The three largest retail leases in first quarter 2010 in theJacksonville area were a 45,000-square-foot lease signed by SportsAcademy at Bolton Plaza, a 40,000-square-foot lease at TuesdayMorning Plaza signed by the Abundant Life Church and the29,000-square foot lease inked by Bailey's Powerhouse Gym inMonument Landing.

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Although there weren't any restaurants among the big leases inthe first quarter, Jacksonville restaurant chains Firehouse Subsand The Loop Plaza Grill made Fastcasual.com's Top 100 Movers &Shakers list for 2009. In an unrelated report by the restaurantconsulting firm Technomic, Inc., Firehouse Subs was ranked theninth fastest growing chain in the nation, according to theJacksonville MarketView report.

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There are two retail buildings under construction in theJacksonville market for a total of 738,000 square feet. Although alot of space has been preleased at these centers, it appears as ifabsorption is slowing as retailers become more concerned about thepoor economy, says the Jacksonville report.

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In the state of Florida, the unemployment rate was 12.2% inFebruary, the highest in almost 35 years and the Jacksonville areawas just below the Florida average.

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The average asking direct lease rate in Jacksonville at the endof the fourth quarter 2009 was $15.95 per square foot. The currentasking rent of $15.62 per square foot, is a decrease of $.33 persquare foot from the fourth quarter.

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