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ICS is remodeling its space in the duPont Center I building along Prudential Drive on the Downtown Southbank.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Mar. 19, 201312:00 PM EST

GO Auto plans self-service GO Pull-It auto-parts site in West Jacksonville

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GO Auto Recyling co-owners Brian Shell and Jason Finley plan to open a self-service operation called GO Pull-It on West Jacksonville property recently acquired by Mervis Industries Inc.

The $4.5 million project, including the cost of land, is expected to result in 12-15 jobs and will open in July or August, Shell said.

Shell and Finley said in a news release that after more than three years in the wholesale, full-service auto-parts business at 12270 New Kings Road, they will open the self-service GO Pull-It at 7282 Commonwealth Ave.

"This expansion will allow us to better serve our customers from professional repair facilities to the DIY mechanics," they said in a statement, referring to customers that include the do-it-yourself market.

"Having both full-service and self-service locations allows us to provide our customers with a wider range of make/model/year vehicles as well as an option to pull their own parts or have us do the work for them," they said.

Shell and Finley said GO Pull-It will use the latest technology in vehicle "de-pollution" and processing, explaining that all fluids and hazardous materials are removed for the vehicles and recycled.

"This means thousands of gallons of motor oil, gasoline, brake fluid and coolant will be captured during the de-pollution process, keeping it out of our land and waterways," they said.

Shell and Finley said they employ 30 people at their full-service location, having begun in Jacksonville in 2009 with two employees. The expansion boosts employment to more than 40 jobs.

The GO Pull-It will be the first phase of development on the 50-acre site. The initial expansion will take 20 acres.

They said site work is under way.

As reported, Mervis Industries has filed a permit application for the Westside operation along Commonwealth Avenue. Stipe Construction Inc. is the contractor for the $365,550 project, shown as a metal building for office and warehouse space. The architect is David Haynes.

Plans show a 6,150-square-foot enclosed building, comprising 2,800 square feet for office use and 3,350 square feet of warehousing, along with another 1,500 square feet of unenclosed space.

Mervis paid $2 million for the 50 acres along Commonwealth Avenue, west of Interstate 295 and Pickettville Road.

"We've run out of room and we think this has a lot of potential," Shell said in December. "We needed additional facilities and that piece of property was zoned" for their use.

The New Kings Road operation encompasses 11 acres, records show.

Mervis bought the Commonwealth Avenue property Nov. 5 from Florida Rock Properties Inc. Site plans filed with the City and the St. Johns River Water Management District show a three-phase development on the property.

Site improvement documents show development of the first two phases will use 33.2 acres and the third phase will be 4.3 acres. The conservation area is shown as 12.5 acres for a total of 50 acres.

A closer look at the site improvement plans shows a first phase that includes the 7,650-square-foot enclosed and unenclosed space and a second phase with a 21,600-square-foot building. The bulk of the developable land consists of recycling and storage yards.

The New Kings Road site is about 9 miles north of the Commonwealth Avenue property.

Mervis is an Illinois-based family-owned recycling company that buys and sells materials. President Adam Mervis previously told the Daily Record the company would not be putting its core business, a full-service scrap yard, on the site.

"We have a real estate investment portion of our business. This for us is much more of a real estate investment rather than an operating business," he said.

Shell said he and Finley are the operating partners in the project.

"They were interested in expanding their line of recycling into the auto side," Shell said of Mervis.

"Jason and I have run the business down here and have partnered with Mervis from the beginning on the GO Auto brand," he said.

Shell has said the first phase at the new site represents a $4.5 million to $5 million investment, including the purchase price.

"There is a lot of opportunity for us," he said. "With a piece of land zoned heavy industrial, there are a lot of uses we can do in the recycling area. We wanted to find a piece of property with the room to do that."

Shell said GO Auto Recycling also will remain in operation along New Kings Road.

Shell cited the company's large inventory and its "significant" business with major repair facilities and dealerships in North Florida.

The goautorecycling.com website says GO Auto Recycling offers recycled original equipment manufacturer auto parts, including engines, transmissions, auto body parts, sheet metal, truck beds, bed liners, wheels, seats, radios and new and used head lights, tail lamps and radiators.

Metro area creates 17,500 jobs

State job numbers show the five-county Jacksonville metro area gained 17,500 nonagricultural jobs from January 2012 to January 2013, reflecting growth of 3 percent.

Goods-producing jobs rose by 1,600 while service-providing jobs gained 15,900 positions, led by 17,300 private jobs tempered by a loss of 1,400 government jobs, mostly local.

The largest services gains came in professional and business services, up by 5,900 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up by 4,500 jobs; financial activities, up by 2,600; trade, transportation and utilities, up by 2,300; and education and health services, up by 2,300.

Several private services industries lost jobs, led by a 400-job loss in information.

The largest growth came in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, up 31,200 jobs, or 2.7 percent, and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, up 20,200 jobs, or 2 percent.

Duval unemployment rises, metro area declines

The Duval County unemployment rate rose to 8 percent in January from 7.8 percent in December, according to state numbers adjusted for seasonal factors by University of North Florida economics professor Paul Mason.

Both rates are lower than the adjusted 9.26 percent in January 2012.

Meanwhile, the rate for the five-county metro area fell to an adjusted 7.06 percent in January from 7.64 percent in December. The metropolitan statistical area comprises Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

"Contrary to what happened during the Christmas season, the rest of the MSA got better in January while Duval got worse," Mason said.

"This makes sense since Duval's gains in November and December were retailing related," he said.

For the metro area, Mason said 842 more people were unemployed in January than December, 7,053 fewer were employed, and there were 6,211 fewer workers in the labor force. 

"The reason the unemployment rate went down after seasonal adjustment was because normally the workforce and those employed fall by more after the Christmas season than what occurred this year, and there are typically more who face unemployment in January than what occurred this year," he said.

ICS building out space

ICS, Information & Computing Services, is building out office space on the Downtown Southbank for its software development and consulting firm offices.

The City approved a permit for C. Harrison Construction Inc. to build out 5,000 square feet of space at 1650 Prudential Drive, No. 300, in the duPont Center I at a project cost of $163,615.

The location is the address of ICS's corporate headquarters.

The Daily Record was told the company is renovating existing breakroom space into training and office areas and that the workforce of 64 will remain the same.

The icsfl.com website for the company says it has more than 30 years of JD Edwards sales and consulting experience and has "special competencies in distribution, manufacturing and construction — to the degree that we have developed leading mobility solutions for both distribution and construction."

Those sites are rfsmart.com and equential.com.

JD Edwards enterprise software focuses on business processes. The oracle.com site says JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is an integrated applications suite of resource planning software. EnterpriseOne offers databases, operating systems and hardware to serve industries such as consumer packaged goods, manufacturing and more.

ICS says its customers range from emerging companies and regional leaders to Fortune 1000 firms.

Women's History Month honorees to be recognized

The Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women will host a celebration from 5:30-7 p.m. today to honor the 2013 Women's History Month Honorees. The event is at the University of North Florida Thomas G. Carpenter Library.

The theme is "Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics."

The women to be honored are:

• Science: Inga Pinnix, certified instructor, biology and chemistry, Sandalwood High School.

• Technology: Lisa Davis, CEO, Analytics Partners.

• Engineering: Denise Ramsey, vice president, chief engineer, Haskell.

• Mathematics: Paula Risko, professor of mathematics, Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Extended Stay America plans renovations

Plans were filed with the City for renovations at Extended Stay America at 4693 Salisbury Road in the Southpoint area.

Plans show a $678,221 renovation of the three-story, 51,557-square-foot property.

The extendedstayamerica.com website shows the property formerly was a Homestead Studio Suites.

Renovations include structural and façade repairs.

Cummer signs, roofing OK'd

The City gave its approval for two Cummer signs on the wall of The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens at 829 Riverside Ave. at a project cost of $4,028. The contractor for the signs and the renovations at the Riverside museum is Elkins Constructors Inc.

The Cummer announced in December it would renovate and enhance its campus in a $4.5 million project.

Director Hope McMath said then the project will help "connect the dots" linking the historic Riverside community to Downtown.

The City also approved a permit for Childers Roofing & Sheet Metal to make roof repairs at the Cummer at a project cost of $33,000.

As previously reported, the Cummer is restoring the Olmsted Garden; renovating and landscaping the front lawn to include a sculpture garden, outdoor seating for the TreeCup Café, enhanced landscaping and other features; and reconstructing the parking lots on the opposite side of Riverside Avenue.

The projects should be completed by September.

The project team consists of Elkins Constructors; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates Architects.

McMath said in December that Riverside Avenue, particularly from the Cummer to the core of Downtown, is becoming "an extremely important zone for the city," listing the riverfront and Riverside Avenue projects from Memorial Park at 1620 Riverside Ave. to The Florida Times-Union building at 1 Riverside Ave.

At the time, she and district City Council member Jim Love listed the park, a planned dog park, the Cummer, the Riverside Arts Market, the YMCA redevelopment, the 220 Riverside residential and retail development under way and the proposed Pope & Land residential project as some of the latest pivotal connectors to create that zone.

CBRE closes on $130 million Deerwood sale

CBRE reports it has closed the $130 million sale of an eight-building, 1,018,218-square-foot portfolio in Jacksonville comprising the eight Deerwood North and Deerwood South office buildings constructed from 1996-2005.

CBRE said a team of its executives marketed the properties for sale on behalf of Flagler and secured the portfolio financing on behalf of the purchaser, PKY Deerwood LLC, an affiliate of Parkway Properties Inc.

It said the properties have a current occupancy of more than 90 percent. Major tenants include JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity Investments, Comcast, Adecco, Main Street America, Fortegra, Carolina Casualty and Arizona Chemical.

CBRE Senior Vice President Michael Harrell said the Deerwood area is "one of the tightest submarkets in the state and is expected to see strong rent growth."

CBRE Vice Chairman Christian Lee was the lead CBRE broker on the transaction.

CBRE reported it arranged for the $84.5 million acquisition financing with a fixed interest rate of 3.9 percent for a 10-year term.

CBRE's Miami Institutional Group members — Lee, Charles Foschini, Christopher Apone, and Amy Julian, with regional support from Vice Chairman Will Yowell and Harrell — worked together to market the property for sale and negotiate the transaction on behalf of the seller.

EWC residence hall renovations

Edward Waters College plans renovations of the restrooms and showers at the Salter Hall and the two Morris Cone Hall residence buildings.

Building-permit applications and plans filed with the City show more than $1 million in renovations for the restrooms and showers at Salter Hall, at 1749 Powhattan St., and at Morris Cone Halls A and B, at 1580 Kings Road.

Allstate Construction Inc. is shown as the contractor. VRL Architects Inc. is the designer.

Blake Hacht, director of external communications, said the college will renovate the three residence halls over the summer while most students are on break.

He said the renovations are made possible by the Challenge Grant issued in November 2011 by the Michael and Kim Ward Foundation.

Hacht said the foundation would match $1 for every $2 raised by Edward Waters College for capital improvements by June 30, 2012, up to $1 million.

He said on June 26 the college surpassed its $2 million goal, resulting in $3 million being raised for capital improvements in seven months.

The grant primarily focuses on enhancing the areas most used by students, such as the student union, dorms, classrooms and other areas.

Nail salons on tap

At least three more nail salons are on the way.

• The City approved a $60,000 build-out by Don R. McAfee Inc. for Nails and Beyond at 14964 Max Leggett Parkway, No. 104, in the Parkway Shops near River City Marketplace.

• Billion Nails & Salon & Spa filed a notice under the state Fictitious Name Law to operate in River City Marketplace at 13271 City Station Drive, Suite D105. DT Salon Inc. filed the notice.

• TDB Construction Inc. will renovate space for Lucky Nails at 4765 Hodges Blvd. in Windsor Commons at a project cost of $43,000.

A chicken in every backyard?

For those watching the listings on Page 2 for public meetings, you read correctly.

City Council member Don Redman has scheduled a meeting with Council member Doyle Carter for 2:30 p.m. next Tuesday at City Hall for the purpose of discussing "pet chicken hens."

The meeting is scheduled on the first floor in the Lynwood Roberts Room "due to the possibility of a large attendance."

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a proposal to extend the ability to raise and keep pet chicken hens for backyard egg production in City areas zoned residential low density.

The ordinance code is Section 656.401 (a)(3).

For information, call Redman's office at (904) 630-1394.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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