Deutsche Bank: Build? Lease? Both?
While Deutsche Bank doesn't say much about its activities outside what is revealed in public documents, those filings outline that the global financial services company has become a major corporate player and office user in Southside.
Deutsche Bank started its Jacksonville operation in 2008 and now expects more than 1,600 jobs by the end of 2016, and I'm told that's a conservative number.
And it has taken a significant amount of Southside office space and continues to expand.
Will Deutsche Bank be the next large office development in Jacksonville?
Or, given the significant investment it has made in its facilities in terms of construction, communications, equipment and furnishings, will it stay put and continue to expand nearby?
Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Mayura Hooper in New York declined to comment about any possibility.
"We wouldn't provide comment on any speculation," she said.
The speculation arises because, according to public documents:
• Deutsche Bank, whose U.S. operations are based in New York, has tied up at least 185,000 square feet of space among the five buildings in the Meridian office park along Gate Parkway in Southside. The park offers a total of about 200,000 square feet of space, so even if Deutsche Bank squeezed into every square foot, there's not a lot of space remaining.
• Deutsche Bank confirms a lease at the Butler Plaza III building, which a building permit application shows will be a build-out of 65,000 square feet of space at the Belfort Road structure.
• That adds up to at least 250,000 square feet of office space scattered among six buildings – the Meridian campus and Butler Plaza.
• If Deutsche Bank continues to expand, and there's no indication it won't, it likely could take more space at Butler Plaza, but that's still miles from the main campus.
Considering that major companies like Deutsche Bank seem to prefer to have a single campus or one large building that is designed and built-out for the most efficient operation, it would make sense if the company was reviewing possibilities for a major office project.
There's also common sense, considering its significant investment at Meridian, that Deutsche Bank would investigate leasing or expanding near the business park.
"We're very pleased to have them as tenants," said Cushman & Wakefield Senior Director Traci Jenks, who represents Meridian.
"They tell us they really like the location," said Jenks, who described the site as "Main and Main" on the Southside.
There are more options: Deutsche Bank could lease an existing building, and there are Downtown buildings that might work should Deutsche Bank choose; or Deutsche Bank could work with a developer to build a campus of 250,000-350,000 square feet of space, or perhaps more.
The city Office of Economic Development had no comment.
Whatever the decision, Deutsche Bank appears to continue to bring jobs to town, so the need for space will not ended.
And neither has the speculation.