Younan, chairman and CEO of Younan Properties, a privately held commercial real estate and hotel investment firm based in Woodland Hills, Calif. "Our goal was to own the largest building in this market with a high vacancy rate in order to take advantage of the recovery when it occurs."

Younan predicts that the property will stabilize by midyear 2006, when he believes it will reach 90% occupancy. In the meantime, the company will spend $5 million to renovate both the interior and exterior of the building.