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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Nov. 19, 201312:00 PM EST

Conser Properties buys Western Way center for $3.5 million

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Another company has invested in property on Western Way in Jacksonville's Baymeadows area.

Conser Properties LLC paid $3.5 million on Friday for the 290,000-square-foot former BellSouth building at 8451 Western Way.

Conser Properties is part of Conser Group LLC, which also operates Conser Moving and Storage, an agency for Mayflower Transit, at 670 Lane Ave. N. in West Jacksonville

Mark Chesser, president of Conser Group, said Tuesday the company will invest at least another $1.3 million into renovating the Western Way property, which has been vacant. He expects to move in by the beginning of 2014.

"It's an investment in future growth," he said.

Chesser said the building has 36,000 square feet of office space, which allows its Conser Office Solutions group to feature a showroom.

He said Conser Office Solutions buys, refurbishes and sells office furniture.

Chesser said Conser Group came to Jacksonville a year ago with the acquisition of the Mayflower agency from A&A Transfer, which operated at the Lane Avenue location.

He said he had to sign a one-year lease there. The A&A Transfer ownership also owns the property.

Chesser said Conser's staff of 48 and the 18 contract drivers will increase. He wants to add 65-75 people, including at least 15 drivers, as well as distribution, sales, accounting and warehouse workers, over the next year.

Conser Moving and Storage specializes in domestic and military household goods moving as well as commercial office moving and record storage.

Conser's current warehouse is 40,000 square feet. The Western Way location is seven times that size.

Conser bought the Western Way property from DBSB 2 Inc., a Demetree family company, and Timberlake Associates LLC sold the property. DBSB bought the structure in 1997 from BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. as an investment property.

BB&T issued a $3.43 million mortgage and security agreement to Conser Properties on Friday. The deed and mortgage were recorded Tuesday with the Duval County Clerk of Court.

The warehouse-distribution center was built on the 20-acre site in 1968.

The building is described as a 285,000-square-foot property with a truck court secured by a guard house with a location that makes it attractive for warehouse, distribution and light assembly use.

Colliers International has been listing the property for almost $3.9 million, according to loopnet.com.

Conser said his group was represented by Ladson Montgomery and Bobby Gatling of Newmark Grubb Phoenix Realty Group.

Western Way has been an active site for investment.

In June, two organizations — Compass Rose Foundation Inc. and Petroleum Containment Inc. — paid a combined $8.15 million to buy the two former Mercedes-Benz buildings along Western Way.

COFE Fund I – Western Way LLC sold the structures.

Compass Rose Foundation Inc. bought a distribution warehouse at 8813 Western Way to create the J-Tech education and training center to focus on automotive and diesel technology, heavy equipment repair, manufacturing technologies, commercial truck driving and logistics management.

Petroleum Containment, a Jacksonville-based company that sells fuel containment sumps, bought the warehouse at 8873 Western Way.

COFE Fund I – Western Way LLC was represented by Newmark Grubb Phoenix Realty Group in those transactions.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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