391-acre St. Johns site in review
Fletcher Management Co. LLC is pursuing approvals for almost 391 acres in St. Johns County for light industrial uses or for a borrow pit.
Fletcher Management, based in Jacksonville Beach, applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District to review the property, a high-profile site south of the International Golf Parkway and west of U.S. 1.
"The only reason I am jumping through the hoops is to go ahead and get the permitting done. I've got some interest in the property," said Robert Johnson, Fletcher senior vice president.
"We will either use it as a borrow pit operation or we will use it for light industrial," he said.
Johnson said a real estate broker approached him about a large, but unidentified, industrial project. He said the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce inquired about a separate, smaller deal.
"I am totally open for something to happen but right now, I would be surprised if that came through," he said.
The application describes Fletcher's proposed project, called the "St. Mark's Industrial Site," as "construction of industrial facilities and excavation of a borrow pit on two applicant-owned parcels."
Plans filed with the district show two primary parcels, one at 248.7 acres and the other at 141.78 acres. Johnson said there are about 100 usable acres on each of the two sites.
The smaller parcel is for a borrow-pit operation.
The larger parcel, which is the light-industrial site, is east of St. Mark's Pond Boulevard. Plans show five industrial parcels.
Plans also indicate a potential rail spur to the adjacent Florida East Coast Railway, although Johnson said there has been no movement made toward seeking that connection.
Also, Northrop Grumman Corp. owns about 35 acres within the larger parcel that is undeveloped. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems spokeswoman Jacqueline Farrell said there are no plans to develop the property.
Johnson said Northrop Grumman has used the property for 10 years, first leasing it and then buying it about two years ago.
Johnson said he had thought the entire St. Mark's property might be best used as a borrow pit operation, "and then I got a call from a broker and he said he had a large entity that was looking for a rail spur."
A day later, he said he was called by the St. Johns chamber, saying there was interest by a 150-job employer, a different prospect from the broker's deal.
Johnson said it has been at least a month since both conversations and he hasn't heard more.
He also said that while the smaller parcel was in review for a borrow pit, he could seek a different use later if a project developer was interested.
The applicant for the district review is St. Mark's Pond Property LLC.
Norman Gregory, vice president of economic development with the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, said he could not comment about St. Mark's Pond "and any projects we may or may not be involved in for economic development purposes."
St. Mark's Pond Property LLC's registered agent is Paul Fletcher of Jacksonville Beach. Environmental Resource Solutions Inc. is the project agent and Prosser Hallock is the project consultant and engineer.
St. Mark's Pond Property's manager is St. Marks Pond Holdings LLC, whose manager is EGI-Properties Fund (08-10) LLC of Chicago.
Northrop Grumman expanding in St. Augustine
Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense contractor, is preparing to expand its St. Johns County operation east of U.S. 1 at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport, north of St. Augustine at 5000 U.S. 1 N.
As previously reported, the company plans to add 330,000 square feet of new workspace and create 400 jobs for its Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence.
Northrop Grumman, the largest manufacturer in St. Johns County, currently employs 1,100 at its St. Augustine facility and is planning for a four-year expansion project.
The Board of County Commissioners approved an incentive package of nearly $3 million for the expansion.
According to its application filed with the St. Johns County Economic Development Agency, Northrop plans to construct three manufacturing and office buildings.
Northrop Grumman St. Augustine is an aircraft manufacturing and modifications facility whose current customer is the U.S. Navy.
Hallmark pays $2.1M for condo project
Robin Shepherd Studios Inc. and RSPR Inc. sold a 1.3-acre riverfront parcel at 500 Bishopgate Lane to HP500 LLC, a group comprising partners of the Hallmark Partners development group, for $2.1 million.
Hallmark Partners announced Aug. 14 that it planned to develop a 16-story condominium at the site, which is off Riverside Avenue near The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.
Beacon Riverside is slated for 55 units among 16 stories, including a two-story parking area. Prices will range from $600,000 to $2 million.
The deed was signed Aug. 15 and recorded Tuesday with the Duval County Clerk of Court. The property comprises three parcels that include the building, a parking lot and vacant residential space. The properties collectively carried a 2012 taxable value of $2.3 million.