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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jul. 18, 201707:10 AM EST

CSX wants to renovate Jacksonville headquarters

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$2 million investment in riverfront building comes after job cuts, introduction of new CEO.

CSX Corp. not only is updating the railroad’s operating program.
It also wants to renovate its Downtown Jacksonville headquarters at a cost of $1.85 million.
The city is reviewing a building permit for Auld & White Constructors Inc. to renovate the 15th-floor executive offices at 500 Water St. on the riverfront.
With all the other changes at the company, including a new CEO, job cuts and a focus on improving the operations, there were questions whether CSX was committed to maintaining its headquarters in Jacksonville. 
“With these updates, CSX expects that the headquarters building will accommodate our needs for the foreseeable future,” said spokesman Rob Doolittle on Monday.
Plans show remodeling of 20,450 square feet of space for offices, conference rooms, a recording studio, work café, a warming kitchen, and more, including the C-Suite.
That suite appears to be for CEO Hunter Harrison and two other top executives. Their offices are near the almost 1,200-square-foot board room.
CSX said the building, which it owns, was constructed in 1959 and opened in 1960. It comprises almost 487,000 square feet of space.
Gresham, Smith and Partners is the architect for the renovations.
Doolittle said CSX is renovating to modernize and update the space “and to accommodate changes to the office space needs of our staff.”
He said projects include modifications to the lobby area, the 15th floor and several other locations. 
He said the work is expected to be completed over the next year in phases so that it can minimize disruption for employees.
Harrison, 72, has been changing the system since he was hired in March.
He has been implementing Precision Scheduled Railroading, his philosophy of improving railroad operations that he put into place at other major companies.
CSX’s board of directors approved an $84 million payment to Harrison to remain as CEO after shareholders OK’d it at the June 5 annual meeting.
Harrison was seeking the payment as reimbursement for compensation he forfeited when he left his previous position as CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. to pursue the CSX job.
In February, before Harrison joined, CSX announced it would cut 1,000 jobs, including many management level positions in Jacksonville. At the time, there were more than 2,500 CSX management employees in Jacksonville. 
It also said Chairman and CEO Michael Ward and President Clarence Gooden would retire May 31. Executive Vice President Fredrik Eliasson was promoted to president.
Ward had been CEO since 2003.
CSX also owns the nearby 550 Water St. building. 
The building has 17 stories, including a basement and a 16th story for storage. The 15th floor is the top office floor.
In 2013, CSX also said the building featured more than 760 offices, 65 conference rooms and a state-of-the-art health and wellness center. 
From 2006 to 2013, CSX said it invested several hundred thousand dollars to upgrade the facility with energy-efficient technologies and environmentally friendly operating practices.
It said it was the first facility in the CSX network to gain LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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