Crawford Contractor Connection to add 100 jobs, expanding office
Crawford Contractor Connection intends to move a short distance in Southside to larger offices and add more than 100 employees to its staff of 150, the company said Tuesday.
The company intends to move less than a mile from the Meridian Business Park at 5022 Gate Parkway, No. 304, to Greystone Business Park at 10550 Deerwood Park Blvd., No 109.
Both buildings are part of Taurus Investment Group Inc. Meridian Business Park also is the site of the expanding Deutsche Bank operations.
The City has approved a building permit for the tenant build-out at Greystone for Crawford Contractor Connection, part of the Atlanta-based Crawford & Co. claims management company.
Dav-Lin Interior Contractors is the contractor for the $996,112 project.
Plans and the permit application show Crawford Contractor Connection would move into a 29,614-square-foot space in Building 100 in the Greystone Business Park.
Thomas said about 230 employees will operate in the new offices eventually. The other 20 employees are among those who telecommute.
CBRE Senior Associate Traci Jenks, who represents Taurus, said Crawford Contractor Connection will leave 24,387 square feet of space at Meridian.
Crawford & Co. describes itself as the world's largest independent provider of claims management solutions. Last week, it named Larry Thomas to the new position of CEO of Contractor Connection.
Contractor Connection says in a news release that it provides insurers with a managed repair vendor network for residential and commercial property claims programs and has more than 4,500 member contractors in the United States and Canada.
After initially providing services to insurers and their policyholders, the network launched a consumer program in 2010. "Property owners interested in home improvement project can access Contractor Connection's credentialed network to provide bids for their work," says the March 14 news release. Its website is contractorconnection.com.
Thomas said Tuesday in a statement he anticipates continued growth in the long and short term for the company.
Crawford Contractor Connection said it began in Jacksonville in 1996 and became part of Crawford & Company in August 1999 through an acquisition.
"The company has been steadily growing over the past 10 years, and after two expansion projects in its current location, it has outgrown its current space," Thomas said in a statement.
"The decision to relocate to significantly larger space aligns with Crawford Contractor
Connection's aggressive growth plans," he said.
He said the company would add more than 100 jobs over the next three years.
Building plans show tenant improvements for executive offices, conference space, a boardroom, open offices, training space, a break room and more.
Kenneth Smith Architects Inc. is the designer.
Lumber Liquidators to open in Regency Court
Lumber Liquidators, with a store in West Jacksonville, intends to add a Jacksonville location in the Regency area.
The lumberliquidators.com site shows a store is "coming soon!" at 9244-A Arlington Expressway in the Regency Court shopping center. A call to the store finds it will open at the end of the month.
The Westside store is at 624 Beautyrest Ave.
The City issued building permits for tenant build-out of 9,365 square feet for Lumber Liquidators at 9382 Arlington Expressway and for a tenant separation wall for the retailer at 9244 Arlington Expressway.
The combined projects total $67,590.
Phil Phillips Construction Inc. will handle the $45,000 in interior renovations and other finishes and plumbing and electrical systems to accommodate a new layout.
Parallel Inc. will handle the $22,590 tenant separation wall.
The location formerly housed a Sofa Express, according to signs inside the vacant space show. Permit information is posted in the windows.
Lumber Liquidators, based in Toano, Va., near Richmond, says it is the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America. It has more than 290 locations.
It says it features more than 340 flooring varieties, including solid and engineered hardwood, bamboo, cork, laminate and vinyl along with accessories.
Its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries operated 279 retail stores throughout the U.S., as well as nine retail stores in Ontario, Canada, as of Dec. 31.
It added that as of Feb. 18, it operated 291 stores in 46 states and Canada.
It had 19 stores in Florida.
Its stores average 6,000-7,000 square feet in size, with a showroom format as well as warehouse space.
It seeks locations with "significant visibility to passing traffic and easy access from major highways, as well as certain retail synergies including home improvement, but are typically in areas with lower rents than other retail locations."
In the filing, the company says it can adapt to a range of existing buildings, whether free-standing or in shopping centers, and that it enters into short leases, generally for base terms of five years, with renewal options.
In 2012, the company completed the initial design to expand its average showroom area from 1,000-1,200 square feet to 1,600 square feet, although its store size is not expected to change.
"We refer to this new design as our 'store of the future,' and beginning in 2013, we expect that all of our new stores and all remodels and relocations of existing stores will be in this format," it says.
The filing says a typical store staff consists of a manager and two to three associates.
Existing homeowners represent more than 90 percent of its customer count. The rest are contractors. In 2012, the average sale was about $1,600, which generally represents one or two rooms of flooring.
As of Dec. 31, the company had 1,420 employees, the majority working full-time.
The company began in 1993 when building contractor Tom Sullivan began purchasing excess wood that other companies didn't need and reselling it from the back of a trucking firm's yard in Stoughton, Mass.
The first store opened Jan. 5, 1996, in West Roxbury, Mass. The company moved its headquarters in 1999 from Boston to an 80,000-square-foot warehouse in Colonial Heights, Va., and by 2004 it bought a 306,000-square-foot distribution center in Toano, where the company is based.
Office Depot moving to Regency Pointe
Regency Court is busy.
As reported, Office Depot plans to move within the Regency area, leaving Regency Court for Regency Pointe.
The City has approved building and sign permits for tenant remodeling for 8,078 square feet of space at 9450 Arlington Expressway in Regency Pointe, not far from the 26,000 square feet that Office Depot has been leasing at 9230 Arlington Expressway in Regency Court.
Based on the application, the Daily Record reported in December that Office Depot appears to be downsizing its Regency location from a big box to its smaller concept. The permit application shows a tenant remodeling project to the "2012 Prototype."
Southeastern Lighting Solutions Inc. is the contractor for two signs at a project cost of $1,200.
New Downtown restaurant
Downtown Vision Inc. reports that The Might As Well Café, described as a lunchtime bistro restaurant, will open in late summer at 410 Broad St. in the historic Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge Prince Hall near the Duval County Courthouse. The group said the café will serve fresh, French-inspired fare.