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TAMPA, FL-Although a year from completion, the three-story, 99,094-sf spec-built Highland Oaks III office building in the Interstate 75 corridor has attracted its first tenant. Locally based Quality Distribution Inc. will take 52,776 sf when the building opens in summer 2006. The developer is Duke Realty LP.

Cushman & Wakefield brokers, who represented the tenant, declined to disclose the length and value of the lease. However, area brokers familiar with the property, which is in an 88-acre park across the street from Sabal Park, tell GlobeSt.com the lease was probably for five years at an estimated aggregate rent of $5.28 million. The average asking gross rent range at Highland Oaks III is $22 per sf.

The leasing transaction took 20 months to complete, from contract signing to closing. Quality Distribution currently leases 55,000 sf in the Eastpointe submarket. The tenant was looking at other sites before selecting Highland Oaks III, according to Cushman & Wakefield brokers Jim Paladino and John Fish.

In an unrelated transaction, Cushman & Wakefield brokers Bruce Erhardt and Mike Davis negotiated a $1.2-million land acquisition for Tampa-based 585 Partnership Ltd. Star Distribution Systems Inc. of Tampa paid $65,000 per acre or $1.49 per sf for an 18.8-acre tract in Lot 1, Phase L, Plant City Commerce Center. The land, in the southwest quadrant of US 92 and County Line Road in Plant City, FL is zoned for light industrial use.

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