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Jax Daily Record Monday, Dec. 4, 201706:50 AM EST

Ameris Bank to begin build-out of former University Club space

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Cost of investment at Southbank tower nears $1.71 million.

Ameris Bank is ready to build-out the 27th-floor space at Riverplace Tower that formerly housed the private University Club, which closed a year ago.

The city is reviewing a permit application for Adams Interior Contractors Inc. to build-out 14,681 square feet of space at a job cost of $1.5 million.

Ameris anchors the 28-story building and has its name on top. It uses the 26th floor and will add the 27th, which is the top full usable level in the tower.

The build-out boosts the expansion investment to almost $1.71 million. The city issued a demolition permit in September for the space at a cost of $208,000.

Ameris moved its executive team, along with key division leaders, into the tower at 1301 Riverplace Blvd. on the Downtown Southbank in April 2016.

The bank said when it signed the initial lease that its total space will reach about 35,000 square feet, starting with 15,000 square feet on the 26th floor and about 4,000 square feet for a branch on the first floor. The 27th floor takes it near that level.

Ameris Bank Chief Banking Executive Andy Cheney said previously the bank was negotiating to take the seventh floor when the University Club space became available just a floor above its headquarters.

He will move his office to the new space.

The private University Club closed in December 2016, saying the move was a business decision.

It leased the 27th floor for the dining and event facilities and a small space on the 28th floor for a men’s athletic center. It auctioned off its furniture, artwork and equipment.

Operator Dallas-based ClubCorp Group closed the University Club after 48 years in business, saying it was a business decision.

A board member said at the time there were about 925 dues-paying members and about 50 employees.

Building ownership demolished the 5,565-square-foot interior of the 28th floor, as well. No tenant use is shown on plans.

Ameris Bancorp, headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia, moved its executive offices to Jacksonville. It expanded by acquiring Jacksonville Bancorp Inc., parent company of The Jacksonville Bank.

Cheney said the bank would move during the first quarter after the space is renovated for office use. The two floors will house the bank’s executive offices.

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