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ORLANDO-Metro Orlando’s 95 million-sf industrial real estate inventory is heading for a record sales year, possibly topping $150 million in transaction volume, according to updated numbers from Grubb & Ellis Co.’s Orlando division.

Volume of $126 million to date could surpass the $149 million posted in 1998, one of the area’s best years. Average per-sf sales of $37.78 are the highest in five years. That number compares with $26.08 in 2000; $31.14 in 1999; $28.79 in 1998 and $19.62 in 1997.

“Large transactions are helping,” Jeffrey S. Sweeney, executive vice president/managing director, Grubb & Ellis Co., tells GlobeSt.com. The Sept. 11 terrorist events haven’t affected the industrial market here to date, Sweeney says. Overall vacancies are at 9.3%, down one percentage point from mid-year.

The biggest deal of the year to date is Caleast Industrial Investors’ $37 million purchase ($39.78 per sf) of the 11-building, 930,000-sf center of Commerce in northwest Orlando. “This transaction alone accounts for 30% of the entire sales volume to date,” Sweeney says.

In another large deal, Duke Realty Corp. sold its 320,000-sf Airport Commerce Center portfolio for $19.5 million or $61.13 per sf.

A third big deal was Distribution Funding II Inc.’s $18 million purchase of two buildings in Orlando Central Park and two structures in Southland Executive Park. The buildings, all in southwest Orlando, ranged from 81,000 sf to 150,000 sf.

The single largest one-building transaction occurred in Orlando Central Park where Mitsubishi Power Systems Inc. bought 2287 Premier Row, a 91,272-sf warehouse for $6.25 million or $58.32 per sf.

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