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- 2012 - October - 29th -

Chamber moves this week to prepare for its new ‘front door’

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

The JAX Chamber closes Thursday-Friday so staff can pack to move to temporary offices in Southside while its Downtown headquarters at 3 Independent Drive are renovated.

The chamber plans to open in a week, Nov. 5, on the second floor of the BBVA Compass Bank building at 10060 Skinner Lake Drive.

Meanwhile, the chamber reported about 200 people requested bid documents for the “Downtown’s New Front Door” construction project, the renovation of its headquarters, which opened in March 1981.

The chamber said the concept is to create a multifunctional property that connects the Bay Street corridor and The Florida Theatre entertainment area with the Landing and the Downtown core.

Anna Valent, vice president of the chamber’s operations division, said bids won’t be due for a few weeks, but said “we need everything related to a renovation project so we will have many vendors by the time everything is awarded.”

In an email last week to members, she said the chamber was encouraging members who qualify to bid on appropriate parts of the project.

A building permit application filed with the City shows a construction cost of almost $1.7 million for building and site renovations. Auld & White Constructors LLC is shown as the contractor.

Property records show the three-story, 21,000-square-foot building has a 2012 market value of $1.18 million. The property is exempt from taxes.

An October-May timeline is on the myjaxchamber.blogspot.com website.

Final designs were due Oct. 5 from Content Design, G.M. Hill Engineering, TLC Engineering, Marquis Halback Inc. and Solid Rock Engineering.

Auld & White Constructors was sending out bid documents Oct. 8.

Interior demolition begins Nov. 6 at the chamber. “We start about 8 weeks of implementing Gina Hill’s structural design plan for the first-floor slab remediation,” Valent said in the blog.

The parking lot closes in January for renovations, “and building interior aesthetic renovations begin.”

JAX Chamber small business leaders nominated

The JAX Chamber announced its 2013 “Small Business Leader of the Year” winners selected by its chamber councils, the Beaches Division and the Entrepreneurial Growth Division.

One of the 10 business leaders will be named the overall 2013 Chamber Small Business Leader of the Year in January at the chamber’s annual meeting.

The winners are:

• Bruce Bradley, Bradley & Associates Insurance LLC, Arlington Council

• Jeremy Morgan, Krystal Klean, Beaches Division

• Jonathan Smith, Jonathan Smith, attorney, Downtown Council

• Gina Hill, G.M. Hill Engineering, Entrepreneurial Growth Division

• Erick Wilson, TEC Works, Jacksonville IT Council

• Zeke Benavides, I.T. Promise, Mandarin Council

• Charley Tyler-Trubey, Mary Kay - Charley Tyler-Trubey, North Council

• Deborah Eveson, Allstate Insurance - Deborah Eveson, Professional Women’s Council

• Michele McManamon, Sandler Training (North Florida), South Council

• Vanice Serrano, ASAP Towing and Storage Co., West Council

JBI Plastic2Oil plant pending

There’s been little reported movement in the proposed Plastic2Oil plant by JBI Inc. to convert waste plastic into fuel oil at RockTenn Corp.’s Seminole containerboard mill in North Jacksonville.

The City began reviewing construction plans in April and has approved some of the several required elements of the project.

RockTenn Corporate Communications Director Robin Keegan said in an email Thursday that RockTenn has no comment and referred questions to JBI.

Chris Irons of JBI investor relations said Thursday the company had no comment.

The most recent news release on the plastic2oil.com website was Oct. 12, when JBI, based in Thorold, Ontario, commented “on improper release of SAIC Evaluation Report” regarding its technology.

JBI “has become aware of the improper release of a confidential executive summary prepared by SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC relating to SAIC’s May 2012 evaluation report on JBI’s Plastic2Oil technology,” it said. SAIC is a private consultant for scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services.

JBI announced May 15 that SAIC was commissioned for an independent review of its technology, process and business model. “However, neither the SAIC report nor the executive summary should be relied on as management’s analysis or opinion regarding JBI’s current strategic plan or its business or financial prospects,” it said.

“Furthermore, the conclusions drawn by SAIC were based upon a number of assumptions made at the time of the report that may be outdated or incorrect or that may prove to be incorrect in the future. Management’s current assumptions may differ and additional events, risks and uncertainties may cause JBI’s actual results and performance to differ from SAIC conclusions or projections,” it said.

“JBI encourages investors and potential investors to look to the statements and information contained in JBI’s press releases and in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission when making any investment decisions about JBI’s securities,” it said.

The Daily Record obtained what appears to be the executive summary of the SAIC report, which contained processing data from reviewing JBI’s facility in Niagara Falls, N.Y. It addressed the “proposed commercial facility” in Jacksonville and estimated capital costs and earnings.

JBI would not comment about the information.

The Daily Record reported in August plans were under review for a Plastic2Oil production plant to convert waste plastic into fuel oil.

It is shown as a 5-acre project on part of the site of the RockTenn Corp. Seminole containerboard mill, formerly known as Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. RockTenn is at 9469 Eastport Road, off Heckscher Drive.

Preliminary site plans show a 9,360-square-foot module production pad with adjacent space for truck unloading; a 1,170-square-foot storage tank concrete area; a 900-square-foot fuel truck loading area; a cooling tower; and a 720-square-foot quality control testing laboratory trailer.

The plans show conveyors, “premelts,” reactors and towers and condensers.

Technical Associates is listed as the civil, structural and mechanical engineer, while Janet Whitmill is named as the landscape architect.

The plastic2oil.com website describes JBI as “an innovative North American fuel company that transforms unsorted, unwashed waste plastic into ultra-clean, ultra-low sulphur fuel without the need for refinement.”

According to the website, JBI and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., which RockTenn acquired last year, entered into an agreement in April 2011 and the company made its first fuel sale.

In July 2011, JBI reported it entered into a 10-year referral and revenue-sharing agreement with RockTenn to convert product waste into fuel using the P2O technology.

The JBI website reports that JBI’s patent-pending Plastic2Oil process “is a commercially viable, proprietary process designed to provide immediate economic benefit for industry, communities and government organizations with waste plastic recycling challenges.”

The website reports that JBI President and CEO Kevin Rauber was previously vice president and general manager of RockTenn, which is based in Norcross, Ga., and operates more than 240 facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile.

In May, JBI announced a $10 million investment in equity capital, a successful review of its technology by SAIC, former CEO John Bordynuik’s transition to become chief of technology and Rauber’s decision to join as CEO and president.

JBI said the equity capital was from an investment group of private equity investors, venture capitalists, investment bankers and corporate executives.

“The timeliness of this financing is ideal,” said the company’s CFO, Matthew Ingham, in the May announcement.

“We now have the capital resources to accelerate the commercial roll-out of our P2O processers at our Niagara Falls plant and the initial RockTenn sites, endeavoring to achieve our near-term goal of becoming cash-flow positive,” he said in a statement.

Events

• NAIOP offers a year-end economic wrap-up featuring Paul Mason, University of North Florida Coggin College of Business professor, at 11:30 a.m., Nov. 14, at the Jacksonville Golf & Country Club. Information: naiopnefl.com.

Weekly conventions

Visit Jacksonville reports several events are booked this week and into the first week of November, bringing more than 2,500 delegates to Northeast Florida. Events include:

• Small Market Meetings, Small Market Meetings Conference, began Sunday and ends Tuesday, Hyatt Downtown, 200 delegates.

• Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association, Fall Convention, today-Friday, Hyatt Downtown, number of delegates not available.

• VAP-61 VAP-62, VAPPERS, Wednesday-Sunday, Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront, 70 delegates.

• EquipoVision LLC, convention, Wednesday-Saturday, Hyatt Downtown, 650 delegates.

• University of Florida, Leadership & Education Foundation Inc., Natural Resources Leadership Institute, Wednesday-Sunday, Amelia Hotel at the Beach, 20 delegates.

• Florida Community College Activities Association, FCSAA State Volleyball Tournament, Wednesday-Sunday, Best Western Hotel, Southpoint; Hampton Inn & Suites, Deerwood Park; Hampton Inn & Suites, Beach Boulevard; Radisson Jacksonville, Butler Boulevard; 200 delegates.

• Meeting Professionals International, Midyear Board Meeting, Thursday-Friday, Sawgrass Marriott, 14 delegates.

• Horse Shows in the Park, Hunter Jumper Series, Thursday-Sunday, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Chaffee Road, 300 delegates.

• Florida African-American Student Association Inc., Annual Fall Leadership Institute, Thursday-Sunday, Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Airport, 125 delegates.

• National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Inc., Fall Workshop, Thursday-Sunday, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, 800 delegates.

• The Knights & Ladies of St. Peter Claver, Zone Meeting, Friday-Saturday, The Jacksonville Airport Hotel, 150 delegates.

• Tour Time Inc., tours of Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Amelia Island, Friday-Monday, Holiday Inn, Interstate 295 West Beltway and Baymeadows Road, 40 delegates.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

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