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- 2012 - October - 8th -

SanMar adding distribution capacity at Northwest Jacksonville warehouse

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

SanMar Corp., based near Seattle, is investing another almost $250,000 into its Northwest Jacksonville warehouse center to expand its distribution capabilities.

The family owned and operated company, created 41 years ago by Marty Lott as a college project in his parents’ basement, has grown into a wholesale supplier of apparel and accessories.

The goods are sold to promotional products companies, embroiderers, screen printers and team dealers, among others. In brief, companies buy the garments and “decorate” them for use at golf tournaments, trade shows, as business uniforms and for similar reasons.

SanMar has more than 3 million square feet of warehouse space among seven locations, including 642,280 square feet in Jacksonville at 10940 New Kings Road.

The City approved a building permit last week for modifications in almost 192,200 square feet of space in the structure to provide six dock equipment positions and 10 openings through a separation wall.

The Conlan Co. is the contractor for the $246,750 project.

Senior Marketing Manager Lee Strom said Friday the modification will allow SanMar to bring more goods into the warehouse. The center employs about 125 people.

“We’re using more than half and the intent is to build to full usage over time,” he said.

The Jacksonville center, which SanMar bought in 2008 through J&J Jacksonville LLC, offers next-day shipping in all of Florida except the Keys (which is two-day shipping) and in Georgia and South Carolina, a lot of Alabama and the corner of North Carolina, Strom said.

Strom also said the company, through its seven centers, can reach 84 percent of the U.S. population in one day and 99 percent in two days.

He said the goods are brought in by rail or over-the-road truck and the majority of the goods are shipped out by UPS.

SanMar, whose website is SanMar.com, supplies wholesale apparel and accessories by Nike Golf, OGIO, Eddie Bauer, First Ascent, Red House, New Era, Port Authority, Port & Company, District, District Made, CornerStone, Sport-Tek and Precious Cargo.

When founded, it distributed T-shirts. Marty Lott handled all purchasing, marketing and sales.

He hired his first employee in 1974, moved to a 40,000-square-foot rented location in 1975 and bought a 10,000-square-foot center, then grew to 20 employees and installed the company’s first computer system in 1977.

It expanded from there to add a company catalog and outside sales representatives. Steady growth continued and by 1989, it opened a sister company in Canada.

It completed a headquarters center in 1990 in Preston, Wash., and opened in 1994 in Cincinnati, in 1995 in Reno, Nev., in 2002 to Cranbury, N.J., and in 2004 both in Coppell, Texas, and in Jacksonville.

That brought total warehouse space to more than 1.65 million square feet and allowed one- to two-day service to 99 percent of the U.S. population.

In 2005, it opened a direct sourcing office in Hong Kong.

In 2009, it opened the new Jacksonville location and a 585,000-square-foot center in Dallas.

Last year, it opened an 800,000-square-foot warehouse in Robbinsville, N.J., more than doubling inventory space in the region.

This year, it relocated its corporate office to Issaquah, Wash., and opened a warehouse in Minneapolis.

El Ad opts out of contract on EverBank Center

The owner of EverBank Center is rethinking a move to sell the Downtown building, but has yet to decide, said its representative.

“El Ad Florida LLC opted out of its sales contract and is reassessing its decision to sell the EverBank Center, especially in view of the fact that we have various large quality tenant prospects at this time,” said Pamela Smith, who represents El Ad.

“With the major refurbishments recently completed, the EverBank Center has never looked as good as it does now and the leasing market is responding well to EverBank as a major tenant in the building,” she said in an email.

“This coupled with the Downtown ‘buzz’ may contribute to ownership deciding to keep this asset in their portfolio,” she said, adding that she hopes that happens.

“Nevertheless, there are still some prospective buyers in line so the final decision has not been made,” she said.

A little more than two weeks ago, Smith said El Ad Florida was “talking to a prospective buyer” for the 30-story tower at 301 W. Bay St. She did not elaborate.

The building was listed for sale with CBRE. It is represented by CBRE brokers Mike Harrell and Lou Nutter.

In a May interview, Smith said she estimated El Ad has invested at least $3 million into the building’s common areas since it bought the structure in 2004 for $90.9 million.

Smith said there isn’t an asking price. The 1 million-square foot building was assessed at almost $46 million last year.

El Ad hired Smith as its owner representative in August 2010. Working with local real estate brokers and others, she signed EverBank Financial Corp. to lease 270,000 square feet of office space among nine of the building’s 30 floors. The bank has moved 1,800 employees there.

Auld & White Constructors LLC announced in January that it was selected by El Ad Florida for the $8.5 million build-out for EverBank at what was then called the AT&T Tower. The EverBank name has since been put up on the north and south faces of the tower.

The building also has added features. Nature’s Table Café opened on the second floor and a 4,000-square-foot fitness center opened in the basement of the building.

Smith said in mid-September the tower was about 70 percent occupied. She said 210,000 square feet of space was available for lease.

The structure was built in 1983 and owned by what has become AT&T. AT&T continues to lease 245,000 square feet of space in the building. AT&T’s lease is coming up and it is reviewing space in the area, Smith said in September.

“Any company with a lease renewal in a couple of years usually goes to market to determine what options are in the market to negotiate the best deal they can,” including with its current space, she said.

“That is what AT&T is doing at this point,” she said.

“They built the building, so they’ve been here since 1983. We hope they will continue to stay with us in the building. They are a great tenant of ours,” Smith said.

“We hope they will continue to be a part of our building and a part of Downtown,” she said.

LPS maintains more than 2,000 employees in Riverside

Lender Processing Services spokeswoman Michelle Kersch said Friday the November move of 270 LPS Default Solutions group employees from Riverside to Southside is because of costs.

“This is more cost-effective space for LPS than the space we are currently leasing on Riverside Avenue,” said Kersch of the Flagler Center offices.

The Daily Record reported Friday morning that LPS Default Solutions Inc., part of Jacksonville-based Lender Processing Services, will move the employees from Riverside to Flagler Center in South Jacksonville.

Kersch, senior vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Lender Processing Services, said employees will make the move Nov. 1 from the LPS campus at 601 Riverside Ave.

Default Solutions provides services for lenders to handle loans that are in default.

Plans show LPS Default Solutions as the tenant in 41,421 square feet of space at 12735 Gran Bay Parkway. The company would take space on the second floor of Building 200.

The plans show a build-out cost of $90,000. Flagler Center representatives did not comment.

Kersch elaborated Friday that the Flagler Center space can accommodate about 330 employees, although LPS does not have plans “at this time” to add employees.

“All employees from the Default Solutions division of LPS that are currently located on the Riverside campus will be relocating to the Flagler office space. There are employees of the LPS Default Solutions division located in other cities. Those employees will remain where they are,” Kersch said.

After the move, LPS will have about 2,050 employees on the Riverside Avenue campus, which is near Downtown.

Kersch said the Riverside campus includes the LPS corporate headquarters and functions, the majority of Servicing Solutions and Technology, and other groups.

She said the Riverside campus includes four buildings at 601 Riverside Ave., as well as space leased in the nearby Blue Cross Blue Shield building.

She said no other moves are being planned or considered at this point.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

356-2466

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