ORLANDO-Vance Realty Group, one of a handful of successful independent full-service commercial-residential firms left in Central Florida, has brokered a $7-million, 106-lot deal with Detroit-based Pulte Homes Corp.

The transaction puts the five-year-old, 40-agent firm on the way to reaching a projected $80 million sales mark this year. The company did $61.4 million in 2001.

“I can’t think of a better way to close out the year,” Vance Realty owner/founder Barbara Vance tells GlobeSt.com. “Not only will this one transaction help our year-end numbers, but will (also) provide nice momentum heading into the new year.” Vance started her firm in 1997 with a staff of two.

Longtime Orlando area developer Ellsworth G. Gallimore and his Butler Ridge Development Inc. sold Pulte the tract for about $63,500 per lot or $12.70 per sf, based on average 50-foot-by-100-foot lots.

Pulte plans to build single-family and townhomes at Bellanotte at Vizcaya, a new subdivision just east of Apopka-Vineland Road and south of Sand Lake Road in south Orlando, home to several affluent communities and near one of the area’s most vibrant commercial development hubs.

This is Vance’s second deal with Pulte. The brokerage closed an $880,000, 5.1-acre transaction with the Michigan-based developer four years ago. Pulte developed Golf Ridge at MetroWest on the southwest Orlando site.

In the past six months, Vance Realty’s 18-month-old commercial real estate division has represented national clients such as Carpet Mills of America, the Zaremba Group of Ohio and CVS Inc., the Woonsocket, RI-based drugstore chain.

Seeking to broaden its marketing base, Vance Realty is gambling by opening a Downtown Orlando office at 138 E. Colonial Dr. to compete with established brokerages in the central business district. But Vance is using a niche strategy by partnering with World Finance Co., a husband-wife company operated by Elli and Andy Nguyen in Orlando’s growing commercial/retail Asian district in the Colonial Town submarket.

Elli Nguyen will manage Vance Realty’s new office staffed with four agents. Andy Nguyen will continue to oversee the World Finance’s mortgage lending business which will operate separately from Vance Realty. Vance Realty president Arnold Matyas sees mutual benefits for both companies in the partnering arrangement.

“This is a situation where two established companies have combined their respective strengths for a common goal, yet still operating independently within their respective areas,” Matyas tells GlobeSt.com.

He says World Finance “has solidified itself as the leading mortgage lender among the Downtown area’s Asian community and wanted to enhance that posture by aligning itself with an established real estate company.”

Matyas says the alliance gives Vance Realty “an opportunity to tap into the Asian community market, as well as branch out to the rest of the Downtown Orlando area.” He sees the alliance as “a win-win for both companies.”

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