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When he was 13, Matt King Jr. started a computer consulting business as a Carver Middle School student in Leesburg, FL, 45 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando. Six years later, the young entrepreneur and his mother, Selena Penturff, are joint venturing an even bigger deal.

The mother-son team has purchased the two-story, 10,000-sf fromer JC Penney department store and plan to convert the 45-year-old property into a mini Main Street antique mall and retail center. The estimated price of the property, vacant for the last three years, is $250,000.

King plans to move his Mac Outlet business to the building’s second floor which he will share with Sand Dollar Silk Imports and other small merchants. The ground floor will feature Southern Gardens Antique Mall and Showcase.

The 19-year-old Leesburg High School graduate plans to compete successfully with neighboring Mount Dora, the established antique center in Central Florida, by offering lower monthly rents. He will be asking $1 psf and no percentage of gross sales. Mount Dora merchants pay an average $1.40 psf plus 10% of gross sales.

“Our goal is to have every one of our tenants succeed, not fail, in this venture,” says King. “We will do everything we can to build their business, not hurt them by raising rents.” Renovations are expected to be completed by Oct.1.

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