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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

JACKSONVILLE, FL-Flagler Development Group is continuing its aggressive acquisition mode, buying nearly $250 million worth of commercial real estate throughout Florida over the last four months. Its latest purchase: the nine-building Jacksonville International Tradeport.

Flagler paid $72.1 million for the 994,380-sf industrial complex in the city’s northside submarket, adding to at least 500,000 sf that it already owns in Jacksonville. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler’s Miami office represented Flagler in buying the 99% leased Tradeport buildings from Jackson Shaw Co., including the assumption of an existing loan on the property.

“This is another step in the diversification of our Jacksonville portfolio, which includes 2.8 million sf of office properties,” says Keith Tickell, Flagler’s executive vice president of development in Jacksonville. “We look forward to the management and expansion of our industrial portfolio.”

Tradeport marks the most recent of several deals Flagler has completed over the last four months, starting with the $29.5-million acquisition of the Bridgeport Center office building in Tampa in March. Flagler followed that acquisition with seven nearby acres in the Westshore office submarket for $8.2 million from Pro-Ject International Inc.

Tickell tells GlobeSt.com that the Tampa site, at O’Brien and Laurel Streets, is being considered as a mixed-use development, possibly including a retail component. “We’re not in a position where we’re going to be coming out of the ground anytime soon,” he adds.

In the Orlando market, Flagler paid a combined $92.5 million for two commercial properties: Maitland Promenade, a five-story office building with 230,000 sf on nine acres, and the Reserve at Maitland, a class A office property with 197,000 sf in three single-story buildings on nearly ten acres. Both of these deals involved tenant-in-common owners in a Section 1031 exchange, with Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors representing the sellers and HFF again representing Flagler.

In South Florida, Flagler paid $42.2 million for a four-story, 160,000-sf class A office building at 8051 Congress Ave. that is fully occupied by IBM. The build-to-suit project was originally developed in 2001 by Codina Group, which is now part of Flagler.

Coral Gables-based Flagler is involved in approximately 9.8 million sf of office and industrial space statewide, either through direct ownership, development, leasing and joint ventures, with another 1.2 million sf under construction. It also owns 921 acres statewide with entitlements for up to 16.5 million sf.

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