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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Apr. 28, 202205:10 AM EST

Höegh Autoliners moves North America head office Downtown

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The company is relocating from Port Jacksonville Trade Center into One Enterprise Center.

Downtown landed another headquarters, although it is a move within the city.

Höegh Autoliners, based in Norway, is moving its North America head office to the 14th floor of One Enterprise Center at 225 Water St. Downtown.

It is relocating from 2615 Port Industrial Drive in North Jacksonville.

“We anticipate it will be ready to move into in June. It will be the head office for North America, so we are just relocating within the city of Jacksonville,” said spokesperson Jakob Dyvik in an email April 25.

Shane Warren, Höegh Autoliners Inc. head of sales for North America, said in an email April 27 that Jacksonville is the regional headquarters for North America, “where we have 17 employees managing our daily operations in the US.”

He said that includes sales, customer service, operations and trade management. 

“The Downtown area is centrally located for our staff and we see the city working hard to bring businesses back. We look forward to opening this new office and being a part of that,” Warren said.

Mark Wainwright with the Pine Street/RPS real estate firm represented Höegh in the lease transaction.

The city issued a permit April 22 for Lay Duckworth Construction to renovate 4,630 square feet of space at a cost of $264,397 for Höegh Autoliners. The lease involves 5,452 square feet, confirmed broker Preston Phillips, a senior vice president with real estate firm JLL.

Preston and JLL Managing Director Jesse Shimp represent the landlord.

Bill Spinner, the landlord at Port Industrial Drive in Port Jax Trade Center, said Höegh Autoliners wanted to downsize and took just 25% of the almost 12,000 square feet of office space it had.

He said he filled the additional space quickly.

“I’ll miss Höegh,” Spinner said, calling it a “great group with wonderful benefits for their employees, including catered lunch for its staff.”

One Enterprise Center at 225 Water St. Downtown. (Google)

“They really cared and looked out for them. For example, they installed expensive ergonomic desks and chairs helping employees with health and productivity,” said Spinner, executive director of Jax Green Industrial and president of Spinner Construction. 

The 22-floor One Enterprise Center comprises 328,567 square feet, according to a JLL.

JLL says there is a vacancy of about 75%, which provides for large blocks of contiguous space and signage rights.

Most of the floors are about 17,000 square feet, with the upper levels closer to 11,000 square feet.

The structure was built in 1986 for anchor tenant Florida National Bank. 

Through mergers, the bank became First Union, then Wachovia and then Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo moved in 2011 to 1 Independent Drive, now Wells Fargo Center.

In 2015, the building ended up in the lender’s hands following foreclosure after Wells Fargo left. The bank had leased 155,000 square feet there.

A certificate of title was filed in May 2015 transferring ownership of the office high-rise to 225 Water Street West Holdings LLC.

Los Angeles-based investor, Rosencrans 2004 LLC, bought the building for $15.2 million in June 2017.

At the time of the sale, the building was 51% leased.

Ownership announced July 27, 2020,  that it completed a $4.5 million renovation to update the building.

One Enterprise Center is connected to the 354-room Marriott Jacksonville Downtown, formerly the Omni Jacksonville Hotel, and the two structures share a parking garage.

Höegh Autoliners is a global provider of roll-on/roll-off transportation services delivering cars, high and heavy and breakbulk cargo.

The company operates around 40 vessels in global trade systems and makes about 3,000 port calls a year.

Höegh Autoliners, based in Oslo, Norway, says it employs about 375 people in its 16 offices worldwide and about 1 250 seafarers.

Höegh Autoliners Inc. announced in February 2013 it would move its Americas headquarters to Jacksonville and chose the Port Jax Trade Center.

The city approved a construction permit for Spinner Construction to build-out 17,688 square feet of office and warehouse space for Höegh at 2615 Port Industrial Drive, near the Interstate 295 East Beltway and Alta Road.

The space comprised 11,777 square feet of office space and 5,911 square feet of warehouse space.

Höegh Autoliners said at the time it decided to relocate all of the office functions from its Jericho, New York, to Jacksonville.

“This will enable us to consolidate our activities in one office location, and to be located in immediate proximity to one of the world’s largest automotive ports,” wrote Steinar Lovdal, Höegh Autoliners president, in a letter to “valued business partner” organizations.

Port Jax is near the JaxPort Dames Point and Blount Island marine terminals.

The Port Jax center is owned by Group IV Jaxport LLC, which changed its name to Port Jax 400 LLC.

Bill Spinner is the manager of the limited liability company.

Spinner said then that Höegh would occupy Suites 405-407 in Building 400 and have 35-40 executives and staff at the operation.

Lovdal said the move to Jacksonville will enable the company to consolidate its office activities in one location and to be near JaxPort.

On Dec. 4, 2020, Amports Inc. announced it had acquired a 100% equity interest in Horizon Terminal Services LLC, a marine terminal operator with operations in Jacksonville and Port Everglades and in Freeport, Texas, from Höegh Autoliners. 

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