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Jax Daily Record Friday, Sep. 28, 201803:15 PM EST

Hillwood courting prospect seeking a 2.5 million-square-foot distribution center site

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The Dallas-based company includes the potential deal in its quarterly report to the city.

A 2.5 million-square-foot distribution center prospect might be considering AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center.

In its second-quarter report, Dallas-based Hillwood told the city Friday it received and responded to an initial, and Hillwood emphasized “very early-stage,” inquiry from a broker representing a prospect interested in identifying sites to accommodate a 2.5 million-square-foot distribution facility.

Hillwood Senior Vice President Dan Tatsch said Friday it was a preliminary inquiry and he has heard nothing further in almost five months.

Hillwood, the city's master developer, also said it received and responded to inquiries for two prospects looking for 1 million square feet of distribution space and one seeking a 1.5 million-square-foot center.

No tenants were identified.

Tatsch had no comment on the other deals listed in the report.

As the master developer of the Westside business park, Hillwood must file quarterly activity reports with the city. The one filed Friday was for April 1 through June 30.

In addition to responding to the inquiry for the 2.5 million-square-foot prospect, Hillwood said it:

• Received and responded to an initial inquiry from a broker representing a prospect interested in leasing a 1.5 million-square-foot distribution facility. Subsequently, Hillwood received a request for proposal from the prospect. At the end of the reporting period, Hillwood was preparing a response to that RFP.

• Received and responded to an RFP from a broker representing an undisclosed client seeking to lease a 1 million-square-foot distribution facility. At the end of the reporting period, Hillwood and the prospect were continuing to negotiate potential terms for the facility but no decision had been reached.

• Received and responded to an initial inquiry from a broker representing a prospect interested in leasing 800,000 to 1 million square feet of distribution space.

• Received and responded to an initial inquiry from a broker representing a prospect interested in leasing a 470,000-square-foot distribution facility.

• Received and responded to an initial inquiry from a broker representing a developer interested in buying land for a 350,000-square-foot distribution facility.

• Executed a long-term lease with England Trading Co., which operates as Industry West, to lease 121,783 square feet at 4660 POW-MIA Memorial Parkway, formerly known as New World Avenue. The lease fills the building. The remainder is leased by JinkoSolar, which is setting up a solar-panel facility.

AllianceFlorida features companies that include Amazon.com and GE Oil & Gas and appears to be preparing for more large users.

The city Office of Economic Development intends to submit incentives legislation to City Council for Project Empire, a national distributor of household goods considering a “substantial warehouse and distribution facility” at Cecil Commerce Center.

That is expected to be Wayfair Inc., the Boston-based online retailer of household furnishings and accessories that has been advertising for Jacksonville jobs.

Hillwood has submitted plans to the city for two 1.5 million-square-foot distribution centers at Cecil Commerce Center. One next to Amazon.com along 103rd Street is expected to be Wayfair.

A second is proposed along POW-MIA Memorial Parkway.

Project Empire proposes to create up to 250 full-time jobs no later than year-end 2021.

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