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Embassy Suites Jacksonville at 9300 Baymeadows Road will be renovated.

Embassy Suites Jacksonville starting $13M renovation

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Owners of the Embassy Suites Jacksonville intend to start a more than $13 million renovation of the Baymeadows hotel as soon as the permit is approved and complete the top-to-bottom remodeling by late this year or early 2015.

“You will not recognize the hotel when we’re done,” said Gary Stougaard, managing member of the ESJ Jacksonville SPE LLC ownership group.

Stougaard, who is based in San Diego, said Monday the hotel exterior won’t be repainted, but just about every other aspect will be remodeled: The 277 suites and bathrooms, including new carpeting and furnishings; the first-floor atrium and other areas, including the restaurant that will be relocated and meeting rooms that will be upgraded; and the landscaping. A new dining concept will be instituted.

“It will be a much more current design,” Stougaard said.

The hotel will remain open during renovations, he said. While there might be temporary challenges, “the product will be worth it.”

The seven-story hotel was built in 1985 and a four-story addition was developed in 1998, property records show.

ESJ Jacksonville bought the property, at 9300 Baymeadows Road, for $8.8 million in October. Its 2014 market value in progress is $7.4 million. The 4.75-acre site is east of Interstate 95.

Aimbridge Hospitality manages the hotel. Embassy Suites is a Hilton brand.

ESJ Jacksonville SPE LLC applied for a permit from the city to renovate the ground floor at project cost of $3.8 million. FDR Construction Inc. of Chandler, Ariz., is the contractor. Stougaard said the furnishings and other upgrades account for the rest of the investment.

Stougaard noted ESJ’s combined almost $22 million in acquiring and renovating the hotel, now almost 30 years old. “We’ve made a significant commitment,” he said, “in a great location in the right market.”

“The renovation is long overdue for this hotel,” he said, adding the goal is to recapture the market space the hotel formerly occupied.

“We think the market merits our investment,” he said.

CBRE marketing 270 maritime acres

Hoping to capitalize on an improving market and the focus on JaxPort’s expansion plans, CBRE Inc. is marketing about 270 acres at 9595 New Berlin Court in North Jacksonville for $19.5 million, calling it a “maritime opportunity.”

Property records show the undeveloped acreage at that address is owned by Nichols Creek Development Corp. of Vidalia, Ga. CBRE First Vice Presidents Bobby Gatling and Nathan Rogers are the brokers.

The land has 3,000 linear feet of the St. Johns River, facing the west side of Blount Island, as well as rail access. It’s 10 miles from the ocean.

The property comprises 54 acres of industrial waterfront upland acres, 5.5 acres of isolated uplands, 12 acres zoned as a planned unit development near Heckscher Drive and 198.5 acres of marshland and wetlands.

Rayonier moving quickly on renovating space

Rayonier Inc. wants to renovate space in One Enterprise Center on the Downtown Northbank at a construction project cost of $132,580.

Rayonier Inc. is moving its headquarters across the St. Johns River to take space on the Downtown Northbank, while Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. will remain at Riverplace Tower on the Southbank.

Rayonier Inc. intends to split into the two companies at the end of the month.

Dav-Lin Interior Contractors will build-out 10,186 square feet of space for Rayonier Inc. at One Enterprise Center at 225 Water St., according to a building-permit application.

Rayonier Inc. will have 49 employees at its 11,000-square-foot space at One Enterprise Center, while Rayonier Advanced Materials will have 67 employees in its 36,000-square-foot space at Riverplace Tower.

The companies had been planning to share headquarters space at Riverplace Tower, but decided it was more cost-efficient to move Rayonier Inc. across the river.

Crocker’s intended renovations top $1M so far

Crocker Partners continues to renovate buildings in the Freedom Commerce Centre office park that it bought 18 months ago and renamed Prominence.

Crocker Partners applied for a permit to renovate the lobbies and restrooms on all four floors of the Jackson Building at 8381 Dix Ellis Trail at a cost of $600,000. That follows its plans filed in May to spend $600,000 to renovate the four-story Hamilton Building at 8375 Dix Ellis Trail.

Boca Raton-based Crocker Partners bought the 54-acre office park in December 2012.

Crocker said in January it renamed the park and intended to make a multimillion-dollar capital improvement to the property, which comprises seven buildings totaling 752,154 square feet of office space, with modern design features, a new entrance monument, landscaping and parking upgrades.

The Prominence is at southwest Baymeadows Road and Interstate 95. The business park sits between Philips Highway and I-95.

ADT continues expansion

ADT North America, the security monitoring company, won city approvals June 12 to pull a building permit to renovate almost 10,000 square feet of space in Cypress Point Business Park in Southside.

Will Stout, vice president and partner of HGL Properties, which owns Cypress Point, said the move is a relocation from a Philips Highway center.

Dav-Lin Interior Contractors is the contractor for the $382,071 job at 8120 Nations Way, Building 200.

Plans show six offices and an open work area, a conference room, a warehouse, a tech area, and training, huddle and break rooms. Interior Architects of Atlanta is the architect.

ADT also was approved the same day to more than triple the size of its Southside center at Sunbeam Center Drive.

The company was identified on plans as the client for a $431,605 project called ADT Phase II. The project is a 9,870-square-foot expansion to the existing 3,590-sqare-foot Phase 1 at 9512 Sunbeam Center Drive.

Marand Builders Inc. is the contractor on the permit application. Interior Architects also is the architect for the Sunbeam Center project.

An ADT spokeswoman said the company will not comment.

Graham & Company announces ADT, Selene

Meanwhile, Graham & Company on Monday announced it has two office tenants at Cypress Point Business Park — ADT and Selene Finance.

As the leasing agent for HGL Properties LP Ltd., the developer of Cypress Point, Graham & Company represented HGL in the lease of 10,000 square feet to ADT, the national fire protection and security firm, at 8120 Nations Way.

In another transaction, Graham & Company represented both HGL and Selene Finance in its lease of 34,200 square feet at 8201 Cypress Plaza Drive.

Graham & Company said Selene is a Philadelphia-based mortgage servicer and will employ more than 200 staff members at the facility. City Council recently approved its portion of the $525,000 in city and state incentives to expand Selene’s Jacksonville operations by 105 jobs, almost doubling its current workforce of 119 employees

Cypress Point Business Park is a 344,000-square-foot, eight- building, campus office development in the Butler Boulevard area. Tenants also include Citizens Property Insurance, EverBank and US Assure.

USNR seeks renovation permit

USNR is taking the first steps toward renovating the Westside warehouse it bought in April, applying for a permit to demolish the office area and prepare the floor slab for future installation of equipment.

Gulf Tech Construction LLC is the contractor for the $310,000 project.

The forest products equipment company, based in Woodland, Wash., bought the 170,000-square-foot warehouse at 6630 Broadway Ave. and filed plans to renovate the building and parking lot.

The building formerly served as a warehouse for Football Fanatics. USNR has seven divisions in North America, including in Jacksonville at 1220 W. State St., just west of the Kings Road postal facility.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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