CSX Corp. is considering buying the 550 Water Street Building Downtown, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
The sources said they could not be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the prospective purchase.
CSX declined comment.
The Jacksonville-based transportation company leases almost 75 percent of the structure, which sits next to its riverfront headquarters at 500 Water St.
Should a sale take place by year-end, it would be the sixth Downtown high-rise to be sold within a year.
On the Southbank, Riverplace Tower was sold in October and the Aetna Building sold in December.
On the Northbank, the Wells Fargo Center was sold in June, the Bank of America Tower in July and EverBank Center in September.
In this case, it appears it would be not only an investment, but a corporately useful one.
Sources said CSX has leased space there for some time, but renewed and greatly expanded the lease in 2011 for 15 years.
The 14-story building comprises 234,310 square feet, according to the Duval County Property Appraiser’s office. CSX occupies 172,000 square feet, or all but three floors.
BP Graham LLC of Birmingham, Ala., bought the building for $23.3 million in October 2007. The structure, built in 1982, carries a 2015 assessed value in progress of $14.25 million and sits on 1.9 acres.
Graham & Company in Jacksonville declined comment.
CSX’s history at the 550 Building, which it’s also called, stretches back more than two decades.
In May 2001, The Florida Times-Union reported that after leasing space at the 550 Building for 10 years, CSX Transportation would vacate 180,000 square feet in the building and move most of the employees there to the BellSouth Tower, now EverBank Center, and the remainder into the headquarters.
When CSX returned to the 550 Building, architect Gresham, Smith and Partners featured the 2011 lease on its website, explaining that CSX had 1,000 employees in leased space at multiple locations, the largest site being 301 W. Bay St., which is EverBank Center.
CSX had to decide whether to renew the lease at the tower “or find a way to bring all employees closer to the headquarters building.”
The company is based in a 17-story structure on almost 6 acres, Duval County property records show. The structure, at almost 355,600 square feet, opened in 1960 for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the predecessor of CSX.
CSX Corp. is a major corporate headquarters in Jacksonville.
The company’s website, csx.com, says it provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and other assistance to the energy, industrial, construction, agricultural and consumer products industries.
It serves the eastern U.S. with access to more than 70 ocean, river and lake port terminals along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The company also has access to Pacific ports through alliances with western railroads
The CSX Transportation network encompasses about 21,000 route miles of track in 23 states, the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
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