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The former call center at Emerson Street and Philips Highway will be demolished for site development.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 10, 201412:00 PM EST

Emerson St. call center coming down for retail


A 75,000-square-foot vacant call center at Emerson Street and Philips Highway is coming down early this year to make way for five retail stores.

The center, which housed a BellSouth call center and later was used by Precision Response Corp., should be demolished by March or soon after.

Demetree Brothers Inc., a real estate development, construction management and property management company, owns the 7.5-acre site and has been unable to sell the building.

"We are going to try to redevelop the property," said Larry Matthews, Demetree Brothers vice president for commercial.

He said about 2 acres already was sold to Gate Petroleum Co., which is building a convenience store and gas station on the site to replace a smaller one nearby. The location is just off Interstate 95.

Matthews said Thursday the property parcels would be sold to retail users. Construction would begin after Demetree reaches an agreement with the city on the mobility fee, which is a fee for development impacts, and the call center is demolished.

Matthews said some retailers have shown interest in the five sites. Colliers International is marketing the property.

In all, the 7.47-acre site would feature 37,500 square feet of new retail stores.

DBSB Inc., whose president is J.C. Demetree Jr., owns the property.

In late December, DBSB applied for a mobility-fee calculation certificate that outlined the project, called the "Shops of Philips." Matthews said that was a generic name.

The mobility fee was calculated as of Dec. 31 to be $976,004, city documents show.

The application says the two-story call-center building would be removed to make way for the development. The documents and a site plan show:

• A 15,000-square-foot pharmacy/drugstore with a drive-thru window on 1.62 acres.

• An 8,000-square-foot bank with eight drive-in lanes on 1.56 acres at the corner of the intersection.

• A 7,500-square-foot auto parts store on 1.71 acres.

• Two 3,500-square-foot fast-food restaurants on 1.33-acre and 1.07-acre sites.

No tenants or users were identified on the plans.

Fred Atwill Jr. of Atwill LLC is the agent and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. is a consultant.

Matthews said the property uses were not set in stone.

"We are trying to maximize our use. We have had some interest from some of those people," he said, referring to the prospective retailers.

Matthews said the site's access by residents in the Hendricks Avenue and San Jose Boulevard areas make it attractive for fast-food and pharmacy retailers.

"It's very accessible from any part of the county," he said.

Property records show DBSB has owned the site at 3100 Emerson St. since 1997. DBSB bought the property from BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. The call-building was constructed in 1979.

Matthews and Harris Dunn, vice president of DBSB and vice president and CFO of Demetree Brothers, said a year ago, when plans surfaced for a potential redevelopment, that the goal was to lease or sell the office building to a single user.

The office structure was built for Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co. Matthews said Thursday it has been vacant for 11 years.

"Clearly it was not an attractive location as a call center, which we tried to lease for a number of years," he said.

"We made that decision the building will come down and to redevelop the property. It's just time for it."

Indigo apartments sold for $38M

A Georgia investor paid $38 million to buy the 323-unit Indigo Luxury Apartments in Bartram Park.

Arium Bartram Park LLC, in care of Carroll Acquisitions LLC of Atlanta, bought the property from Daniel Bartram Investments II LLC of Birmingham, Ala.

The Indigo Apartments were developed in 2007. The 19.65-acre site at 13525 Bartram Park Blvd. has a 2013 taxable value of $27.22 million and a 2014 market value in progress of $27.76 million. reported Wednesday that Indigo was the third major multifamily property that Carroll Organization bought in Jacksonville since early 2013. The other two properties were the 288-unit Club at Danforth apartments and the 400-unit Paddock Club.

The news site said Carroll will rebrand Indigo as Arium Bartram Park and will make capital improvements.

The site said the property comprises 21 two- and three-story buildings with seven floor plans. Amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center, clubhouse with a theater room, a poolside screened-in patio with a billiards table, a spa and lakeside walking trails.

It quoted Patrick Carroll, founder and CEO of Carroll Organization, that "Jacksonville is one of the hottest investment markets in the Southeast."

Hale Trailer buys Westside land

Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel Inc. bought 25 acres in West Jacksonville, where it wants to build a 25,000-square-foot sales and service facility.

The New Jersey-based company paid $900,000 for the undeveloped property among two parcels along Halsema and Powell roads.

The seller was TSK Furniture Inc. of Jacksonville.

The Dec. 31 deal was recorded Thursday with the Duval County Clerk of Court.

As the Daily Record reported Dec. 20, Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel wants to develop the site at 271 Halsema Road.

The city has been reviewing a permit for contractor Giles-McIvor Inc. to build the structure and an open tractor-trailer storage center. JAA Architecture Inc. is the architect.

The site says Hale Trailer is a full-service dealership that sells new and used trailers and related equipment and rents trailers on a short- and long-term basis, sells commercial trailer parts and accessories and provides general service and repairs to trailer equipment.

The company is based in Voorhees, N.J., and it has 13 branch locations, including the existing Jacksonville operation at 10688 General Ave. The new location is about 2 miles west of there.

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