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InterAmerica Stage pays $2.2M for new Sanford headquarters

Outlined in yellow is the industrial building acquired by InterAmerica Stage, located on Benchmark Lane in Sanford.
Outlined in yellow is the industrial building acquired by InterAmerica Stage, located on Benchmark Lane in Sanford. (Colliers International)

Sanford-based entertainment staging and design company InterAmerica Stage, Inc., paid $2.2 million on Friday for a new local headquarters, closing the deal in less than a month after the seller vacated earlier this year for its own local expansion.

Located at 5401 Benchmark Lane in the Midway Commerce Park, the 3.3-acre site features a 31-year-old freestanding flex warehouse with more than 37,000 square feet. Of that, roughly 11,000 square feet is office space and 26,000 square feet fabrication area, with entry points for trucks to drive through the entire building.

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IA Stage provides stage rigging and specialty equipment for schools and entertainment centers, with service that includes custom ceilings and lighting that have been used in attractions at Legoland Florida, the Harry Potter rides and new Volcano Bay structure at Universal Orlando.

Brian Smith, principal with Smith McIntosh Properties, Inc., represented the buyer and helped IA Stage progress from contract to closing in just 22 days this month.

An update on the timeline for this project that was first reported in March, and what decisions lie ahead for the company's president.

IA Stage has had its operations spread across four leased buildings in Greater Orlando, but a move to the new warehouse in Sanford will bring those four operations under one roof, and offer a net increase of roughly 7,000 square feet of production area, Smith told GrowthSpotter on Friday.

The company plans to occupy the building in the coming weeks after acquiring the necessary permits. IA Stage sourced a $1.6 million loan from Seacoast National Bank to help finance the acquisition.

The seller was Harper Limbach LLC, affiliate of Pittsburgh-based Limbach Holdings Inc., a specialty engineering firm that also fabricates and services the heating, building automation, electrical and control systems in new and existing buildings.

Limbach Engineering & Design Services had been based in the Sanford building. But after outgrowing its office space, the company enlisted Colliers International Central Florida last year to help it relocate.

Limbach's local engineering team moved into Highwoods Properties' Capital Plaza Two building in Downtown Orlando at the end of First Quarter 2016, and then its warehouse fabrication team moved to a 48,000-square-foot, free-standing building in Lake Mary in early Q3.

Insight on how much was paid for the property, where progress stands on permitting of the project, and why market demand supports the investment now.

Once vacant, the Sanford building was listed in September by Colliers' Robert Kellogg, Todd Davis and Colin Morrison, and was marketed for three months.

"There's not a lot of product on the market that was comparable to this building, which offered tilt-wall construction, a ton of onsite parking (67 spaces) and was 'over-powered' from a utilities perspective," Kellogg said. "The ability to drive through the entire space made it a fully capable warehouse."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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