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ORLANDO-Gambling that small companies would need small bay warehouses to store and distribute their products in a tight national economy, three local developers created Monroe CommerCenter South in suburban Sanford, FL last year. Today, that gamble is paying off.

The developers are George D. Livingston, president, NAI Realvest Partners in Maitland, FL; Geof Longstaff, senior vice president, NAI Realvest; and Howard Shieferdecker, president of his own development firm.

“We positioned our CommerCenters to rise with the recovering economy,” says Longstaff, a former Orlando banker. “We view the strong (leasing) response as a reflection of the economic recovery, so our good news is also good news for the Central Florida economy.”

The developers’ company, Small Bay Partners LLC, plans to break ground this month on the second 58,840-sf, $2.1-million phase of their venture after strong tenant demand brought the first 57,340-sf phase to 80% occupancy in the last three months. A total 10,000 sf in the second phase is already pre-leased.

The partners have contracted to buy 4.56 adjacent acres where a third, 56,400-sf phase will be developed in first quarter 2004. When completed, Monroe CommerCenter South will have a total 172,580 sf of small bay space.

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