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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Aug. 11, 201512:00 PM EST

Ace Hardware, Save-A-Lot coming to Beauclerc Village


Thompson Ace Hardware and Save-A-Lot will be moving into Beauclerc Village to replace the spaces vacated by the moves of the Goodwill Thrift Store and Bealls Outlet.

A leasing brochure by landlord Equity One Inc. shows Ace and Save-A-Lot will occupy a total 26,254 square feet at the shopping center at 9700 San Jose Blvd.

Ace will take the 13,144-square-foot eastern end space, along Old St. Augustine Road, and Save-A-Lot will take 13,110 square feet of space next to it.

The center occupies a wedge of property between San Jose Boulevard and Old St. Augustine Road, with Kori Road running behind it to the south.

At least 14 Ace Hardware stores operate in Northeast Florida and are owned by individual retailers.

John and Jacqueline Thompson will open the Beauclerc Village store around the end of October or early November.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace said more than 4,900 Ace Hardware stores are locally owned and operated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and in about 60 countries. It said it is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry.

Save-A-Lot operates at least 10 discount grocery stores in Northeast Florida. City Council member Tommy Hazouri said on WJCT 89.9 First Coast Connect last week that another is possible in Northwest Jacksonville.

Save-A-Lot spokeswoman Chon Tomlin said Monday the Beauclerc Village store would open in spring 2016 at 9742 Old St. Augustine Road. She had no store on the schedule for a Northwest Jacksonville location.

Save-A-Lot is based in St. Louis and operates more than 1,300 stores across 37 states. It is a subsidiary of grocery giant SuperValu Inc.

Beauclerc Village, which totals almost 69,000 square feet of retail space, is anchored by Big Lots.

Bealls Outlet moved a few miles east to the University Center, while Goodwill relocated to a new Mandarin location south at 11524 San Jose Blvd.

Bass loan includes local Blue Bell center

Moo Partners L.P., part of the Keystone Group private-equity firm, issued a mortgage to Blue Bell Creameries L.P. for its Imeson Road distribution center.

The $748,208 loan was recorded Wednesday with the Duval County Clerk of Court. It matures March 31, 2018. The property is assessed for tax purposes at $774,741.

It appears to be part of a loan up to $125 million from Texas billionaire Sid Bass to Brenham, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries as the ice-cream maker works toward resuming production.

Blue Bell was linked to a deadly listeria outbreak and recalled its products in April, throwing out 8 million gallons of its products.

Keystone Group L.P. of Fort Worth is led by President Robert Bass, a Texas financier known for buying troubled businesses and returning them to profitability.

Keystone Vice President Thomas W. White is named on the mortgage as the contact for Moo Partners.

Blue Bell Creameries announced July 14 that prominent Texas business investor Sid Bass became an investor and partner with the company.

The Wall Street Journal reported the loan from Bass could give the Bass family a third of the company.

Sid and Robert Bass are brothers.

Blue Bell’s media office said by email Monday that as a privately owned company, it cannot comment on financial matters.

The Brenham, Texas-based family-owned Blue Bell Creameries recalled its products in April after health officials linked its ice cream to three deaths at a Kansas hospital and to illnesses in other areas.

The Dallas Morning News reported July 14 that Bass became a partner in Blue Bell Creameries with the Kruse family of Brenham. Paul Kruse is president and CEO of Blue Bell.

The mortgage filed in Jacksonville shows Kruse signed it as president of Blue Bell Creameries.

The Journal reported the Food and Drug Administration released inspection records showing sanitation problems that potentially created refuges for listeria had persisted at Blue Bell since at least 2009.

Blue Bell then cleaned and sanitized its four production plants and 50 distribution centers, including the one in Jacksonville’s Westside.

It has resumed ice cream production at its Alabama plant, although it won’t be sold until the FDA, Blue Bell and Alabama regulators agree it is safe to eat.

Blue Bell is a 108-year-old company that was the third-largest ice-cream producer in the U.S. last year with sales in 23 states. In May, it laid off more than a third of its 3,900-member workforce and warned shareholders it faced a capital crisis that could force it to close, the Journal reported.

Blue Bell cut two jobs from its 30-member staff at its Jacksonville distribution center, which opened in 2001 at 3100 Imeson Road.

The center distributes Blue Bell products to stores within a 90-mile market in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

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