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- 2012 - October - 9th -

ING to condense operations in Southside, renovation costs near $3 million

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Tenant improvement plans were filed with the City for ING, the financial, retirement, investment and insurance company, to condense its South Jacksonville office operations.

While ING is condensing its space, the construction cost to do so is shown among three permits at $947,577 each, totaling $2.84 million.

ING occupies space in the Gunti Building in Freedom Commerce Centre, which is in the Baymeadows area of Southside.

Plans show ING will condense from using the entire four-story, 161,200-square-foot structure to using all of the third and fourth floors and much of the first floor.

ING U.S. is the U.S.-based operation of ING Groep N.V., which is based in the Netherlands. ING U.S. headquarters are in New York City.

In the United States, the ING family of companies offers financial services to retail and institutional clients, including retirement plans, IRA rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management, mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits, fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning.

It says it serves about 13 million customers across the nation. Its website is ing.us.

ING DIRECT USA, the online bank, was sold to Capital One in February.

Meanwhile, an ING U.S. spokesman was gathering information about the Jacksonville lease and the company’s local operations.

In Jacksonville, real estate broker Chuck White, senior vice president with NAI Hallmark Partners, said he and broker Steve Ernst, vice president at CLW Real Estate Services Group of Tampa, represented ING in the site deal.

White said ING was looking for 100,000 square feet of space in the market but decided to renew at the Gunti Building, at 8900 Freedom Commerce Parkway, for about 102,000 square feet.

Lisa Greason of the CBRE real estate company is listed as a deal representative. Lauren Crawford, who represents CBRE’s Florida operations, said CBRE had no comment. Crawford is based in Tampa.

Building plans show ASD Inc. of Jacksonville as the project architect. No contractor was listed.

ING came to Jacksonville by way of its 2008 acquisition of CitiStreet LLC. ING paid a reported $900 million for the retirement plan and benefit service administration organization, including its operation in Australia.

CitiStreet leased the Freedom Commerce Centre building.

Looking back further, in early 2003 CitiStreet leased 269,000 square feet of space among three buildings in Jacksonville, comprising the Baymeadows building; 74,000 square foot deal at the Quadrant, near Butler Boulevard and Interstate 95, and 35,000 square feet Downtown.

It employed about 1,000 people.

CitiStreet was a joint venture of New York-based Citigroup Inc. and State Street Corp. of Boston, which owned Jacksonville-based Wellspring Resources.

Meanwhile, the ing.us website says ING Group is the official name of the company and is not an abbreviation of a longer name.

ING originally stood for Internationale Nederlanden Group. It said the name was used after the merger that created ING in 1991. The abbreviation ING became so well-known that the name of the company was changed to ING.

Assisted-living centers planned

• The Fort Caroline Gardens Senior Center is planned at 9150 Fort Caroline Road.

Plans filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District and the City show an eventual 60,000-square-foot building on 4.7 acres.

The assisted-care facility would start with 25,000 square feet of space and add 35,000 square feet in a second phase.

Almond Engineering and PQH Architects are working on the project.

• The Windsor of Jacksonville at Timuquana is planned at 5939 Roosevelt Blvd., according to plans filed with the City and the water management district.

The two-story, 84,500-square-foot center would consist of about 94 rooms, plans show.

Taylor & White Inc. Civil Design & Consulting Engineers is the agent. Property records show the site is 3.92 acres.

Medical developments

• The Southpoint Cancer Center is planned at 7023 A.C. Skinner Parkway, according to plans with the City and the water management district.

The proposed 13,106-square-foot center and two future expansions of 4,900 square feet each are planned on 3.96 acres. The applicant and owner is shown as Eighteenth City Landowners LLC of Jacksonville, whose manager is listed as Mitchell Terk, a radiation oncologist.

The project consultant is JBC Planning & Engineering LLC.

• Plans filed with the City and water management district show a proposed dialysis clinic at 5607 Normandy Blvd. for Fresenius Medical Care.

Documents say a tire store was built on the property in 1991 and the project would convert the facility into a medical office.

Property records show the site is owned by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Allyn C. Tidball is the engineer and the developer is listed as MDG Developers.

Plans filed with the City show the site is 5.88 acres and the building is about 6,400 square feet.

• Kidney Kare Outpatient Services Inc., based in Dania Beach, plans to open in 4,006 square feet of space in 4168 Southpoint Parkway, No. 102, according to building plans.

Auld & White Constructors LLC is show as the contractor for the $175,000 project. The website, kidneykareinc.com, shows the company provides dialysis services.

• Construction plans were filed for Heartland Dental Care at 13794 Beach Blvd.

King Engineering Associates Inc. is the engineer for the project. The owner and developer is Professional Resource Development Inc.

Plans show a proposed 4,900-square-foot facility on 0.86 acre.

Parkway Shops gaining BJ’s Brewhouse, ULTA and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Construction activity at the Parkway Shops at River City Marketplace in North Jacksonville includes:

• BJ’s Restaurants Inc., based in Huntington Beach, Calif., plans to open its second Jacksonville BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse at the Parkway Shops at River City Marketplace.

BJ’s intends to build the restaurant at a cost of $1.25 million at 15022 Duval Road.

• J. Raymond Construction Corp. is the contractor for ULTA at 14964 Duval Road. The permit, approved Monday, shows a $300,000 construction cost for “shell work for a new retail tenant.” Information shows ULTA will use 9,901 square feet of space.

• The City also approved the permit for J. Raymond Construction Corp. to provide tenant build-out for Dick’s Sporting Goods at 14964 Duval Road. Construction costs are $900,000. It’s a 44,375-square-foot project.

New dealership planned for Coggin Toyota at the Avenues

Plans show a new Coggin Toyota at the Avenues dealership at 11340 Philips Highway.

Asbury Automotive Group of Duluth, Ga., is the owner.

Asbury and dealership representatives have not returned calls seeking comment.

A building permit application shows the proposed 71,781-square-foot dealership carries a construction cost of $5 million.

Development plans show the 10.3-acre site at Philips Highway and Greenland Road. The dealership comprises a first floor of almost 68,000 square feet with a small second floor.

A second building would consist of a car wash.

The property is shown as vacant and previously was developed as a light-industrial manufacturing facility that was demolished.

Coggin Toyota now operates at 10564 Philips Highway.

FDIC sells bank property

Property records show the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. recently sold several former First Guaranty Bank and Trust Co. properties:

• First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. bought property at 13860 Old St. Augustine Road for $2.26 million.

• 121 Financial Credit Union bought property at 6072 Youngerman Circle for $1.04 million.

• VyStar Credit Union bought property at 10903 Baymeadows Road for $1.64 million.

Hostess still working through bankruptcy reorganization

Dallasnews.com reports a New York bankruptcy judge gave Hostess Brands Inc. permission last week to impose changes to its collective bargaining agreement with one of its largest unions and five smaller unions.

It said the changes include an 8 percent pay cut.

Irving, Texas-based Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other snacks, filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws in January in New York.

The company had filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification in May in the states in which it operates.

The Florida filing showed Hostess has 185 jobs in Northeast Florida.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union, its second largest union behind the Teamsters, had overwhelmingly rejected Hostess’ last, best and final offer, according to Dallasnews.com.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters had approved the final offer.

Dallas.com said the judge allowed Hostess to impose changes to bakers’ union agreements still in effect and to another 18 that expired earlier this year.

Company management has warned that if the unions chose to strike, it would sink the company, according to the news site.

“If our unionized employees decide to strike, it would force a shutdown of the company,” said CEO Gregory Rayburn.

“A significant work stoppage would almost certainly drive away customers and cause our lenders to withdraw their financial support. The fate of the company sits in our employees’ hands,” he said.

According to a statement from Hostess Brands, one of the key steps toward the decision was whether a third-party company was interested in buying the company.

Reports said that was not the case, but it would have affected the hearing by providing an alternative exit strategy for Hostess. Instead, existing lenders have agreed to fund the company’s exit from Chapter 11 in exchange for employee concessions.

The Daily Record reported Sept. 17 that Dallasnews.com said the unions’ vote was crucial because the company’s chief executive has said that without buy-in from the Teamsters and the bakers’ union, the company will liquidate and sell off its brands, including Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread.

Its Florida WARN filing indicated layoffs could start July 7, but when the date approached, spokesman Lance Ignon said there were no immediate plans to lay off the workers.

“The goal is to restructure Hostess and come out of Chapter 11 as a stronger company,” Ignon said then.

Ignon said the WARN filing in May was a legal requirement for notification that plant closings and layoffs could occur, “but it was completely conditional.”

The Florida WARN indicated Hostess might lay off 340 statewide employees, including 185 in Northeast Florida at eight bakery outlets and at the North Florida manufacturing plant. The notices listed the layoff dates as July 7-21.

The six bakery outlets in the Jacksonville area operate as Merita or Dolly Madison stores, according to Hostessbrands.com.

Hostess Brands issued a statement at the time that it mailed conditional WARN notices to all 18,500 employees around the country that a sale or wind down of the company was possible in the future during the restructuring under Chapter 11.

“However, our goal is still to emerge from bankruptcy as a growing company and there are no immediate actions being taken to sell or wind down the company. We are simply fulfilling our requirements by sending these notices,” said the statement at that time.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

356-2466

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