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Air-Van will move to the Alta Lakes Commerce Center.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Feb. 9, 201612:00 PM EST

Air-Van doubling size in North Jacksonville move


Jacksonville-based Air-Van Inc. will relocate in North Jacksonville and almost double in size.

The transportation company expects to move in May from 60,000 square feet of leased space in the Jacksonville International Tradeport to 110,000 square feet in the Alta Lakes Commerce Center.

Air-Van Vice President Steve Wright said the company is expanding its business model and needs a larger area.

“Moving closer to the Jacksonville ports will improve our position in the market and gives us the advantage we need to accomplish our goals,” he said.

Wright said the Tradeport location, at 13845 Alvarez Road, No. 100, is about 23 miles from the JaxPort Blount Island Marine Terminal and TraPac Terminal.

The Alta Lakes location, at 11070 Cabot Commerce Circle, is less than 5 miles from Blount Island and TraPac and about 10 minutes from the Talleyrand Marine Terminal, he said.

Wright said the move will provide more space for cross-docking and transloading of ocean cargo as well as additional capacity for more equipment, warehousing and larger projects.

He said the company has 27 employees and will add three or four positions this year. It has a sister company, AVi Logistics, in the Regency area that offers nationwide truck brokerage services.

Wright said the 29-year-old Air-Van started as a pickup and delivery company for Jacksonville International Airport, providing deliveries for late arriving passenger luggage and small parcels coming into the airport.

Air-Van has grown from its domestic services portfolio to include operating a Customs Bonded – Container Freight Station for international shipments entering the United States, including final mile delivery.

Other services include regional freight pickup and delivery; warehousing and distribution packing services; ocean drayage services; consolidation and cross-docking; container loading and unloading; trade-show pickup and deliveries; and special project services.

It has operated at the Tradeport for at least 20 years.

Wright said Air-Van operates 17 trucks and trailers that handle local pickup and delivery within 100 miles of Jacksonville, including southern Georgia.

He said it continues to look at opportunities to expand its footprint using its fleet of trucks and drivers to serve its customers’ needs.

Air-Van also works with a few larger direct shipper accounts, such as General Electric.

Wright said Air-Van has the transportation equipment to pick up cargo at the port, bring it to the facility, unload the cargo and handle it as the customer requests.

Alta Lakes Commerce Center is owned and managed by Cabot Properties Inc.

The 65-acre industrial park’s first phase consists of four buildings totaling about 570,000 square feet.

The second phase is available for build-to-suit development of up to 200,000 square feet on about 11 acres.

Tenants include Sam’s Club, Recall information management, AJC Logistics, Spectrum Logistics and Survitec survival products.

Boston-based Cabot Properties is a private equity real estate investment firm that buys, develops and operates industrial properties in North America and the United Kingdom.

Formed in 1986, it invested $6.3 billion in industrial real estate and manages more than 3,000 tenants in more than 145 million square feet of space.

It has invested $59.4 million into 932,785 square feet of space in the Jacksonville market, according to its website.

Aldi possible at Town Center Promenade

A grocery store is shown, but not identified, on the site plans for the Town Center Promenade soon to be under development across from St. Johns Town Center.

Just one chain operating in Northeast Florida matches the size of the almost 18,000-square-foot store. That’s Aldi, whose typically store averages about 17,000 to 18,000 square feet, according to its site criteria.

Aldi was noncommittal but did not deny a Promenade site.

“There are many factors involved when we open a new location, so we can’t always confirm new locations in advance,” Aldi replied to a Facebook message asking about opening at the Promenade.

It said to check for upcoming grand openings on its website, but none is listed for that location.

Property representative Tom Mundy with The Shopping Center Group said previously a national grocery store had signed a lease and he could not comment when asked if it was Aldi.

Stores at the Promenade are expected to open in the second quarter of 2017.

Just in case shoppers thought the grocer might be Trader Joe’s, its stores are smaller and, in any case, the company said it isn’t them.

“Another Jacksonville, Florida location is not in our 2 year plan at this time,” said Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki by email.

Other stores in the market that average larger than 18,000 square feet are The Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Walmart Neighborhood Market, Whole Foods Market, Publix and Winn-Dixie.

Aldi also makes sense because it is on a growth path. It runs 1,500 stores in 32 states and expects to operate nearly 2,000 by the end of 2018.

The no-frills chain was founded in 1961 in Germany. It opened its first U.S. store in Iowa in 1976. Aldi US is headquartered in Batavia, Ill.

Its Northeast Florida stores are in Middleburg, St. Augustine and at 9041 Southside Blvd. in Jacksonville.

Ullmann Financial buys Beaches office

Ullmann Financial Group will move this spring from leased space in Ponte Vedra Beach into an office building its leaders have acquired.

Ullmann Financial Group leaders Glenn Ullmann and Deanna Brown, through 1540 The Greens Way LLC, bought the Jacksonville Beach property at that address for $1.1 million.

Ullmann said Tuesday the move almost doubles the size of its space, from 2,500 square feet to about 4,400 square feet.

He estimates it will take about three months to renovate the structure.

The company has nine employees and might add one more, he said.

The deed and a $1.1 million mortgage from Atlantic Coast Bank were executed and recorded Friday with the Duval County Clerk of Court.

Ullman and Brown are managers of 1540 The Greens Way LLC, which bought the property from Language Services LLC, whose president is Michael R. Batten.

The property comprises a 4,316-square-foot, single-story office building developed in 1995 on three-quarters of an acre. The purchase also includes a retention pond.

Ullmann Financial operates at 5000 Sawgrass Village Circle, Suite 25, in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Ullmann said the design firm is Designmind LLC, led by Larry Wilson and Rebecca Davisson, and the contractor is New Century Construction, led by Mike Cascone.

It offers financial planning services to individuals, families, business owners and corporate executives.

It also serves as a certified divorce financial analyst.

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