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- 2014 - January - 1st -

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

One of the area's most-watched companies will again be available for public ownership as the soon-to-be parent company of the Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo grocery chains completes a stock sale.

Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers Inc., the name of the holding company for Bi-Lo and longtime Jacksonville-headquartered corporate leader Winn-Dixie, filed for an initial public offering in September but has not said when it plans to complete the stock sale.

Winn-Dixie was publicly traded until it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and, after emerging, was bought by Bi-Lo, which moved its headquarters to Jacksonville.

Winn-Dixie remains one of the city's biggest business stories, along with Fidelity National Financial Inc., which expects to complete its purchase of Lender Processing Services Inc. this week. Both are based in Jacksonville.

Fidelity's main business is title insurance. LPS provides processing services for mortgage lenders. Both operate at the Fidelity campus along Riverside Avenue, where Fidelity National Information Services also operates. LPS was spun off from FIS and operated separately.

Deutsche Bank also topped headlines with its continued expansion in the suburbs and speculation that its growth could necessitate a new campus, which is expected to be a story for 2014.

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan generated headlines in 2013 with his continued sports investments, but also with his financial backing of small businesses and his intentions to support development near EverBank Field, namely the Shipyards, as well as his $3 million deal backing the acquisition by investors of the Laura Street Trio and the old Barnett Bank Building Downtown.

In retailing, the St. Johns Town Center remained the center of attention with its development of the area's first Nordstorm department store, expected to open in October in time for the 2014 holiday shopping season. The town center area also attracted a Nordstrom Rack.

Tim Tebow, another sports-related businessman, continued to make news by investing in the area development rights of the PDQ – People Dedicated to Quality – chain of restaurants serving chicken tenders and sandwiches. Tebow, the former University of Florida quarterback, was cut from NFL rosters and some fans continued to demand that Khan sign him with the Jaguars.

Major property deals of the year included the almost $200 million sale of the Liberty Property Trust portfolio of nearly three dozen buildings and properties to Greenfield Partners and the $55.5 million sale of the Aetna Building on the Downtown Southbank to IP Capital Partners LLC.

Heading into 2014, more property sales are expected, including the Wells Fargo Center and EverBank Center, which are Downtown Northbank marquee towers. Both are for sale, but no potential buyers have been announced.

Among property sales and developments are those at the city-owned Cecil Commerce Center, where master developer Hillwood Investment Properties is making plans to develop the first phase of a 1 million-square-foot speculative distribution center. Meanwhile, FedEx Ground Package System Inc. is developing a sorting facility and distribution center at Cecil that should be completed in summer 2015.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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