"In the first quarter of this year, there were a number of newand renewing tenants, who signed large leases," for extendedperiods, says Richey. But the examples he gives are of corporatetenants' leases. Among those he cited are Fidelity NationalInformation Services, Inc., which signed a nine-year, nine-monthlease around January 1 for 103,786 square feet in the MaitlandSummit III building, a class A office building in Maitland. Theasking rent was $19 per square foot.

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At the Pointe, a class A office building in Tampa, Wells Fargosigned a 10-year lease for 47,055 square feet in March, where theasking rate was $26 to $28 per square foot. And, at 8420 BoggyCreek Rd. in Orlando, around January 1st, Coca Cola Enterprisessigned a lease for a 70,362-square-foot warehouse. The asking ratethere was $6.00 to $6.50 per square foot.

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Although Richey did not give the actual rents for thetransactions mentioned above, he says, "It's a tenant's market andlow rates will continue for a while."

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Rick Siems, director of research services for the Tampa officeof Cushman & Wakefield, says that asking rental rates foroffice and industrial space in Florida are down 20% to 25% sincethe beginning of the financial crisis. "Landlords are sitting on somuch vacant space," he says, that many are still offering lowerrates, free rent and short-term leases, sometimes as little asthree years, at the same time that leasing activity is up slightlyover the last couple of months.

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In 2008 and 2009, says Richey, a number of tenants asked theirlandlords to reduce their rent to the level of current marketrates, even if their leases were not up for a year or two. "Theysaid to their landlords, 'I will extend my lease if you give me adeal,'" and many were successful.

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