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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Apr. 18, 201312:00 PM EST

City approves permit for Hoegh Autoliners HQ space in North Jacksonville

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The City approved a construction permit Wednesday to build out tenant space for Hoegh Autoliners Inc. in North Jacksonville at 2615 Port Industrial Drive.

Spinner Construction is the contractor for the $225,000 project to build-out 17,688 square feet of office and warehouse space.

The space comprises 11,777 square feet of office space and 5,911 square feet of warehouse space.

Hoegh Autoliners announced in February it decided to relocate all of the office functions at its Jericho, N.Y., location to Jacksonville.

Steinar Lovdal, Hoegh Autoliners president, said in a Feb. 5 letter to "valued business partner" organizations that the aim was to complete the relocation by the end of June.

"This will enable us to consolidate our activities in one office location, and to be located in immediate proximity to one of the world's largest automotive ports," he wrote.

He wrote the sales office in Schaumburg, Ill., and port offices in Port Newark, Wilmington, Baltimore, Galveston and Jacksonville would remain unchanged.

The industrial park is owned by Group IV Jaxport LLC, which changed its name to Port Jax 400 LLC.

Bill Spinner is the manager of the limited liability company as well as the managing member of Spinner Construction LLC.

Spinner said this morning the space will accommodate Hoegh Autoliners' headquarters for North and South America.

"They have 60 or so large ships that transport auto parts around the world," he said.

"It is a great pickup for Jacksonville since other companies tend to follow. The quality of the executives I met were impressive and decisive," he said.

"Jacksonville is their No. 1 volume port and they wanted to be close to their operations here. There is a lesson here that the larger the volume of TEUs and port traffic, the more ancillary jobs will follow," Spinner said.

Spinner said the lease fills up the park's existing buildings, allowing him to gear up for development of another building.

The Daily Record reported Feb. 13 that Hoegh Autoliners, a leading provider of roll-on/roll-off vehicle transportation services, planned to move its U.S. and Americas Region headquarters from New York to Jacksonville by June.

Hoegh Autoliners has a branch office in Jacksonville at the Blount Island Marine Terminal and its staff of 20 is expected to increase to about 35 by June, Lovdal said in February.

The Daily Record reported Hoegh Autoliners has been in business for nearly 80 years.

The company operates about 60 ships in global trade systems that are managed from a network of 30 offices in four regions. Customers include GM, Chrysler, Nissan, Honda, Ford and Caterpillar.

In 2012, Hoegh Autoliners carried about 2.45 million car equivalent units and made more than 4,000 port calls worldwide.

Lovdal said in February the move will enable the company to consolidate its office activities in one location and to be near JaxPort, which reported handling more than 600,000 vehicles in 2012. That made JaxPort the No. 1 port for U.S. vehicle exports.

"The way the company is developing globally, this just made sense. The system becomes more efficient with people working together where we have ships and cargo. The office on Long Island (Jericho) has very little operational activity around us," Lovdal said.

The company will outsource its documentation functions from its New York and Baltimore offices to Norton Lilly, a nationwide ship agency, which has a branch office in Jacksonville.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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