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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

ORLANDO-SoDo, Downtown Orlando’s $100-million mixed-use development, has gained an anchor tenant at its 75,000-square-foot office component. Orlando Orthopaedic Center has signed a 15-year lease to occupy 45,000 square feet at the building on South Orange Avenue between Grant and Crystal Lake Streets by late 2009. This is the first tenant signed at the building.

“Orlando Orthopaedic Center is very excited about the relocation of its downtown clinical and corporate offices to the new SoDo development,” said the medical tenant’s executive director, Kevin Joyce. “Our practice believes that the move to SoDo offers a significant enhancement in convenience for patients, employees and the community with SoDo’s great location, ample parking and ability to access the variety of retail stores and restaurants.”

Orlando Orthopaedic Center specialize in spine, joint replacement, hand, oncology, pediatrics and sports medicine, and has five locations throughout Central Florida. The tenant was represented by David Chapin with Grubb & Ellis, while Emily Zinaich with Morrison Commercial Real Estate represented the Hyde Park, NY-based developer in the lease transaction.

The 20-acre development celebrated its grand opening in October 2008. SoDo’s 300 luxury apartments are currently 30% leased, and the project’s 300,000 square feet of retail is 80% leased, according to a Kimco spokesperson. Major tenants already open include Super Target, TJ Maxx and 24 Hour Fitness, with more national tenants such as Banco Popular, The Athlete’s Foot, Taco Bell, Mattress Giant and Verizon Wireless set to open this year.

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