Walmart Neighborhood Market centers progressing
The City approved roofing permits at the Merrill Station and Crossroads at Mandarin shopping centers, the sites of the area's first two Walmart Neighborhood Markets.
C&S Roofing Co. is the contractor for the $114,000 project at 8011 Merrill Road and McCurdy-Walden Inc. is the contractor at the Crossroads center at 10550 Old St. Augustine Road. That project is $215,000.
The Walmart Neighborhood Markets are Wal-Mart grocery stores and the first two are being developed in former Food Lion stores.
Late last year, the City approved construction of the two neighborhood markets in Duval County.
James C. Hudson Jr. Construction Co., based in Chattanooga, Tenn., is building out the 38,640-square-foot Crossroads at Mandarin store in Mandarin at a cost of $1.55 million.
J. Raymond Construction, based in Longwood, is renovating the 39,665-square-foot Merrill Station space in Arlington. It is a $1.59 million project.
In October, the Daily Record reported that two Walmart Neighborhood Market stores, which are Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s smaller grocery-store formats, were closer to construction. The developer had bought both shopping centers, anchored by former Food Lions, and the permit applications were submitted.
The permit applications said the projects are interior remodels for new grocery stores to take over previous grocery spaces.
Developer Gatlin Development Co. Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, through GDC Jax 3 LLC, bought the shopping centers Sept. 7 for a total of $8.8 million and took out a mortgage Sept. 11 for $17.6 million from Ladder Capital Finance LLC.
GDC Jax 3 LLC paid $3.6 million for Merrill Station and $5.2 million for Crossroads.
Meanwhile, a third Duval County Food Lion at San Pablo Road and Atlantic Boulevard also has been shown on plans as a Walmart Neighborhood Market but was not sold to Gatlin. The San Pablo store is shown as 49,433 square feet and plans indicate Wal-Mart Stores East L.P. as the developer.
CPH Engineers Inc. is shown as the engineer for all three market locations.
Sources have said Wal-Mart plans five to nine Neighborhood Markets in Northeast Florida. The stores typically are 42,000 square feet in size, a quarter of the size of the average 185,000-square-foot Supercenter, according to Wal-Mart.
Aspen Dental to open 2 centers
The City approved build-out for Aspen Dental in River City Marketplace at 651 Nautica Drive. Paulon Construction Management Corp. is the contractor for the $198,900 project to renovate 3,259 square feet of space.
The City also is reviewing a permit for Aspen Dental to renovate space at 11824 Atlantic Blvd. at a project cost of $160,000. No contractor was specified in the permit application.
Aspen Dental Management is based in East Syracuse, N.Y. Its website, aspendental.com, says it has grown from 13 offices in three states in 1998 to more than 350 locations in 22 states. In 2011, its practices recorded more than 2.2 million patient visits, including visits from 490,000 new patients.
The River City Marketplace practice is being developed next to the Tijuana Flats in the two-tenant building.
Aspen Dental Communications Manager Mark Frank said the company anticipates the 651 Nautica Drive location will open late in the second quarter and the Atlantic Boulevard location will open late in the third quarter.
He said Aspen Dental practices typically are staffed with a lead dentist, associate dentist, hygienist, dental assistant, denture laboratory technician, office manager and customer service representative.
The company typically does not disclose investment costs.
"Aspen Dental practices are focused on providing access to quality and affordable dental care in areas where there is an unmet need for denture and dental services," he said.
"In determining which markets to enter, we analyze the market from the patients' perspective as well as the current saturation of dentists in the area," he said.
Single-family sales rise in 2012
The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors said single-family and condo sales for all of 2012 rose 6.2 percent to 17,718 from 16,690 in 2011.
The median sales price for the year was up 6.8 percent to $133,500 from $125,000 in 2011.
The average sales price rose 8 percent to $179,482 from $166,097.
In 2012, sellers received an average of 90.8 percent of the list price, up 2.9 percent from 2011, when buyers paid 88.2 percent of the list price.
Houses sold faster, too. Days on the market dropped to an average 112 last year from 121 the year before.
Single-family detached homes stayed on the market last year for an average 113 days, while townhouse-condos were sold in an average 106 days.
While the median price in 2012 was up to $133,500, that price was 24.6 below $177,000 in 2008.
The highest median price in the area last year was $460,000 in Ponte Vedra Beach North, up 13.6 percent from $405,000 in 2011, but 29.3 percent below $651,000 in 2008.
2 InstaLoan offices under renovation
InstaLoan offices are planned at the former Frank Griffin dealership at 5711 Philips Highway and at 10161 Atlantic Blvd., next to Fifth Gear.
InstaLoan is part of TMX Finance, based in Savannah, Ga.
TMX Finance includes TitleMax, TitleBucks, TMX Credit and InstaLoan and operates more than 1,000 stores in 12 states.
It has been advertising for a Jacksonville general manager.
TitleMax is a title lending company that began in 1998. Its website is titlemax.biz.
The City has approved permits to renovate the space. FallCreek Construction Inc. is the contractor for both projects.
The 10161 Atlantic Blvd. project is at Atlantic Boulevard and Lee Road. FallCreek was approved to renovate 3,584 square feet at a project cost of $54,630.
That 5711 Philips Highway site is at Philips Highway and University Boulevard. The 1,397-square-foot project has a cost of $22,730.