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BMW operates at 8558 Westside Industrial Drive. It intends to build a larger center nearby along Imeson Road.

BMW center seeking permits: Automaker needs larger regional parts building

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

A year after announcing the project, BMW of North America LLC is preparing to build its $30 million regional parts distribution center in West Jacksonville.

The city approved site clearing in September and is reviewing the building permit application, submitted Monday, for the project at 5560 Imeson Road. Clearing and construction costs total $10 million.

BMW spokesman Kenn Sparks said a year ago the company expected to occupy the site by now, but the development has taken more time. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The permit application and plans show The Conlan Co. as the contractor for the 445,000-square-foot center on almost 28 acres.

RS&H of Jacksonville is the project architect and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineer. Houston Engineering of Conyers, Ga., is the civil engineer.

More specifically, the plans show warehouse space of 432,058 square feet and office space of 16,600, as well as a future expansion.

The property owner is IM500 LLC of Atlanta, led by Stone Mountain Industrial Park and affiliated with Pattillo Industrial Real Estate. The site is next to Westside Industrial Park, a Pattillo property.

BMW of North America announced in March 2016 that it would develop the new parts center at Westside Industrial Park to replace a smaller location it leases there.

The project has been in review for more than a year. Previously filed plans show the building at 448,043 square feet and expandable by 166,730 square feet, totaling 614,773 square feet.

Atlanta-based Stone Mountain, through Imeson Industrial Park Land LLC, bought 115 acres along Imeson Road in November 2015. The BMW building is on the southern end of the property.

Of the site, about 80 acres can be developed. Four buildings, including BMW’s, are planned that total more than 1.3 million square feet of space.

BMW currently leases a 213,000-square-foot center within Westside Industrial Park. The building was developed in 2002 at 137,000 square feet and was expanded to 213,000 square feet in 2008. It was built to support the BMW and MINI dealerships in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina.

BMW’s other distribution centers are larger than the existing Westside building. The German carmaker’s U.S. operations are based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

Sparks, who is head of U.S. corporate communications for BMW, said in March 2016 the company planned to occupy the new site in April 2017 and bring it to full operations the following October.

When BMW came to Jacksonville, City Council approved two grants totaling $575,000. The center said it would hire up to 50 people. It’s not clear how many employees it has now or how the workforce would be impacted by the move.

Westside Industrial Park has been preparing for more development.

Owners of the 960-acre center, through Imeson Industrial Park Land LLC, bought the 115 acres adjacent to it.

Pattillo and Stone Mountain share some common leadership. Pattillo Industrial Real Estate operates the Jacksonville holdings, which have expanded to about 1,500 acres in West and North Jacksonville, dominated by Westside Industrial Park.

BMW is expanding within a dominant industrial market. The west side of Jacksonville accounts for almost half of the area’s industrial real estate space as well as the more narrowly defined warehouse and distribution space.

kmathis@jaxdailyrecord.com

(904) 356-2466

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