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ORLANDO-Sandra “Sandy” Chace, a commercial real estate broker for 15 years, begins the most challenging assignment of her career this week as the newly named vice president of leasing/Orlando for Birmingham, AL-based Colonial Properties Trust.

Colonial senior vice president Tom Green, who had handled the REIT’s 1.5-million-sf suburban office portfolio, recruited Chace from Duke Realty Corp’s Orlando division where she worked for five years as vice president/office leasing.

Chase becomes the first female broker in Central Florida to take over a million-sf-plus inventory and breaks whatever local barrier may have existed in handing female professionals major leasing responsibilities, area brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

“I guess this shows women can handle a job of this size as well as men,” Chace tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s an awesome opportunity.”

She says, “The challenge and opportunity of leasing a 1.5-million-sf portfolio drew me to the company.”

Chase and Emily Moorman, Green’s former associate, will handle the entire portfolio themselves.

Prior to her position at Duke, Chase was a vice president of McCain & Co., Orlando. She is a past president of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and is a member of NAIOP, the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida Inc. and the Greater Orlando Association of Realtors.

With the $149 million purchase Aug. 7 of the seven-building, 996,000-sf (804,000 sf rentable) Heathrow International Business Center in Heathrow, FL, Colonial becomes the largest suburban office owner in Central Florida.

Besides the 804,000 sf at the renamed Colonial TownPark Heathrow, Chase and Moorman will handle one million sf at Colonial TownPark, a separate development; and 155,760 sf at 901 Maitland Center, Maitland, FL.

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