ORLANDO-Economic slowdown or not, St. Joe Commercial’s growth engine is roaring full-speed ahead. The company’s fast-track schedule in 2001 calls for the acquisition of at least two and possibly four area office buildings; the development of three major office projects totaling 488,000 sf; and the leasing of 300,000 sf of existing and planned office space.

St. Joe president Frank W. Herring Jr. knows he can’t take care of that full plate all by himself. “Area brokers will play a major role in that activity,” Herring tells GlobeSt.com. St. Joe is offering special commission incentives for the lease-up on various development stages.

For example, leasing 180,000 sf at 300 Gran Park, a 182,613-sf venture owned by Flagler Development Co. at South Park within the 4,000-acre Orlando Central Park, leads Herrings to-do list. “That’s our top priority,” he says. Current occupancy at 300 Gran Park is 2%. The asking rent is $22 per sf.

Next comes the construction of 700 Gran Park with 100,000 sf of rentable office at $17.50 per sf, net of electric. St. Joe has completed 850,000 sf of office at Gran Park. The 700 project is the second phase of planned development for 13 office buildings on 90 acres.

In suburban Maitland, the second largest office market next to Downtown, the developer plans to construct a 170,000-sf building at 1900 Fennell St. The projected rent is $24 per sf. St. Joe is also negotiating for the acquisition of a 150,000-sf-plus Maitland-based office property.

At St. Joe’s existing Millenia Park project in southwest Orlando, the developer plans to break ground by summer on the 218,000-sf Millenia Two, following the successful nine-month lease-up of the 158,346-sf Millenia One, currently at 90% occupancy. Herring had estimated it would take more than a year to fully lease the asset. “I guess we just live right,” says Herring.

The projected asking rent at Millenia Two is $24.75 per sf. It’s $24 per sf at Millenia One.

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