(Nov. 4) MAITLAND, Fla. â When Mike Stuart calls a meeting, finding space will no longer be a problem, and rounding up his staff will only take a couple of minutes.
Those situations and a few others were among the criteria the president of the Orlando-based Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association wanted addressed two years ago when the organization began its search for a new home.
The result was the purchase of a 58,000-square-foot, three-story office building in nearby Maitland that promises to serve the needs of the association for years to come.
The new site is at 800 Trafalgar Court, Maitland, off Interstate 4, about three miles north of downtown Orlando.
âItâs much easier to get to if youâre coming here for a meeting,â said Ray Gilmer, director of public affairs for FFVA.
The associationâs previous site, built in 1951 and a few miles away on East Colonial Drive, had become difficult to reach in recent years because of development and increased traffic in the area.
Parking spaces were inadequate, and offices within the organization were spread out throughout a 36,000-square foot campus in various buildings.
âThis puts our whole staff on the same floor within easy walking distance of one another,â Stuart said, âand it puts us into an updated office facility.â
Stuart said the new location would be home to 60 employees from FFVA and its insurance company, FFVA Mutual Insurance Co. Both will occupy the second floor.
In addition to a number of spacious offices, the second floor has an executive conference room with upgraded audio-visual equipment and a plasma screen for video presentations, as well as four other smaller conference rooms scattered around the perimeter.
The first floor will feature a 2,000-square-foot room for industry meetings and a smaller conference room suitable for groups up to 12.
The Florida Tomato Committee and Douglass Fertilizer Co., Longwood, are leasing 3,800 square feet each on the third floor. The remainder of the space will be leased by REM Inc., Orlando, an insurance claims unit.
FFVA began operations from the new site Oct. 25 after a four-day moving operation.