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- 2012 - December - 14th -

Plans show Nordstrom Rack at Markets at Town Center

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Site development plans were filed with the City for a Nordstrom Rack store at the Markets at Town Center.

Nordstrom Rack is the off-price division of Nordstrom Inc., the Seattle-based upscale retailer that plans to open its first Jacksonville store in fall 2014 in St. Johns Town Center.

Nordstrom spokesman Colin Johnson said Thursday evening the Seattle-based company had no information to announce and would not confirm a Rack store for the Markets at Town Center.

"We are hopeful everything can come together in a way that we could take care of more customers in Jacksonville and we are keeping our eyes open for opportunities as it relates to the Rack," Johnson said.

Johnson said it was "super-exciting to announce our full-line store and we will get under way in fall 2014. We continue to look for ways to better serve customers throughout the First Coast region," he said.

The Markets at Town Center is next to St. Johns Town Center and are separately owned. The shopping centers are at Butler Boulevard and Gate Parkway.

The Markets at Town Center include Ulta, West Marine, Beard's Jewelry, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Best Buy and other retailers and restaurants, including Brio Tuscan Grille.

The 35,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack is shown on plans not far from Brio Tuscan Grille.

Engineering firm England, Thims & Miller filed site development plans for outparcels 8-11 at the Markets at Town Center,

Brio Tuscan Grille occupies Parcel 8. Parcel 9 will feature a 4,000-square-foot building; Parcel 10 is shown with an unidentified 7,659-square-foot restaurant; and Parcel 11 is the Nordstrom Rack.

Pinehill Markets Operating LLC is the developer for the Markets at Town Center. Representatives at Pinehill Markets, based in Atlanta, could not be reached late Thursday.

St. Johns Town Center is co-owned by Ben Carter Properties and Simon Property Group, which also has ownership interests in The Avenues and Orange Park malls. A St. Johns Town Center representative referred questions to the Markets manager, who was not available.

Johnson said Nordstrom Rack began in the basement of the company's flagship downtown Seattle store in 1973 as a clearance department.

He said it later moved to a standalone location a few blocks away and this year, the downtown Seattle Rack store was moved across the street from the full-line store.

As Nordstrom expanded across the country, the Rack stores did too.

"With over 100 stores throughout the U.S., Nordstrom Rack is a fun, fast and easy-to-shop destination where style meets savings," Nordstrom.com said.

Nordstrom Rack carries merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at 50-60 percent off original Nordstrom prices, it says.

"Plus, you'll find an incredible selection of brand-name apparel, accessories and shoes for the entire family — from contemporary fashion to quality basics — purchased specially for Nordstrom Rack, with savings up to 70 percent off" the manufacturer's suggested retail price, it said.

Nordstrom Rack stores accept and sell Nordstrom gift cards and accept payments on Nordstrom accounts.

The motto is "the ultimate treasure hunt."

Nordstrom Rack is a division of Nordstrom Inc.

It's common for a Rack store to operate in the same city as a Nordstrom.

Johnson, saying he was not responding to the question of a Rack opening in the Markets at Town Center, said "it's very common that we have Racks in close proximity to where we have a full-line store."

As of Dec. 3, Nordstrom operated 240 stores in 31 states, including 117 full-line stores, 119 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, one treasure&bond store and one clearance store.

There are nine full-line Nordstrom stores in Florida — in Aventura, Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Tampa and Wellington.

The Nordstrom.com site shows seven Rack stores in Florida — in Aventura, Boca Raton, Kendall, Miami, Orlando, Sunrise and Tampa.

In September, eight years after it first confirmed it was seriously looking at Jacksonville, Nordstrom announced it planned to open a full-line store in the fall of 2014 at St. Johns Town Center.

Nordstrom plans a two-level, 124,000-square-foot store. It will anchor a new wing on the southwest side of the open-air lifestyle center. The wing is planned between Brooks Brothers and Louis Vuitton.

According to Nordstrom, the company believes opening a Jacksonville store at St. Johns Town Center "will put it in an ideal position to serve customers throughout the Northeast Florida region."

"We've had our eye on Jacksonville for a long time, so it's gratifying for us to now have this opportunity to open our doors at St. Johns Town Center," said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores, in the September news release.

"We're fortunate to have loyal customers in Jacksonville and excited to be able to serve them better with a store at the First Coast's top shopping destination," he said.

While the full-line Nordstrom store planned for Jacksonville is listed on the website, a Rack isn't.

Nordstrom was founded in 1901 in Seattle as a shoe store.

It also sells through Nordstrom.com and its catalogs.

ULTA joining River City Marketplace

ULTA is closer to opening at the Parkway Shops at River City Marketplace in North Jacksonville.

A permit application filed with City shows a 9,932-square-foot store at a project cost of $350,000.

ULTA is joining Dick's Sporting Goods and Marshall's at the Parkway Shops under development at 14964 Duval Road.

Dick's Sporting Goods will occupy a 44,375-square-foot store and Marshall's will open in a 25,000-square-foot store.

The Daily Record reported in February that Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust planned to develop the Parkway Shops next to its River City Marketplace retail center in North Jacksonville and had signed Marshalls and Dick's Sporting Goods for the project.

Meanwhile, BJ's Restaurants Inc., based in Huntington Beach, Calif., plans to open its second Jacksonville BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse at the Parkway Shops. BJ's intends to build the restaurant at a cost of $1.25 million at 15022 Duval Road.

The first BJ's in Jacksonville is at the St. Johns Town Center in South Jacksonville.

Coggin Toyota plans new dealership

Asbury Automotive Group applied for a permit to build a $5.2 million Coggin Toyota at the Avenues dealership, shop and car wash along Philips Highway at Greenland Road, south of the existing Toyota dealership.

Plans show a 71,781-square-foot dealership and a separate car wash.

The new dealership is at 11340 Philips Highway. 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.

Home sales rise

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors reported pending sales in November were up 47.5 percent over last November and were up 16.5 percent year-to-date.

The Realtors said 1,428 homes were sold during November, with 825 (57.8 percent) consisting of traditional sales and 603 (42.2 percent) were lender-mediated.

The numbers show a 27.3 percent increase in the number of traditional sales over last November and less than a 1 percent increase in the number of lender-mediated sales.

The median sales price for traditional properties during November, at $175,000, dropped 2.5 percent from last year, at $179,500. The median price for lender-mediated properties rose 13.9 percent from a year ago — from $79,000 to $90,000.

The overall median sales price for November was even from the year before at $131,000.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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