She could finally speak on the record.
“I can finally say something other than ‘no comment,’” said Pamela Smith, who represents the owners of EverBank Center, formerly AT&T Tower 301, after Monday’s announcement that 1,500 EverBank employees will be relocating Downtown.
“I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” she said.
Smith said contractors have already begun preparing nine floors of the building for the new tenant and bids are scheduled to be opened in January for the renovation of EverBank’s space.
In February, work is expected to begin on a complete remodeling of the building’s café and dining area on the second floor.
The arrival of more than 1,500 more office workers is good news for the building and for other businesses, including the Landing, a short walk from EverBank Center.
“It’s exciting. It will bring more people and activity and add another element,” said Janice Lowe, Landing general manager.
“Our food court depends on office workers eating lunch. Our restaurants will be busier and we’re expecting more business,” she said.
“This is great news. The energy this provides is just what we’ve been waiting for,” said Mike Jennings, Downtown Vision Inc. board chairman.
“At DVI, we’re very eager to assist their employees, welcome them and get them involved in Downtown activities,” he said.
Parking providers also will see more business.
Smith said in addition to the building’s garage, EverBank staff will park in the Water Street garage, the Omni garage and the garage near the new County Courthouse. She said 1,500 parking spaces have been reserved as part of EverBank’s move Downtown.
The building was decorated for the holidays before the announcement was made about EverBank’s relocation. Smith said the news makes it an even more festive season.
“This is the best Christmas present we could have gotten,” she said.
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