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Photo by Karen Brune Mathis - The Jacksonville Jaguars plan to start renovations at EverBank Field.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Mar. 29, 201312:00 PM EST

Jaguars apply for $2.9M EverBank Field renovation permit: Part of the $4M second-phase of stadium renovations


The Jacksonville Jaguars organization has submitted building plans and a permit application for $2.9 million in renovations, part of the $4 million second phase of improvements it confirmed in February for player and coaching areas at EverBank Field.

The second phase follows a $3 million first-phase project last year.

The Jaguars said the organization paid for the first phase and will pay for the second. Completion is expected this summer.

The $2.9 million project is described as a build-out of new facilities for the Jaguars. Improvements include work on the training room, coaches' offices, X-ray room and pools. The space comprises 10,023 square feet.

Turner Construction Co. is the contractor and Populous of Kansas City, Mo., is the designer.

The renovations continue the locker-room and other improvements begun last year and paid for by new owner Shad Khan. The coach and locker-room facilities had not been renovated since the stadium was built in 1995, according to the Jaguars.

The owner is listed as Jacksonville Jaguars LLC. Khan is shown on state records as the manager of the limited liability company.

In February, the Jaguars applied with the City for an interior demolition permit for coaches' offices, medical areas and other rooms, including the general manager's room and owner's room.

Turner Construction Co. also is shown as the contractor for the $80,000 demolition at the 1 EverBank Field Drive stadium.

Plans filed with the City in February showed detailed demolition notes for 32 areas, including the head coach's office and toilet and showers; assistant coaches' rooms; the general manager and the owner's locker rooms; a doctor's office; the hydro room; the rehab room; the training room and weight room; and more.

"This is just phase two of re-doing our areas," Dan Edwards, senior vice president of communications for the Jaguars, said in February. He said this week the $2.9 million project was part of the $4 million plan.

"Last year's rebuilding of the locker room was phase one," he said, explaining the pending renovations involve the areas that include the training room, rehab area, coaches' locker room, X-ray room and others.

"This is the first renovations of these areas since the stadium was built," he said.

The Jaguars recently released a new logo, pricing structure and slogan for 2013 — Stand United — to prepare for the upcoming season, in which the NFL franchise also will play the first of four annual games in London.

The team also wants almost $50 million in new video boards from the City. Jaguars executives said they hope to use creative financing, including revenue the City receives from the stadium.

According to plans filed in February, the pending round of renovations includes:

• Corridor, storage and administration work.

• Areas for the head coach, including the toilet and shower area, and for the assistant coach, strength coaches and trainers.

• X-ray room, equipment room, hydro room, doctor office, rehab room, weight room and ceiling.

• Slab demolition for electrical outlets, plumbing and piping.

• General manager and owner's locker room.

The Jaguars played their first home preseason game in the stadium on Aug. 18, 1995, marking the first time in sports history that an expansion team had played its first home game in its inaugural season in a new stadium or arena, reports

"Not only that, but it was built faster than any major league stadium had ever been built in North America," it said.

The old Gator Bowl was demolished and the new stadium built in 19 1/2 months.

In 2005, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXIX after a $63 million renovation in preparation for the event.

Corys Thunder build-out in process

The City is reviewing building plans and a permit application for the new North Jacksonville headquarters for Corys Thunder Inc., which is relocating from St. Marys, Ga.

City Council approved incentives for the project Tuesday. The company makes training simulators for nuclear power plants.

Plans show The Angelo Group of Jacksonville would build-out space at 1351 Tradeport Drive. The property ownership is 1351 Tradeport Center LLC.

Dasher Hurst Architecture is the designer.

Plans show a $465,000 project that includes 16,040 square feet of office space and 8,272 square feet of storage. The total area is 24,890 square feet.

Plans show staff offices; engineering; transportation; a power office; a kitchen; a gym area; conference room and guest office. A simulator room is shown as well.

Corys Thunder requested $297,500 in City and state incentives to relocate and expand its operations to North Jacksonville. The deal is expected to create 35 jobs at an average salary of $107,133.

Of the jobs, 31 will relocate from St. Marys and four will be new.

The facility is in the Jacksonville International Tradeport, part of the Jacksonville International Airport Community Redevelopment Area.

In the incentives request, Corys Thunder proposed to invest $450,000, comprising $400,000 in leasehold improvements and $50,000 in machinery and equipment.

The company requested incentives under the Qualified Target Industry Refund program, including a High Impact Sector Bonus, of $245,000. The City's portion is a maximum of $49,000, or 20 percent, with the state paying the remaining $196,000, or 80 percent.

The additional $52,500 comes from the state as part of a Quick Response Training grant, according to the project summary.

The company is a subsidiary of Corys T.E.S.S. in Grenoble, France, which is the largest simulator company in Europe, according to its website.

According to documents, Corys Thunder was founded in 2008 to provide engineering services and products to the simulation industry and its technology is the most widely used nuclear power plant training simulators in the U.S. and Europe.

RockTenn moving center to Southbank

RockTenn Corp.'s build-out at the duPont Center II offices on the Southbank is moving forward.

The City approved a permit this week for the $614,503 build-out by C. Harrison Construction Inc. of Callahan.

RockTenn plans to move its Regional Shared Services Center in June to 1660 Prudential Drive, No. 202, in duPont Center II. The center provides back-office functions for the company's U.S. facilities.

RockTenn is based in Norcross, Ga., and is a leading producer of corrugated and consumer packaging as well as recycled operations.

It employs about 26,000 people and operates more than 240 facilities, including a Jacksonville containerboard mill, in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and China.

The center will move from a building near its Eastport Road mill in North Jacksonville to the Southbank. The employment level is expected to remain at 70.

Building plans show tenant improvements for 12,791 square feet of space on the second floor of the four-story, 80,000-square-foot building.

Plans show space for offices and open-office areas, meeting and break areas, a mail room, a privacy room and a mother's room.

Spokeswoman Robin Keegan previously said that the majority of RockTenn's facilities are in the U.S. and the center will provide functions for those. Those functions include invoice processing, purchasing orders, invoicing for suppliers and similar functions.

"They are moving to a more modern office space to accommodate the work they do," she said.

"The reason they are looking at Downtown is there is space there that is appropriate for the work that they do and they were able to negotiate a lease that was an appropriate price for the space," she said.

Downtown jobs, especially those that might be associated with regional headquarters or financial operations, are among the targeted industries by the JAX Chamber and Mayor Alvin Brown.

RockTenn bought Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. in 2011. Smurfit-Stone has been a well-known name in the area.

In June 2010, Chicago-based Smurfit-Stone, with operations in Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after restructuring its debts during a recession that weakened demand for packaging.

RockTenn and Smurfit-Stone announced a merger agreement in January 2011 and shareholders approved it in May 2011. Smurfit-Stone became a wholly owned subsidiary of RockTenn. The North Jacksonville RockTenn Seminole containerboard mill is at 9469 Eastport Road, off Heckscher Drive.

Learning Experience construction OK'd

The Learning Experience at 8411 Southside Blvd.

The City approved construction for The Learning Experience child-education center at 11945 San Jose Blvd., No. 500, in Cormorant Park.

SE Construction Services LLC is the contractor for the 10,000-square-foot center at a project cost of $1.2 million.

RGK Mandarin LLC, whose manager is Richard Kerper, bought 1.27 acres in Cormorant Park for $640,000 and took out a $1.785 million mortgage from Branch Banking and Trust Co. for the project.

The Learning Experience, based in Boca Raton, intends to have up to eight child-education centers operating by the end of 2013 in Northeast Florida for children from infancy through kindergarten.

The company currently operates one center at 8411 Southside Blvd.

It has filed plans for two more, has another two in "pre-development" and intends to open at least three in addition to those.

The Cormorant Park plans show it can accommodate 173 children, 18 teachers and two office staff members. The playground is 5,000 square feet. The design firm is Lima Architecture LLC of Boca Raton

The eight locations opened, in progress or under review are:

• A center operating at 8411 Southside Blvd.

• The construction at 11945 San Jose Blvd., No. 500. Plans show care for infants, starting at 6 weeks up to kindergarten age. Kerper, of Clearwater, is shown as the owner.

• Plans filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District show a proposed 10,000-square-foot center along Oakleaf Village Parkway. OLV2H LLC, whose managing member is Colonial Capital LLC, is the project applicant and Michael Antonopoulos LLC is listed as the land development consultant. Colonial Capital's managers are John Foshee and Jan M. Jones III. Plans show the building along with a 5,000-square-foot playground. The development is part of The Village Center Phase 2.

• The Learning Experience website,, shows another center is "coming soon" along Old St. Augustine Road.

• Learning Experience representatives say another is in pre-development in River City Marketplace in North Jacksonville.

• Representatives say one is planned along the Beach Boulevard area toward the Beaches.

• They say another is planned along the County Road 210 corridor in St. Johns County.

• And "there has to be one more somewhere," said Kerper, who is working with The Learning Experience.

In a previous interview, Scott Breault, assistant vice president of marketing and branding with The Learning Experience, said there is "a growing need for formal child care. Statistics show roughly 10 million families out there do not have formal child care."

"There is a huge need for child care and early education and that has fueled our rapid expansion," Breault said.

"We are not baby sitters. We believe in the value of educating children ages 6 weeks to kindergarten age."

Kerper said the company targets areas that have, within five miles, average incomes of at least $75,000 and at least 7,500 children under the age of 6.

The Learning Experience has expanded to more than 200 locations opened or under construction in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado and Virginia.

Breault said The Learning Experience has 112 centers opened, including 16 in Florida.

Siemens expansion OK'd

The City approved expansion plans for Siemens at its Flagler Center offices in Southside.

Siemens intends to complete the project by June and add more than 30 jobs, boosting its workforce there to more than 100.

The City approved plans for the Siemens Phase II project in 15,091 square feet of space at 12735 Gran Bay Parkway W., No. 150.

C. Harrison Construction Inc. of Callahan is the contractor for the $352,416 project for interior alterations and repairs.

Siemens opened at the site with fewer than 10 employees in 2007-08 and now has a staff of about 70, said Jil Shingledecker, communications manager with Siemens Infrastructure & Cities in Novato, Calif., near San Francisco.

Shingledecker previously told the Daily Record that hiring is taking place. Positions include CAD drafters, engineers, software programmers and project managers. The salary is based on position and experience. Visit

Siemens occupies about 16,000 square feet at 12735 Gran Bay Parkway. After expansion, the total square footage will be slightly more than 31,000 square feet.

Plans show open office areas, IT, meeting, training, conference and think-tank areas.

The Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector of Siemens Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of the global Siemens AG, has more than 18,000 employees.

It comprises five divisions: Building Technologies, Low and Medium Voltage, Mobility and Logistics, Rail Systems and Smart Grid.

The Jacksonville operation is part of the Mobility and Logistics division and the business unit is referred to as Rail Automation.

Shingledecker said the Jacksonville expansion is driven by railroad signaling service and rail transit projects.

"The expansion is required due to brisk growth and headcount expansion," she said.

She said the growth is driven by infrastructure investment projects across the U.S., such as light rail transit projects as well as freight, railroad investments.

Siemens AG, formed 165 years ago, provides electronics and electrical engineering for industry, energy, health care, infrastructure and cities.

It has 370,000 employees in 190 countries and Siemens reported worldwide revenue of about $78.3 billion in fiscal 2012.

Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $16.7 billion and employs about 60,000 people throughout the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

JAX Chamber topping off

The City OK'd roofing for the JAX Chamber building under renovation at 3 Independent Drive E. Downtown.

Barber & Associates Inc. is the contractor for the $106,000 project.

Craig Memorial approved

The James E. Craig Memorial was cleared for construction by the City at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport at 855 St. Johns Bluff Road N.

The memorial pavilion is planned at an existing pavilion. The engineer is Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc.

KBT Contracting Corp. will remove the existing pavilion and construct a new steel and wood pavilion on concrete slab at a project cost of $115,700.

According to the Department of the Navy Naval Historical Center, James Edwin Craig was born Oct. 29, 1901, in Jacksonville and appointed to the Naval Academy on July 3, 1918.

“After graduation in 1922, he saw almost continuous sea duty until early 1929, when he received aviation training at the Pensacola Naval Air Station,” it said.

Craig attained the rank of lieutenant commander in 1937 and commanded Torpedo Squadron 5 in 1938.

In March 1939 he assumed command of the USS Conyngham. Two years later he became damage control officer and first lieutenant aboard USS Pennsylvania.

Lt. Cmdr. Craig was killed in action Dec. 7, 1941, during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

In November 2010, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority said it would rename three of its airports as part of a marketing campaign to bring more business to the city’s four airports.

Craig Airport was renamed the Jacksonville Executive Airport. The authority said it was looking for opportunities to put Craig’s name on other venues at the airport.

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