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Jax Daily Record Friday, Sep. 8, 201706:40 AM EST

From ‘very small aspirations,’ business grows into sports center

Above Athletics Center designed for youth and high school sports training.
Jay Glatting

Jay Glatting watched his 9-year-old son play and train at the Jacksonville Basketball Academy, which he said grew from 30 to 300 participants in five years.

It needed more space. Unable to find a place, he decided to develop it — and more.

“The project went from very small aspirations to this,” Glatting said of the Above Athletics Center under development in southern Duval County, a quarter-mile from the St. Johns County line.

Glatting assembled a group involved in the center to buy, build and operate the 60,000-square-foot project at 14797 Philips Highway.

It is designed for the academy and other sports training programs for youth and high school athletes.

The Jacksonville Basketball Academy is directed by Jim Martin, who coaches the Providence High School basketball team, which won state championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015.

The partnership bought about 7 acres from the ownership of Dream Finders Homes, which is developing its headquarters on the property and had excess land for sale.

Jason Hursey Construction Inc. is the contractor and recently pulled a permit for the $350,000 foundation for the Above Athletics Center.

Glatting said Hursey is an investor in the project, estimated at $5.5 million.

It is designed in two parts — 12,000 and up to 22,000 square feet of medical and commercial use in front and 48,000 square feet of sports program facilities in the rear.

Those tenants include the Jacksonville Basketball Academy, First Coast Gymnastics, Five Tool Training and MaxFit.

The office tenants in the front include the Rainbow Pediatric Center and Healthy Brains — Youth Concussion Center, an urgent care physician and a physical therapy practice.

Glatting said the office space could gain a second story, adding 10,000 square feet to the building, depending on market demands. He envisions complementary businesses like a tutoring center, a spin studio, dance and cheer and other uses.

Also planned are outdoor sand volleyball courts to be used by No Fear Volleyball Club, which also will use indoor space.

Glatting, also an agent with Coldwell Banker Commercial, said the center is designed for complementary services and programs.

It will be the second permanent location for the Jacksonville Basketball Academy and MaxFit and the third for the pediatrics office, he said.

The Above Athletics Center is under development in southern Duval County, a quarter-mile from the St. Johns County line at 14797 Philips Highway.

The center will be built for year-round focused training for committed athletes, he said.

Glatting said tenants hope to move into the rear portion of the center by January as they continue operating at their current sites.

The front offices would be completed next summer.

He said the group hasn’t decided how to use an outdoor field area, another amenity.

Glatting said the young athletes will practice both their sports as well as life skills.

Based on his experience, “I saw what good things can happen.”

His son is now 14.

“Although his passion is basketball, as a parent I’m more impressed with the life lessons and values that he learns every day under Coach Martin,” Glatting said.

“I like the path he is on and excited about playing a part in adding a facility that will enable top sports academies to reach more aspiring young athletes.”

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