ORLANDO-Star Systems Inc., an electronic funds transfer system operator in suburban Maitland, is being bought by competitor Concord EFS Inc. of Memphis, TN in an $845 million stock swap.

But the key unanswered question in the deal is the fate of Star’s 10-year, 108,000-sf office lease at the 231,052-sf Maitland Promenade Two building under construction in the Maitland Center submarket.

The value of the lease, signed in August, is estimated at $21.6 million.

Star currently occupies a total 92,000 sf at two other buildings, Maitland Forum (63,000 sf) and Maitlland Colonnades (29,000 sf).

Neither Star nor Concord will discuss plans for either Star’s new headquarters space or the firm’s 200 employees. The Concord acquisition is scheduled to close by June.

Star is owned by a group of banks with a growing Central Florida customer base. Star’s system is used by financial institutions for credit-card and debit-card transactions.

Brokers familiar with the Star lease and the Maitland Center submarket say the 108,000 sf that Star might be walking away from will probably be scooped up by another large high-tech user.

“That’s a most desirable office and professional submarket,” Tom Cook, vice president of Carter & Associates’ Orlando office, tells GlobeSt.com. “I would think somebody may be able to negotiate a pretty good sublease on that deal.”

Grubb & Ellis Co.’s third-quarter statistics show the 4.94 million-sf Maitland Center market–second largest in metro Orlando–has an occupancy level of 90.8% with only 456,515 sf vacant. Under construction is 318,369 sf.

Net absorption was only 65,960 in the July-September period. The asking rent for class A full service is $21.77 per sf. and $18.69 per sf for class B.

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