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Downtown can now bid for Citizens Property Insurance project

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Downtown is in play for the large Citizens Property Insurance Corp. office consolidation that could bring more than 1,000 jobs to the urban core.

Citizens Property has extended the boundaries for the site search, which had been limited to a 5-mile radius from its Baymeadows area offices.

The boundary requirement is listed now as an 8-mile radius from Interstate 95 and Butler Boulevard.

The company posted on its website Wednesday that it had amended the requirements. Because of that, Downtown building landlords can compete for the deal.

Two weeks ago, EverBank Center’s representative said during a pre-bid conference the owners would bid to bring Citizens Property to the Downtown tower if the boundaries were extended.

Citizens Property, which is a state government corporation that provides insurance protection to Florida property owners, wants to consolidate and expand offices in Jacksonville into about 226,400 square feet of office space.

“We will definitely bid if they amend the boundaries to include Downtown Northbank,” said El Ad Florida LLC representative Pamela Smith, who participated in a Citizens Property pre-bid conference May 15 about the Invitation to Negotiate.

She raised the question about the company’s requirement that the office space be within a 5-mile radius of a Citizens Property office at 7215 Financial Way in Southside. “We are eight miles,” she said. “Can we submit a bid?”

Citizens Property Procurement Officer Patty Davis responded that Smith’s property was outside the boundaries but encouraged her to send the question in writing so it could be considered.

The response posted Wednesday amended the boundaries to include Downtown.

The radius now is north to Springfield and Arlington, east to Hodges Boulevard, south to below Old St. Augustine Road and west to Ortega. Riverside and Avondale also are in the boundaries.

Smith said EverBank Center, at 301 W. Bay St., has about 250,000 square feet available from the recent departure of tenant AT&T.

Citizens will consolidate the four Jacksonville offices, which focus on underwriting and claims operations, into one larger location along with 148 new IT jobs that will be shifted to Jacksonville from Tallahassee and Tampa. It now has about 900 jobs in the area.

Citizens Property wants to lease existing space preferably in a single building or buildings in an adjacent complex or campus setting. It is looking for 215,080 to 237,720 usable square feet.

Citizens Property leases 211,288 square feet of space in Jacksonville in four buildings among Cypress Point, Cypress Plaza, and Corporate Center.

The landlord for Cypress Point Business Park will continue to evaluate the invitation to negotiate, its broker said after the pre-bid conference.

Bids are due by 2 p.m. June 24 and the company expects to start relocating staff into the chosen building by July 1, 2015, and the lease will begin Jan. 1, 2016. Those dates are subject to change depending on the lease negotiations.

Suites hotel in early stages at Beach and Hodges

A five-story, 93-room all suites hotel could be developed at northeast Beach and Hodges boulevards, pending approvals.

The vacant site is next to the Hampton Inn & Suites at 13733 Beach Blvd.

A mobility fee calculation application shows the 51,000-square-foot hotel would be developed on almost 2.8 acres north of Beach Boulevard and west of Gerona Drive East.

Concurrency Management Consultants Inc. is the agent. The owner is shown as Beaches Hospitality LLC of Jacksonville and Colony Bank of Fitzgerald, Ga. The contract is expected to close on or before July 30.

Beaches Hospitality LLC owns the Hampton Inn & Suites.

Kirit Patidar is a partner in Beaches Hospitality and the agent. He declined comment.

CBRE arranges Villages of Baymeadows financing

CBRE Group Inc. announced Wednesday that its Debt & Structured Finance team secured a $49.8 million loan on behalf of Harbor Group International of Norfolk, Va., to acquire the Villages of Baymeadows, a 904-unit apartment complex at 7915 Baymeadows Circle E. Wells Fargo of New York originated the five-year loan.

The Villages of Baymeadows consists of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments among 106 two- and three-story buildings. Its 14 floor plans average 1,199 square feet per unit.

Amenities including a clubhouse, nine swimming pools, four lakes, fitness center, volleyball court, playground and private garages.

“The loan was creatively structured to match the loan prepayment of a sister property that was acquired at the same time,” said CBRE Vice Chairman Charles Foschini.

AIMCO sold the Villages of Baymeadows for $71.85 million and the Casa Del Mar at Baymeadows apartments at 8025 Baymeadows Circle E. for $12.15 million.

Retail notes

• A Disney store is among the new retailers planned in the new Nordstrom wing at St. Johns Town Center. A building-permit application shows a $175,000 build-out for the 4,500-square-foot store. Nordstrom and the wing of stores are scheduled to open Oct. 10.

• Family Dollar Stores of Florida Inc. plans to build a new store at 1878 Lane Ave. S., according to plans filed with the city. The 9,180-square-foot store would be built on 1.31 acres on the site, along Lane Avenue near Hyde Grove Avenue. Blue Current Development LLC is the agent. Property records show Family Dollar Stores bought the property in July 2011 but has not developed it.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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