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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Dec. 14, 201706:50 AM EST

Champion Brands plans new headquarters

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Beverage distributor would build office on property it owns south of Shad Road near The Avenues.

While the plans are tentative, Champion Brands Inc. applied to the city to build an almost 36,000-square-foot office headquarters at its Southside campus.

No contractor is listed for the one-story building on 6.02 acres at 5520 Florida Mining Blvd S. Horton, Harley & Carter Inc. of Tampa is the architect.

A project cost is listed at $9 million. Champion Brands leadership declined comment pending bids, meaning that costs and design plans can change.

Champion Brands, which distributes American and imported beverages, is based at 5571 Florida Mining Blvd. S. The site is south of Shad Road west of Interstate 95 and Philips Highway.

Tentative plans show offices; a board room; sales, conference and training rooms, a fitness center and a break room.

There’s also an outdoor area with seating, a fire pit, a beer garden and a double-sided taproom bar.

Champion Brands built a 115,307-square-foot warehouse-distribution center and a 3,500-square-foot prefabricated warehouse at the site in 1988.

Champion Brands says it distributes domestic and imported beverages, including local and regional craft beer, specialty imports, Red Bull Energy Drinks, ciders and gluten-free beverages.

Brands, for example, include Samuel Adams, Miller Lite, Yuengling, Heineken, Intuition Ale Works, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice.

It serves customers in Florida and Georgia, where it has a location in Pooler.

The Jacksonville-based company says it is a premier beverage sales company founded in 1985 when Earl Benton bought Duval Beverage. It moved in 1988 to its headquarters location and became Champion Brands Inc.

It bought other distributors in 1999 and 2000 and added products to distribute since then.

It expanded its warehouse by 40,000 square feet in 2003 and by another 40,000 square feet in 2012.

In 2015, it opened the first public compressed natural gas station in Jacksonville and began converting its fleet to CNG trucks. This year, it installed a solar panel system.

Gate seeks permit for Emerson car wash

Gate Petroleum Co. is moving ahead on building a Gate Express Carwash in Southside at 3120 Emerson St., at the corner of Philips Highway.

It’s one of 13 sites in Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties listed on Gateexpresscarwash.com.

None has opened, but the first three appear to be at 7059 Collins Crossing in Southwest Jacksonville, 2545 Palm Valley Road in Ponte Vedra and 565 Kingsley Ave. in Orange Park.

Gate spokeswoman Misty Skipper said the first locations will open after the first of the year.

The $1.7 million Emerson Street project involves a 4,375-square-foot car wash building, pay station and dumpster enclosure on 1.56 acres.

Gate is launching the car washes, which involve a tunnel system that processes cars in less than four minutes, throughout Jacksonville. They will operate 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

BFC Property Holdings Inc. is Gate’s wholly owned subsidiary for the car washes. Gate said BFC stands for “Better, Faster, Cheaper.”

Gate said in October 2016 it will build and operate more than 20 free-standing express tunnel Gate Express locations throughout Northeast Florida.

More car wash news

  • Zips Express Car Wash will renovate the exterior of the former Ducky’s Car Wash at 9491 Baymeadows Road. Zips Baymeadows Road LLC bought the site in July. Zips, based in Jonesboro, Arkansas, operates three-minute tunnel systems.
  •  Camel Premium Express Car Wash posts on its website that it will open two Jacksonville locations in the spring in Mandarin and Arlington. The Marietta, Georgia-based company is developing car washes at 12472 San Jose Blvd. at site and construction costs of about $950,000 and at 9200 Merrill Road at $1.2 million.

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