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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

TAMPA, FL-Locally based Creative Recycling Systems is doubling the size of its current leased facilities by taking on 54,000 sf in two buildings at Tampa East Industrial Center. The electronics recycling firm will add 25,000 sf at 8108 Krauss Blvd., where it now leases space, and take on 29,000 sf in a neighboring building at 1831 Massaro Blvd.

Studley Inc. represented Creative Recycling in negotiating the expansion with landlord Weingarten Realty Investors. It also represented the company in a 29,100-sf expansion at 619 Distribution Drive in Durham, NC, in a building owned by Liberty Property Trust.

Creative Recycling plans to use the added space to grow its core business of processing electronic equipment from government and corporate clients, says Shane O’Neil, senior managing director with Studley’s Tampa office. “The company’s rapid growth in Florida and North Carolina exemplifies the tremendous success that they have had in their industry,” he says, adding that the firm is in the process of expanding and opening new locations across the country.

The expansion by Creative Recycling bucks a trend in Tampa’s industrial sector, in which many tenants have closed or downsized operations and created a backlog of space. The city’s current vacancy rate for warehouse and distribution space is just under 5%, with the East Tampa submarket showing even lower vacancy at around 4%, according to GVA Advantis.

Nearly 40% of the 1.3 million sf of new industrial space under construction in the market has already been committed, says Randy Smith, research director for GVA Advantis in Tampa. While that new space was speculative, he adds, “developers are now looking at future plans with a much more critical eye” and future projects are being put on hold until a certain percentage of preleasing is reached.

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