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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jul. 21, 201412:00 PM EST

Freedom Commerce Centre adding U.S. Auto Credit


Freedom Commerce Centre, whose owners are rebranding as Prominence, is actively seeking and adding tenants as it renovates the South Jacksonville business park.

In one of the larger attempts, the park bid on the Citizens Property Insurance Corp. lease for about 226,400 square feet of space, although Tallahassee-based Citizens is rebidding the deal.

In a smaller deal, but one involving a Jacksonville-based company, U.S. Auto Credit is planning to lease most of the third floor of the Hamilton Building at 8375 Dix Ellis Trail.

U.S. Auto Credit is a division of Jacksonville-based Scott-McRae Automotive Group. Scott-McRae is a private, family-owned business founded in 1916.

Scott-McRae owns eight dealerships in Jacksonville, Gainesville and Clearwater. In Jacksonville, it owns Duval Honda, Duval Ford, Duval Acura and Duval Mazda at the Avenues.

U.S. Auto Credit, founded in 1993, has 22 branches in six states. C. Harrison Construction Inc. is the contractor for the $426,455 project at the Hamilton Building.

The city is reviewing a building-permit application for U.S. Auto Credit to lease 20,500 square feet for office space, conference rooms, IT, accounting, training, underwriting and other functions.

Scott-McRae declined to comment about the move, which appears to be a consolidation of several offices into one location.

The Hamilton Building is a four-story, almost 120,000-square-foot structure and one of seven buildings in the park, which is owned by Crocker Partners V Freedom LLC.

Money Pages is another key tenant in the building.

The U.S. Auto Credit lease is a sign that Boca Raton-based Crocker Partners continues to renovate buildings in the park, which it bought 19 months ago and renamed Prominence. The seven buildings total 752,154 square feet of office space.

The office buildings have been known as the Osborn, Gunti, Jackson, Hamilton, DeSoto, Nassau and Suwannee buildings. The buildings are expected to be numbered 100 to 700, each with its own monument sign and tenant directory.

In December 2013, renovations were approved for a marketing suite for Crocker Partners Property Management in the Gunti Building at 8900 Freedom Commerce Parkway. The marketing suite was designed with gallery space, offices, a conference room, lobby and other amenities.

Crocker ramped up visibility in January when it said it was renaming the park and intended to make a multimillion-dollar capital improvement with modern design features, a new entrance monument, landscaping and parking upgrades.

Recently, Crocker Partners landed a permit to renovate the lobbies and restrooms on all four floors of the Jackson Building at 8381 Dix Ellis Trail at a cost of $600,000 and also applied for a $600,000 renovation of the Hamilton Building. That is in addition to the U.S. Auto Credit improvements.

The Prominence is at southwest Baymeadows Road and Interstate 95. The business park sits between Philips Highway and I-95. It initially was developed from 1988-98 by Koger Equity Inc.

Clarity Pointe lands permit

The city approved a permit for Clarity Pointe Memory Care to build a $6 million, 60-unit facility in Southside at 8929 R.G. Skinner Parkway.

Batson-Cook Co. is the contractor for the 43,412-square-foot, single-level assisted living facility.

BCDC BrightPointe, of Knoxville, Tenn., is the owner. DB Civil Works is the engineer and DCH Partners of Marietta, Ga., is the architect.

The site is south of Baymeadows Road East and east of the Interstate 295 East Beltway.

Clarity Pointe is one of at least 15 assisted living, memory-care or senior-care housing developments proposed or developed in Northeast Florida in recent years.

St. Johns Town Center adding retailers

Two stores are closer to opening at the Town Center.

Boston Proper, a brand of Chico’s FAS, will open in the Nordstrom wing of St. Johns Town Center, joining Arhaus Furniture, a Disney Store, Free People, Model Citizen, Natural Life, Swim ‘n Sport and Yankee Candle.

Arhaus, Boston Proper, Free People, Nordstrom and Swim ‘n Sport are new to the Jacksonville market.

The city is reviewing a building permit for Boston Proper that details a $250,000 build-out of 2,453 square feet of retail space. Chico’s is based in Fort Myers.

Boston Proper describes itself as committed to “women who are fearlessly feminine, enviably chic and who possess the poise and confidence to ‘wear it like no one else.’” Its website is

Verizon Wireless will open in The Markets at Town Center, adjacent to the Town Center. The city is reviewing a permit application for a $200,000 build-out of 4,009 square feet of space at 4948 Big Island Drive.

Love’s Travel Stops OK’d for North Jacksonville

Construction was approved Friday for Love’s Travel Stops to build a travel stop, restaurant, tire shop and canopies in North Jacksonville.

The permits, totaling a project cost of $5.2 million, approve contractor W.H. Bass Inc. to build the project at 400 Pecan Park Road. The project is estimated as a total $7.5 million.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores chose Jacksonville for its eighth Florida roadside plaza, an almost 14-acre project at southeast Interstate 95 and Pecan Park Road in North Jacksonville.

“We look forward to entering into the Jacksonville community and building longstanding relationships with local community members and leaders,” said Kealey Dorian, a media specialist for Love’s, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the June report.

Dorian said the Jacksonville location “will fulfill a gap in services for professional drivers and leisure travelers along I-95 in the Jacksonville area.” Along I-95, it operates in Fort Pierce and Ormond Beach.

Love’s Travel Stops applied for a permit to build the almost 27,000-square-foot travel stop, food venue and tire center. The stop will include a Subway sandwich shop and a Chester’s International fried chicken restaurant.

Dorian said previously the company hopes to break ground this summer and open mid-spring. The plaza will create about 50 jobs.

Site plans show Love’s Travel Stops will develop two buildings on the vacant property. Plans show one building will comprise the Love’s and the restaurant space, while another will serve as a Love’s Truck Tire Care center for tire care and roadside assistance.

The center would include 82 trailer spaces along with eight diesel-fueling and 16 car-fueling locations.

Love’s was founded 50 years ago in Watonga, Okla., near Oklahoma City, and is privately held by the Love family. It has four brands: Love’s Travel Stops, Love’s Country Stores, Love’s Truck Tire Care and the Gemini Motor Transport petroleum fuel hauler.

Love’s has seven locations in Florida along I-95, I-75, I-10 and I-4. It operates more than 300 retail sites in 39 states and employs about 10,000 people. Annual revenue tops $26 billion, ranking it No. 9 in 2013 on the Forbes list of America’s largest private companies.

Chase Bank proposes Fleming Island branch

JPMorgan Chase Bank applied with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for a branch at 1516 County Road 220 at Fleming Island in Clay County.

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