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Valley has its fill of retail, office space but building continues

PHOENIX — A Valley economist said there is no need to build more office or retail space locally until at least 2015. But more are on the way.

Jim Rounds, senior vice president at Elliott D. Pollack and Company, a real estate/economics consulting firm, said the bottom line is the Valley was overbuilt during the boom years.

There are empty strip malls and no rush of potential buyers to fill them.

“On those it all greatly depends on the location. If it’s in a part of town with higher incomes and there’s a lot of traffic, they may be good opportunities,” he said.

Rounds said many companies bypass available space in favor of building their own places with all the whistles and bells.

“Tenants want to occupy a new building or something very specific to their business they can’t get on the current market. In those cases it’s going to push back the recovery a bit.

But Rounds pointed out that new construction jobs are being added.

“I would rather people have jobs and the recovery be an extra year out than people being completely unemployed and not putting food on the table.”