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ORLANDO-CNL Realty & Development Corp., an arm of CNL Financial Group, has hired a president and will be doubling its 12-person staff as it steps up activity to invest in and develop properties for the first time as a full-service real estate development company, according to CNL Financial Group founder, chairman and CEO James M. Seneff Jr.

Seneff recruited Timothy Edmond from St. Joe Co. to serve as the first president of CNL Realty. Edmond takes over today from Jay Berlinsky who is forming his own real estate firm and will be a paid consultant to CNL Realty. Berlinsky directed CNL Realty for six years as executive vice president.

Edmond had headed St. Joe/Arvida development operations in northwest Florida. Previously, he was the Florida division president for Town & Country Homes and earlier was senior vice president of the Prime Group, a Chicago-based real estate development and services company.

Seneff says he is restructuring CNL Realty & Development at this time to take advantage of a surging demand for commercial and residential product in the next decade. “Our research indicates demand for both residential and commercial real estate will outpace supply,” Seneff says in a prepared statement. “Strategic development, therefore, will become an attractive opportunity for real estate investors.”

CNL Realty will focus on Southeast projects. “From a development standpoint, Central Florida will always be first on our radar,” Edmond says in the same statement. “The vision, though, is to expand our geographic scope and put our expertise and our network of contacts to work outside Central Florida.”

In metro Orlando, CNL Realty’s existing projects include Moss Park, a 2,600-acre home, master-planned community in southeast Orlando where 130 townhouses and single-family homes have been built in the neighborhoods of Moss Park Landing, Moss Park Reserve and Moss Park Commons.

CNL Realty is also involved in the $150-million Campus Crusade for Christ office and residential campus, and the $40-million, first-phase of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, both part of the Moss Park master development.

In Downtown Orlando, CNL Realty is nearing completion of the 12-story, 291,000-sf, $45-million CNL Center II class A office building adjacent to the north side of the City Hall building. The company completed the 14-story, 363,000-sf, $55-million CNL Center I on the south side of City Hall in 1999.

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