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ORLANDO-Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. of Oak Brook, IL, better known for its retail purchases than office acquisitions, has made the buy of the year in Central Florida with the closing on 440,000 sf of class A space in three of the four existing office buildings owned by Walt Disney World Co. at the 109-acre Celebration Place Office Park in Celebration, FL.

Disney built the 5,000-resident Celebration community eight years ago, 20 miles south of Downtown Orlando in Osceola County. The properties are at Interstate 4 and U.S. 192 in the area’s main tourist belt.

Buyer and seller declined to disclose the purchase price. But area brokers familiar with the north Osceola County submarket tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity the price is expected to be at least $200 per sf or a total $88 million.

At $200 per sf, the transaction would be the largest office deal of the year in Orlando and the largest in the last 20 years, according to GlobeSt.com research.

The last big office deal in Downtown Orlando was recorded Sept. 20, 1996 when Chicago entrepreneur Samuel Zell paid $124.21 million or $170 per sf for the tallest building in Orlando–the 35-story, 654,678-sf SunTrust Center, the adjoining seven-story, 76,000-sf Park Building and a 1,300-car parking garage within SunTrust Center.

The sellers were Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank, Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of New York.

Inland’s deal with Disney, announced yesterday in a prepared statement from Inland, is a sale-leaseback. Disney will continue to occupy the three buildings as a triple-net lease tenant on a long-term lease estimated by area brokers at 25 years.

The estimated rent for the first three years is $25 per sf with annual escalators for the remaining portion of the lease, area brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

The estimated first-year aggregate rent to Inland is $11 million. Over 25 years, area brokers say the total aggregate rent could easily reach $275 million.

Disney will continue to manage the properties, earning an undisclosed fee for the assignment. Disney owns a fourth office building at Celebration Place which is part of the community’s 1.8 million-sf commercial sector.

Disney officials couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline. But Rick Fox, media relations coordinator, Inland Communications Inc., tells GlobeSt.com Inland’s foray into the class A office jungle is “not a new direction” for the Illinois company.

“These are properties with long-term, triple-net leases, which is consistent with Inland’s acquisition philosophy,” Fox says. “Inland bought the properties because they are great properties, regardless of sector, with strong tenants in a market we feel strongly about.”

Joe Cosenza, chairman, Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, negotiated the deal for Inland.

“Celebration Place is well-positioned as a strong player in Central Florida’s next emerging commercial corridor,” Cosenza says in a prepared statement.

Celebration Co., the owner of record for the three buildings, was represented by Eastdil Realty, a wholly owned subsidiary of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank.

Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. is part of the Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. The group is made up of separate real estate and financial companies with 35 years experience focusing in auctions, brokerage, syndication, development, acquisition and financing.

(Please see the Miami page for a story on other Inland acquisitions).

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