(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

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ORLANDO, FL-Four months after opening its Southeast regionaloffice here, Phoenix-based Hendricks & Partners now plans togrow its local office and has sights set on expanding into Atlanta,Miami and Tampa. The nation's largest privately owned multifamilybrokerage reports that it has posted exclusive property salelistings of apartment properties in Central Florida valued at morethan $180 million since July.

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Cole Whitaker, principal and managing partner of Hendricks'Orlando office, says institutional investor owners, such asinsurance companies and pension funds, will be motivated by theeconomy cycle to sell off select properties in order to increasecash reserves. "They own a large portion of the class A producthere because Florida is a growth market," Whitaker tellsGlobeSt.com, adding that the investors will most likely sell offclass A properties to each other.

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Besides the growth his company could see from that business, hesays Hendricks also benefits from the increase in opportunities forprivate investors to purchase value-add assets. "Most multifamilyproperty firms these days are in attrition," he says.

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Whitaker adds that while deals are still getting done lately,they require more effort than transactions completed over the pastfour years. In order to accommodate the company's projected needs,they plan to take advantage of the down market to hire high-qualityreal estate professionals.

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Hendricks will expand its three-employee Orlando office andhopes to open an office in Atlanta early next year. A Miami officeis planned to open by next fall, after which Tampa would be thenext step, says Whitaker. "There are good things happening evenwhen we're having tough times in parts of Florida," he says.

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