Skip to main content
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Aug. 14, 201312:00 PM EST

Bob Woodward to discuss 'presidential leadership' in Jacksonville


Award-winning investigative journalist Bob Woodward, an associate editor at The Washington Post, is scheduled to visit Jacksonville in January to talk about "Presidential Leadership and the Price of Politics."

Woodward is one of 13 speakers scheduled to take part in the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville 2013-14 program year.

Woodward's presentation is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at the University of North Florida Arena and is part of the UNF Presidential Lecture Series.

"He has been someone we have been looking at for several years and the timing worked out well," said World Affairs Council Executive Director Trina Medarev.

Medarev said that as a part of the Presidential Lecture Series at UNF, the presentation earned more funding and will be moved to the 3,000-seat arena on campus.

It is free and open to the public.

Woodward, 70, has worked for The Washington Post since 1971. In 1972, he and reporter Carl Bernstein reported the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The Post won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for their work.

Woodward has authored or co-authored 17 books. The latest, "The Price of Politics," was released Sept. 11.

The book is described as "an intimate, documented examination of how President Obama and the highest profile Republican and Democratic leaders in the United States Congress attempted to restore the American economy and improve the federal government's fiscal condition over three and one half years."

His first best-seller, authored with Bernstein, was "All The President's Men," the story about the Washington Post coverage of Watergate.

The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville has two speaker series each year.

It co-hosts the Global Business Luncheons at The River Club with The Gate Governors Club. That series has a lunch cost.

It co-hosts the Global Issues Evenings with the UNF Distinguished Voices Lecture Series at the UNF Herbert University Center. Those events are free and open to the public and are maxed at 770 attendees.

Because of the alignment with the Presidential Lecture Series, the UNF Arena almost quadruples the audience capacity.

For information about the series, visit or call (904) 280-8162.

World Affairs Council lineup starts in September

Bob Woodward is considered a marquee speaker on this year's World Affairs Council of Jacksonville lineup, which Executive Director Trina Medarev considers a banner list of presentations.

The 13 events start in September and conclude in April, according to the current schedule. Woodward will be the first evening presenter in 2014 when he speaks Jan. 21.

The season starts with Peter Singer, director of the Center for 21st Century Security & Intelligence and a senior fellow of the Brookings Foreign Policy program.

Singer will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at the University of North Florida Herbert University Center.

Matthew Bishop is scheduled to present "An Update from The Economist" at noon Sept. 27 at The River Club. Bishop is U.S. business editor and New York bureau chief of The

Economist publication.

For a list of speakers and programs, visit

22 acres in review near River City Marketplace

Property owner Frank Smith wants to find out how much of a 22-acre site he owns near the new UF Health Jacksonville office building at River City Marketplace in North Jacksonville could be developed.

Smith and agent Peacock Consulting Group LLC have applied for a formal wetland and surface water determination from the St. Johns River Water Management District.

The 21.68-acre site is called the "Max Leggett Parkway Commercial" project.

It sits along the parkway, also known as Duval Road, and is west of North Main Street.

Smith said Monday he did not have any immediate plans for the site.

"I'm open to any inquiries," he said. "You never shut a door."

Smith said he wanted to determine the property's wetlands and uplands and estimates at least 7 acres would be able to be developed.

UF Health breaking ground on North Jacksonville medical offices

UF Health Jacksonville scheduled its official ground-breaking to start at 7:30 a.m. today for its North Jacksonville medical offices at 15255 Max Leggett Parkway at River City Marketplace.

The City already has cleared UF Health Jacksonville to start construction on its six-story, 210,000-square foot North Jacksonville medical office building at a construction cost of $27.7 million. Perry-McCall Construction Inc. is the contractor.

UF Health Jacksonville has said it intended to break ground midsummer and complete construction about year-end 2014.

The organization, formerly called UF&Shands Jacksonville, has estimated a development cost of $60 million to $65 million for the building, which will house medical offices, ambulatory services and outpatient diagnostic services.

The medical office building is separate from the 100-bed inpatient hospital UF Health Jacksonville had proposed at the site.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration withdrew its support for the hospital and UF Health has said it would continue with development of the medical office building.

UF expects to provide an update today about plans for the inpatient hospital. The medical office building does not require state approval.

As reported, the first and second floors will be used by UF Health for an emergency department, urgent care, imaging services, a laboratory, women's health, operating rooms and interventional rooms. That space is about 122,000 square feet.

The third through sixth floors will provide offices for UF faculty and community private physicians. Those four floors total about 80,000 square feet of space.

UF Health Jacksonville owns the property and has a ground lease with developer Landmark Healthcare Facilities LLC of Milwaukee, UF Health Jacksonville spokesman Daniel Leveton has said.

As the developer, Landmark, through Jacksonville Medical Office Building LLC, secured a $50 million mortgage from Regions Bank and will build the structure. UF Health and the private physicians will be tenants, Leveton said.

The building-permit application lists the project owner as Jacksonville Medical Office Building LLC, which is part of Landmark Healthcare Facilities.

UF Health says the leases extend more than 50 years, at which time ownership of the building will revert to UF Health.

Plans filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District show the project on a 69.6-acre site east of I-95 along Duval Road. The construction permit specifies a 14-acre site.

The property appraiser's office lists Shands Jacksonville Foundation Inc. as the owner of the property.

Shands Jacksonville has proposed a hospital tower on the site. In December 2011, the agency issued a provisional certificate of need for construction of the inpatient facility, but Memorial Hospital/HCA appealed the decision.

Last December, administrative law Judge W. David Watkins of Tallahassee recommended that, because the new hospital could cost Memorial $3.5 million to $4.9 million a year, the state should not allow the hospital to be built.

Agency officials decided to follow that recommendation.

Store51 build-out OK'd in EastPark, company to relocate in September

The City approved renovations in EastPark for Store51 LLC at 11660 Central Parkway. Duckworth Construction Co. is the contractor for the $149,661 project.

Store51 has been operating quietly for eight years within EastPark in a combined 17,000 square feet of owned and leased space.

Owner Murali Vadakkemadhom, who established the online-sales company in 2005, bought the vacant 65,500-square-foot office-warehouse nearby to accommodate growth.

He expects to move in by the end of September.

Murali Holdings LLC paid $2 million for the six-acre property in a June 27 sale.

Store51's main website is It sells bedding and decorations for buyers interested in creating a bedroom environment decorated with the latest themes for girls, boys, students and adults, from movies to performers to animals to Disney to college and professional sports teams.

EastPark is south along Beach Boulevard near St. Johns Bluff Road and the Interstate 295 East Beltway.

A recent walk through Store51's several office-warehouse units showed rows, shelves and boxes of comforters, sheets, pillowcases and decorations featuring Justin Bieber, Hello Kitty, the University of Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Heat, to name a few of the themes represented among the more than 3,000 items stored in the space.

Vadakkemadhom expects $5 million in sales this year and $7 million to $8 million next year.

He buys the products from manufacturers and stores the shipped goods in his EastPark units.

He ships the online-ordered products to customers in more than 100 countries, including businesses that buy the bedding for resale.

He also wants to start making some products in Jacksonville.

Publix to renovate Roosevelt store

The City is reviewing a permit for HGR Construction Inc. to remodel the Publix Super Markets Inc. store at 4495 Roosevelt Blvd., in the Roosevelt Square shopping center in West Jacksonville

Plans show a $325,000 alteration of 50,944 square feet of space.

Lakeland-based Publix has been renovating or rebuilding several area stores.

[email protected]


(904) 356-2466

Related Stories