Commercial developer Peter Anderson checked his office Wednesday for objects that might be a reminder of his football days at the University of Georgia, the days that led to him being chosen for the 2013 Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame.
Those were the days in the early 1980s when Anderson, who played center, led Georgia to two wins during his three Georgia-Florida games. "There's no 'one' offensive lineman," Anderson said modestly, crediting teammates for the achievements.
The days when the New Jersey native became the first player coached by Vince Dooley to be named the team's permanent captain at mid-season. Anderson almost didn't attend Georgia. He was headed to Rutgers but was a late recruit as a Bulldog, playing 1981-85.
The days when Dooley named him the "bell cow," which the New Jersey native had to learn was good because it meant leadership. The bell cow is the lead cow that others follow, so it wears a bell.
No mementos of those years were in his office at Pattillo Industrial Real Estate at Westside Industrial Park. Instead, there were photos showing the family he has reared in Jacksonville the past 20 years.
So Anderson had to be photographed for a column about his induction into the 2013 Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame in his current field of play – maps, plans and details about the industrial parks and properties he markets for Atlanta-based Pattillo in Jacksonville.
Well, there was a football, with the Georgia colors of red and black, but it displayed the name of a tenant, Bridgestone. That was a win, too, however.
Anderson is vice president of Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, overseeing operations in Jacksonville and Charleston, S.C. Pattillo owns more than 8 million square feet of industrial buildings and 2,000 acres of property in the two markets. It also has in-house construction, design, leasing and property management services.
Anderson is one of Jacksonville's best-known and highly respected, as well as competitive, developers. At 6-foot-3 and near his football weight of 260, he is a presence at any discussion.
Anderson ended his football career with a brief stint with the Indianapolis Colts.
He then completed his business-education degree and, with his wife, Shawn, and young son, Pete, took a chance on commercial real estate in Atlanta. He soon joined Pattillo, was sent to Jacksonville in 1993 and made a life for a family that added three daughters – Tory, Hailey and Susannah, now a senior at Episcopal High School. Pete, now 27, works in advertising in New York.
Turning 50 next month, Anderson, who said the children are tired of hearing his Coach Dooley stories, nonetheless said all have participated in sports and understand the lessons.
There's commitment and sacrifice, as well as the importance of "showing up."
There's the sense of fair play, competing hard but shaking hands when the game is over.
There's the drive to win, to "always prepare for your competition to be at their best."
There's studying the minor details, knowing that competitive nuances can make for distinct advantages.
There's knowing that you always have to bring your best game. You might lose anyway, but not for lack of trying. "As soon as you take a situation for granted, you get kicked in the teeth," he said.
There's earning and keeping respect. "You're going to deal with people time and time again," he said. Unfair play "is going to catch up with you."
There's the realization that cheating by competitors is a losing proposition. "OK, you can cheat. So you won by cheating. Hooray. What has that taught you?" he said.
Anderson, his family and a contingent of friends always make the Florida-Georgia/Georgia-Florida weekend a holiday. "Everybody every year can circle that date. It's always a meaningful day," he said. "It's part of my family's tradition."
Kickoff this year is 3:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at EverBank Field.
That's less than 24 hours after Anderson's induction into the Hall of Fame, and perhaps the collection of a few new mementos for the office.
"I am humbled to accept the award as a member of a team that achieved a special victory in 1985 by defeating a UF team rated No. 1 in the country prior to the game," Anderson said of his induction into the hall of fame.
" I am relishing the opportunity to revisit images from those playing days in my mind … images of big plays from the game, but equally of the time spent with my closest friends training, practicing and just plain hanging out while we dreamed big dreams."
State OKs Vistakon incentives
Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that contact-lens maker Vistakon, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., will add 100 jobs with a capital investment of $218 million over three years in Jacksonville with the help of state incentives. The city already signed off on its share.
City Council approved Resolution 2013-521 that provides for a $6.9 million Recapture Enhanced Value grant, which represents 50 percent of the incremental increase in property taxes. It would be paid annually for 10 years after the expansion is completed and on the tax rolls. The agreement states the project must be completed by the end of 2017.
The state will provide a $1.5 million Quick Action Closing Fund contribution and a $225,000 Quick Response Training grant.