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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jul. 27, 202005:00 PM EST

Hillwood preparing 37 acres at Cecil Commerce Center for development

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee voted July 27 to ask City Council to close an unimproved right of way near the site.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

Developer Hillwood is considering the purchase of a 37-acre city-owned parcel for development at Cecil Commerce Center.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee voted 7-0 on July 27 file legislation with City Council that would close an unimproved right of way near the site to prepare the area for development. 

The parcel is bounded by Waterworks Street and POW-MIA Memorial Parkway, according to the July 20 memo from the city Office of Economic Development. POW-MIA Memorial Parkway was formerly New World Avenue. 

Dallas-based Hillwood is the master development partner for city-owned property at Cecil. 

Documents filed with the committee didn’t identify what Hillwood could build at the site. 

Kirk Wendland, city Office of Economic Development executive director, said July 27 the right of way closure is “a preemptive strike should the development opportunity occur.” 

“We’re working on a project for the site,” said Hillwood Senior Vice President Dan Tatsch on July 27 by email.

He said it was Parcel F, at southwest POW-MIA Memorial Parkway and Waterworks Street.

“I can’t provide any additional information at present, but you’re likely to see some filings for the project, probably in late August,” he said.

Hillwood, which is developing AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center, told the city June 29 it spent March working on site layouts for a prospect.

It said the unidentified company approached Dallas-based Hillwood about developing a 500,000-square-foot distribution center on Parcel F at the West Jacksonville business park.

Hillwood said in that first-quarter activity report that it was approached in early March by a prospect interested in leasing a 500,000-square-foot build-to-suit distribution facility on the site.

Hillwood and the prospect exchanged drafts of a site plan and discussions continued.

The report follows Hillwood’s action in May to file civil engineering plans with the city to grade almost 63 acres for a 517,510-square-foot distribution warehouse on Parcel F.

In those plans, Hillwood did not identify a user or tenant for the building, which will be built in two phases.

The property is next to the JinkoSolar solar-panel manufacturing plant.

The project description said that along with the warehouse, there will be parking, truck storage and associated infrastructure.

Daily Record Editor Karen Brune Mathis contributed to this report. 

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