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Photo by Karen Brune Mathis - Renderings of the renovated Shoppes of San Jose are posted on-site as well as at the website.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jan. 9, 201312:00 PM EST

Hakimian investing $2.5 million in Shoppes of San Jose


Developer Ben Hakimian and Hakimian Holdings are renovating the Shoppes of San Jose, a 57,000-square-foot retail center at 2777 University Blvd. W.

Grocery Anchor LLC, whose manager is Hakimian, bought the center Aug. 29 for $1.5 million, has launched a $463,000 façade renovation, plans a roofing project and anticipates interior renovations to accommodate three restaurants, a pool supply company and other service tenants.

The center, on 5.7 acres near the renovated Publix center, was built in 1977. Hakimian said it was 38 percent occupied.

"That's a shopping center that for the last 30 years has had the same look," he said. The investment is "putting money back into the community, rejuvenating the community."

Renderings on-site and online at show a renovated center. Hakimian owns 14 centers — nine in Jacksonville, three in Orange Park and one each in Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine.

The City issued a permit Friday for Coastal Contracting of North Florida to renovate the outside façade in a $463,000 project.

Hakimian said he was talking with a publicly traded restaurant group and two local restaurants, three grocery stores, a pool supply company and other service retailers. He said Chase Bank will put up an ATM on an outparcel.

He said the Publix Super Markets Store on an adjacent site attracts shoppers from the Downtown Southbank of the St. Johns River to the Beauclerc area.

He said he focuses on tenants that provide services not available online, such as hair and nail salons, dry cleaning and doctors' offices.

He said the national restaurant would need 5,000 square feet of space and the local restaurants would need 5,000 and 3,500 square feet of space.

Hakimian wants to complete the renovations during the first quarter.

"This market has been very good for us," he said. Hakimian said his group focuses on infill, "where people are there and need the services."

He also said the company renovates the centers to "make sure the shopping center looks like the neighborhood."

"If you are in (a shopping area with a) 150,000-200,000 population and you give them a nice, clean, safe place to shop, the sky's the limit," Hakimian said.

Gate plans new store in 'Shops at Philips Highway'

Gate Petroleum Co. plans to develop a gas and convenience store at Philips Highway and Emerson Street, apparently to replace its existing smaller store in that area.

A representative at Jacksonville-based Gate said the project is in progress and the company should have more details soon.

Gate would buy 2.28 acres of a 9.57-acre tract to develop a 3,987-square-foot store, according to plans filed with the City.

The existing Gate, at 3230 Emerson St., is about 2,400 square feet on a half-acre. The building was constructed in 1969, property records show.

The new Gate would be part of what plans show as the "Shops at Philips Highway."

The property is owned by DBSB Inc., which is associated with the Jacksonville-based Demetree Brothers Inc. real estate development, construction management and property management company.

Harris Dunn, vice president of DBSB and vice president and CFO of Demetree Brothers, said Thursday the "shops" name was used to identify the project in filings and not necessarily the name for a project.

Property records show DBSB has owned the site, which includes a two-story, 75,000-square-foot office building, since 1997. DBSB bought the building, constructed in 1979, from BellSouth Telecommunications Inc.

Dunn and Larry Matthews, Demetree Brothers vice president for commercial developments, said the goal was to lease or sell the office building to a single user. It sits on about 7.5 acres after the smaller parcel is sold to Gate.

The office structure was built for Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co. Dunn and Matthews said it most recently was leased by Precision Response Corp. and has been vacant almost 10 years. It is referred to in City plans as the 3100 Emerson Building.

Dunn said there are two proposals out to potential users of the structure.

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