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Tenant work is the next step for the Jessie Ball duPont Center.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jan. 13, 201512:00 PM EST

Almost $2M build-out planned at Jessie Ball duPont Center


Downtown’s Jessie Ball duPont Center is preparing to build out on the inside.

The external work is almost completed by Danis Builders Inc.

Now, Danis is about to start renovations on the four floors of the former Haydon Burns Public Library.

The build-out will be work for tenants, who are expected to start moving in as early as April.

Danis filed a building-permit application with the city for $1.92 million of interior work at the 122 Ocean St. structure.

Those plans show work toward the tenant occupancy as well as training rooms, conference rooms, kitchens, a community room, retail space and the 148-seat lecture hall.

Tenants so far include Baptist Health’s Office of Social Responsibility; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida; Catholic Charities; The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center; Do Something Great Today Foundation; Family Foundations; Jacksonville Public Education Fund; Jessie Ball duPont Fund; Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida; and United Way of Northeast Florida. Another has not been publicly identified by the fund.

Fund spokeswoman Mary Kress Littlepage said the center is being renovated in two phases. The first phase is the core building, including the exterior, basic infrastructure and the common areas. That phase should be completed by the end of January, she said.

The second phase is the space that tenants will occupy. She said tenants are designing their own spaces and paying for build-out beyond certain allowances.

KBJ Architects is the architect for the tenant spaces.

The permit under review is for the first phase of the tenant improvements.

The 11 nonprofits have signed letters of intent to occupy 54,518 square feet of space on the three above-ground floors. There is some spillover onto the lower level. The permit plans show space on that lower level for training rooms, a production studio, storage and other uses.

The only remaining available space for tenants is two small spaces above ground and space in the lower level.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund bought the structure from the city for $2.2 million in June 2013 and soon began a $20 million renovation to convert the building into space to lease to nonprofits at below-market rates and for community uses.

The center’s public spaces include a conference room with a lecture hall that seats 148; 12 meeting rooms; a catering kitchen; a Great Hall suitable for receptions, exhibits or interactive events; and a second-level concourse overlooking the Great Hall, suitable for smaller receptions and exhibits.

Costco taking steps in Westside

Property owner Harmony Farms of Jacksonville submitted a concurrency application to the city for the proposed 153,041-square-foot Costco Wholesale planned at southwest Interstate 295 and Collins Road.

Costco Wholesale wants to build on the 16.61-acre site. City Council enacted a development agreement with Harmony Farms to develop 285,000 square feet of shopping center uses on 40 acres there.

Thomas Engineering Co. of Tampa is the agent.

The site is across Collins Road from a new Walmart Supercenter that will be developed at northwest I-295 and Collins Road.

Shops of Philips Highway could start with fast-food

Demetree Brothers Inc. expects to start work in March on the Shops of Philips Highway, converting a vacant site at Philips and Emerson Street into a shopping center that could start with one or two fast-food restaurants.

A former call center has been removed from the 7.5-acre site, which is at 3100 Emerson St.

Demetree has submitted plans to the city and hopes to start horizontal infrastructure construction after approval. It also will start a marketing program to sell the lots, which now number five but could be more or less depending on the buyers and use.

Project manager Larry Matthews, a vice president with Demetree, said two fast-food restaurants could be the first to build. One has “definite interest” and another has inquired. He declined to identify them.

Matthews said Demetree is interested in drug stores, auto parts stores, banks and even small grocery stores.

He said Aldi was approached, but there hasn’t been a response. Wal-Mart operates a Supercenter, which includes groceries, about 2 miles north.

“We think it’s going to be good for the neighborhood,” he said, adding that it will be definite improvement from the 35-year-old call-center building that had been vacant for almost 12 years.

Toney Construction Co. Inc. is the site contractor.

In March 2013, Demetree sold about 2 acres to Gate Petroleum Co., which developed a gas station and convenience store there to replace a smaller one nearby.

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