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ORLANDO-Transworld Business Brokers of Central Florida, looking to increase market share in four largely rural counties, has hired Clay Bontrager, a former Kansas broker who specializes in handling sales of manufacturing and Main Street properties.

Bontrager is banking on a strong commercial real estate market in Central Florida to buoy sales in his newly assigned territory of Lake, Marion, Sumter and Alachua counties.

“The commercial real estate market is hot, reflecting a 24% property value increase in 2004 and continuing so far in 2005,” Bontrager says. He sees his four-county market, about 30 miles to 80 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando, emerging as a fertile investment and disposition area for both buyers and sellers.

A business broker since 1986, Bontrager has an industry reputation for “finding financially struggling businesses, purchasing and restructuring them and eventually selling them to new owners, a cycle he has successfully completed with 11 different businesses,” says Transworld managing partner John Ruggieri.

Prior to joining Transworld, Bontrager was regional director and broker for Genesis Business Brokers in Hutchinson, KS. The two-year-old Transworld of Central Florida is part of Fort Lauderdale-based Transworld Business Brokers.

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