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ORLANDO-Relying on promises and goals of elected city officials to revitalize Downtown over the next 12 months, BBA Aviation (Signature Flight Support) is renewing its 10-year lease for 44,603 sf at the 15-story, 268,962-sf Signature Plaza Building, a central business district landmark at 201 S. Orange Ave. since 1982.

The deal took two years to close. Representatives of Highwoods Properties Inc., the building’s owner, and Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc., BBA’s tenant representative, wouldn’t discuss lease terms.

But Downtown brokers intimate with the deal tell GlobeSt.com the deal went down at an estimated effective rate of $23 per sf, making the total value of the lease about $10.26 million.

Highwoods beat out rivals St. Joe Co, Jones Lang LaSalle and several other Downtown and suburban owner representatives in keeping BBA as a tenant. “This company was very, very attractive to all landlords, not just in size but in its quality and creditworthiness,” Cushman & Wakefield broker Steve Coughlin tells GlobeSt.com.

Area brokers tell GlobeSt.com BBA had to give up its logo at the top of the building to win other lucrative concessions from the owner. Among those were an undisclosed amount of free rent and tenant improvement allowances valued “in the thousands,” brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

“I cannot comment on that,” Coughlin tells GlobeSt.com. “Let’s just say that Signature Flight Support will enjoy the benefits of this lease for many, many years.”

The lease brings the building’s occupancy to 91.1% and comes as Cushman & Wakefield research analyst Bryan Burns reports a 20.6% overall class A vacancy rate among the 17.84 million-sf class A metro Orlando office inventory in Q1. Overall vacancies in the area’s total 29.93 million-sf market is 20%.

BBA is a division of London-based BBA Group PLC. The company’s 200 employees at its U.S. headquarters in Orlando handle operations for BBA Aviation, Signature Flight Support and Aircraft Service International Group.

Yvonne Baker of Highwoods Properties Inc., based in Raleigh, NC, represented the owner in the lease transaction.

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