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ORLANDO-With paper work virtually coming out of the woodwork in three stand-alone buildings, Lake County government has purchased the former First Union Bank branch building at 122 E. Main St. in Downtown Tavares, FL to house its growing volume of real estate records and other public documents.

The county is investing $2.1 million in the purchase and renovation of the estimated 30,000-sf, 50-year-old structure from the Charlotte-based bank. The price equates to about $70 per sf for the combined purchase/renovation package.

The county plans to move 30 of its 180 records division staffers from the Clerk of the Court’s office to the renovated building in November when retrofitting is expected to be completed.

Besides the main courthouse building three blocks from the former bank building, the county is also housing records in two stand-alone buildings in Tavares, the county seat.

In a separate transaction involving another governmental entity, the city of Minneola, FL in south Lake County paid the Celebration of Praise Church $2.7 million or about $54 per sf for the estimated 50,000-sf church building on U.S. 27 South.

Minneola plans to use the structure for a new city hall. The property houses a 500-seat sanctuary, basketball court, day-care center and a banquet hall.

Elected officials in Minneola paid $300,000 more than the appraised price for the property because it was estimated to be at least $50 per sf under the replacement cost of about $100 per sf, local brokers tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity.

The church is buying 160 acres in Clermont for a new home in a deal expected to close by year end.

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