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The Sunshine State's commercial real estate business has long had an international feel, and with a new wave of development on the horizon, the future looks bright. However, Florida's success in this arena wouldn't be possible without the efforts of individuals who have helped shape—and many of whom continue to influence—the market. Here's a look at some of the people who have become household names in the regional industry.


They don't call him the “ultimate CEO” for nothing. Stephen Bittel has been making his mark on management, leasing, financing, development and sales of major real estate assets in Florida since 1980, when he founded Terranova Corp. With his unique blend of legal and real estate savvy—he's a member of the Florida Bar Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association, as well as a licensed real estate broker and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers—Bittel has personally been responsible for more than $2 billion in transactions, and Terranova operates nearly $1 billion worth of real estate assets. He's also president of Petroleum Realty Investment Partners, a venture launched in April 1999 to invest in the gas station and convenience store industry.

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