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MAITLAND, FL-Younan Properties Inc., a Woodland Hills, CA-based firm, has entered the Florida office market with the $19-million purchase from Prudential of Southpoint Executive Center. The 136,000-sf, 85%-leased building is in the 5.5-million-sf, 180-acre Maitland Center submarket, seven miles north of Downtown Orlando. The price equates to $139.70 per sf, below replacement cost, area construction sources tell GlobeSt.com.

Zaya S. Younan, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, says his firm is on a fast track to acquire one million sf of office assets in Florida over the next six months. “With strong demographics and the potential for significant growth, we believe in the long-term future of Florida for office investments,” Younan says. His firm has accumulated $400 million in real estate holdings totaling four million sf in 20 class A properties nationally since the company was started in 2002.

“In a rapidly growing office market such as Maitland, Southpoint Executive Center is a key asset for Younan Properties,” says the company’s chief. The property was on the market less than 60 days. The deal took 45 days to complete, from contract signing to closing.

The acquisition was made at this time because “the fundamentals in Florida are strengthening and the market has started recovering,” Younan tells GlobeSt.com. “Florida has the fastest rate of annual job growth among the 10 most populous states. The Florida state unemployment rate is at 3.9%, the lowest since December 2000, and is more than a full percentage point below the national rate.”

Younan says “these are a few of the reasons which make Florida a fast recovering office market and make Southpoint Executive Center a strong investment and key asset for Younan properties.”

The four-story, 15-year-old building sits on 9.5-acres and houses a restaurant and gymnasium. The tenant roll includes Ford Motor Credit, Spring and Voit Brokerage Co.

Brian Hennessey, vice president of acquisitions for Younan Properties, represented his firm. Ron Rogg of CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s Orlando office, negotiated for Prudential.

In other non-related metro Orlando office transactions, Colonial Properties Trust of Birmingham, AL acquired the 1001 Colonial Center Heathrow office building in suburban Heathrow from Pizzuti Realty Inc. of Columbus, OH for an estimated $200 per sf or a total $38.43 million. Colonial and Pizzuti declined to disclose the actual contract price.

A South Florida investment group paid Siemens Real Estate Inc. $8.5 million for two buildings housing a total 377,000 sf of office and manufacturing space on a 57-acre Siemens Industrial campus on Rinehart Road in suburban Lake Mary.

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