Jacksonville-based Gate Petroleum Co. continues to expand, this time contracting to buy 37.6 acres along Philips Highway in the Bayard area south of the Florida 9B interchange.
Gate said it is buying the property for $2.7 million to expand its convenience store chain. In addition to developing a store, it will develop and sell outparcels to commercial users.
A drainage plan filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District shows six parcels, ranging from 1.4 to 2.6 acres, totaling 11.7 acres.
Gate stores have been developed on sites of 2.6 acres or so. The company has 72 stores in five states – Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and North and South Carolina.
Gate said the land purchase from the Diocese of St. Augustine has not been completed yet.
The Diocese says in the Water Management District filing that it is under contract to sell the property, called the "Bayard Retail Center," to Gate.
Gate, with 40 convenience stores in Northeast Florida and 28 in Duval County alone, also is developing a gas station/convenience store near St. Johns Town Center, intends to build another along Emerson Street at Interstate 95 and has been named on site plans by Gatlin Development Co. for a store at Collins Road and I-295.
The Diocese notified the Water Management District on Sept. 10 that it was under contract to sell the Bayard property, which is an undeveloped site south of Gran Bay Parkway and east of Philips Highway, to Gate. The Diocese wants to transfer its application to Gate.
Duval County property records show the 2012 property market value as $518,520.
The Diocese says it was surplus property and it had no specific plans to develop it.
It said the property sale should be completed in October.
District permits Northrop Grumman
The St. Johns River Water Management District issued a permit Friday for Northrop Grumman Corp.'s water management system for its proposed 315,000-square-foot Hawkeye manufacturing facility.
The 23-acre project site is on the east side of U.S. 1 next to the Northeast Florida Regional Airport, a mile north of downtown St. Augustine.
According to the permit, the project involves the demolition of four buildings and the removal of several acres of parking. The new construction includes the aircraft-manufacturing hangar, new employee-parking areas and a wet detention surface water management system.
The Daily Record reported Sept. 9 that the estimated $80 million Hawkeye manufacturing plant expansion is expected to add 400 jobs to the aerospace and defense contractor's Northeast Florida workforce.
Northrop Grumman St. Augustine is an aircraft manufacturing and modifications facility whose current customer is the U.S. Navy. The E2-D Advanced Hawkeye is its anchor program with the Navy.
The company is the largest private industrial employer in St. Johns County.
St. Johns County approved an economic development agreement in April that shows Northrop Grumman will make an $80 million capital investment and create jobs paying a minimum average of $44,943, higher than the county's average wage of $35,954.
The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved an incentives package of nearly $3 million for the four-year expansion project.
As of Sept. 9, Northrop Grumman had 1,060 full-time and about 40 contract employees in St. Augustine, according to company spokesman Jacqueline Farrell.