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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 3, 202008:30 AM EST

City approves Florida Blue parking garage foundation construction

The land conveyance is delayed because of title issues.

The city issued a permit Jan. 2 for Danis Builders LLC to construct the foundation for Florida Blue’s parking garage in Brooklyn.

Danis will build the 869-space, four-level garage on 2.3 acres at 800 Forest St. The foundation cost is $862,000.

The city agreed to transfer ownership of the $3.17 million Forest Street property to Florida Blue at no cost by Dec. 31, but that was delayed because of title issues.

The insurer also will receive a $3.5 million completion grant to build the garage.

City spokesman James Croft said Jan. 3 the Downtown Investment Authority spoke to the Office of General Counsel and learned that the closing has not taken place and is in the hands of the Florida Blue attorneys.

The city agreed to convey 2.3 acres to Florida Blue for the garage but delayed the closing because of title issues.

On Nov. 14, the Downtown Development Review Board approved the design of the proposed $22.5 million structure. 

Construction of the parking garage is expected to begin by Jan. 9 and be completed by Sept. 9, according to a document filed with the board.

In agreement with the city, Florida Blue will make parking available to the public after 6 p.m. weeknights and all day on weekends.

Florida Blue now uses a 4½-acre surface lot along Riverside Avenue that it will sell in the first quarter to Fidelity National Information Services Inc. for construction of a $145 million headquarters.

The parking garage will serve Guidewell Inc., the parent company of Florida Blue, at its 532 Riverside Ave. tower.

Guidewell announced it will add 750 jobs at the Riverside offices, comprising 500 contract and 250 full-time positions. It will increase the workforce there to 1,750.

The Florida Blue garage has 60-foot-deep retail bays, but they will not be built-out at the start.

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