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ORLANDO-Sales of small- to mid-sized office buildings, along with the 100,000-sf structures continue to be in strong demand by expanding local businesses and out-of-state investors, according to statistics prepared by the local office of CB Richard Ellis Inc.

The metro area booked about $100 million in sales of large office buildings in the first quarter totaling 839,096 sf with an average per-sf-price of $118.37. In all of 2003, there were 23 sales totaling nearly 1.4 million sf aggregately valued at $146 million with an average per-sf price of $104.37. In 2002, there were 20 sales totaling 3.1 million sf with valued at $380 million with an average per-sf price of $121.89.

“With many more properties under contract and more coming to market, 2004 should be a robust year,” predicts Ronald J. Rogg, CBRE’s first vice president of investment properties in Orlando. “Although most of the Orlando submarkets are experiencing double-digit vacancies, investors for the right property profile are pricing through the weak fundamentals of the market.”

Rogg says “properties that have desirable characteristics, such as credit tenants, a stable rent roll, minimal tenant rollover and are not encumbered with debt fit the profile of today’s most aggressive investors who are willing to pay more for these types of assets while accepting lower yields.”

In newly closed transactions reported by area brokers, the 80,000-sf Corporate Square Office Building in Winter Park sold for $3.9 million or about $48.75 per sf. WPS Partners bought the property from FOA 1000 N. Orlando Drive Inc. Marcus & Millichap’s local office handled the transaction.

At 9820 Satellite Blvd. in Orlando, William M. and Deborah Dillard found a new headquarters building for Mechanical Services Inc. They paid Danus Properties Subsidiary No. 7 of Dayton, OH approximately $2.3 million, or $32.97 per sf, for the 69,000-sf structure. Ed Parker of NAI Realvest Partners Inc. and Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. co-brokered the deal.

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