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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Aug. 16, 201707:00 AM EST

Floor & Décor store matches Town Center project description

Georgia-based retail outlet would open south of Topgolf.

Smyrna, Georgia-based Floor & Décor has no comment, but the flooring products chain matches the description of the project planned south of Topgolf.

As of the end of June, Floor & Décor Holdings Inc. operated 73 warehouse-format stores, which average 72,000 square feet, and one small-format standalone design center.

The city is reviewing a site-plan modification for an unidentified 74,000-square-foot flooring outlet on 6 acres along Brightman Boulevard east of St. Johns Town Center along Interstate 295.

A lease has been signed, but the tenant has not been identified by the eventual landlord or in the application for the Planned Unit Development modification.

Floor & Décor has repeated over the past few weeks that it has no comment when asked if it is the tenant.

In the area, it operates at 8102 Blanding Blvd. in the Crossroads Shopping Center. A site plan shows it leases 85,560 square feet, larger than the current average.

Jacksonville-based Cantrell & Morgan Inc. and its joint-venture partner Stiles Corp. seek the site plan modification. The land is owned by members of the Skinner family.

Chris Morgan, CEO of Cantrell & Morgan, said previously that his group and Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp., will buy the 6 acres and develop the build-to-suit structure for the tenant.

Morgan confirmed that Cantrell & Morgan and Stiles are under contract for the property and want to develop a retail building whose proposed use is a flooring store.

He said the lease has been signed with the retailer, but declined to identify it.

Morgan said Tuesday that he could not confirm the name of the tenant.

“We are sensitive to our tenant and our client and we want them to control their announcement and their message,” Morgan said.

England, Thims & Miller is the civil engineer and Rogers Towers lawyer T.R. Hainline represents the joint-venture partners in the modification process.

It is expected to be reviewed by the Planning Commission on Sept. 7.

The site is part of a 12.8-acre parcel south of Topgolf and the proposed iFly and north of a proposed apartment community.

Morgan expects to complete the land purchase in September and start construction immediately. Completion would take a year.

The publicly traded Floor & Decor calls itself “a highly differentiated, rapidly growing specialty retailer of hard surface flooring and related accessories.”

It stocks tile, wood, laminate and natural stone flooring along with decorative and installation accessories.

It said it appeals to customers that include professional installers and commercial businesses, do-it-yourself customers and customers who buy the products for professional installation.

It operates through its wholly owned subsidiary, Floor and Decor Outlets of America Inc.

It has stores in 17 states, including Florida, and four distribution centers and an e-commerce site.

Pet Paradise files to build Bartram prototype

The day-camp business gets more attention in the new Pet Paradise prototype.

Pet Paradise can start construction of its prototype in the Bartram area after the city approves a permit application for Sauer Inc. to build it.

Brian Franco, Pet Paradise vice president of real estate, said Monday he expected construction will start after Labor Day weekend toward completion in June.

Sauer is the contractor for the $3.2 million pet boarding, grooming and day-camp provider designed on 1.7 acres at 14976 Walden Springs Way.

Franco estimates the total investment at $4.6 million.

The first floor comprises almost 14,850 square feet and includes 185 suites for dogs and a day-camp area. There also is a cattery.

Outside are play areas with retractable shades and a pool.

Franco said in April that Jacksonville-based Pet Paradise wanted to develop six to eight locations a year.

Features were added as Pet Paradise reviewed surveys and comments from the owners of the dogs and cats it boarded or served.

Franco explained that the new designs included more shade structures, trees, covered porches and misting stations in the outside play yard; a redesigned lobby with the registration desk to the side and a dominating view of the dog-bone-shaped pool and the yard; a splash area for small dogs; and a tour area that shows pet owners the functions of the property.

Other features include more interior VIP rooms for dogs that add special care such as plush beds, ice cream and a webcam so that owners can monitor their pets remotely.

The day-camp business has increased and gets more attention in the new prototype.

In April, Lisa Tarr, vice president of marketing and communications, said five years ago, dog day camp was considered a luxury. Now, she said, it’s becoming part of some household budgets.

The Bartram prototype at northwest Race Track Road and Walden Springs Way is on the Duval-St. Johns county line, but Duval will handle most of the permitting.

Kasper Architects and Associates is the architect.

Plans show a residential apartment upstairs. Tarr said most Pet Paradise resorts provide an apartment for a manager, which is a security function and provides peace of mind for pet owners.

The Bartram location would be the fourth Pet Paradise in the area, with one in St. Augustine, one along University Boulevard West next to the headquarters and another near Jacksonville International Airport.

The 15-year-old company’s corporate name is American Pet Resort LLC. It operates in seven states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, New Mexico and Texas.

Pet Paradise targets the Southeast and Southwest U.S. for expansion, specifically North and South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Texas.

Pet Paradise employs more than 850 people, including corporate staff, and operates 27 locations throughout the Southern U.S. and three underway.

The company said that in June 2016 it entered a partnership with Crane Group, a family-owned holding and management company based in Columbus, Ohio. Crane has majority interest in Pet Paradise, providing the ability to invest in improvements throughout the system.

The Bartram location will be the first newly built center since 2009, Franco said.

The prototype includes VIP rooms for dogs with plush beds and webcams so that owners can monitor their pets remotely.

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