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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jan. 29, 201910:15 AM EST

JEA says it won't select new headquarters site until April

Three development groups will present their plans Tuesday.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

The JEA board of directors will not select a new location for the company’s corporate headquarters until April.

A corporate email sent to employees Tuesday outlines a new schedule for the utility that pushes a final decision to the week of April 8, two months after it was scheduled to consider making a choice.

“This additional time will allow for a public review period of the Public Information Package, sufficient time to vet each proposal and fully negotiate a Best and Final Offer in the best interest of JEA and the public, and accommodation of JEA’s Board scheduling needs,” the email states.

JEA board Chair Alan Howard did not return a call for comment.

On Jan. 8, JEA received six submissions from interested parties. That list was narrowed to three finalists Jan. 22. 

The board of directors will meet Tuesday for presentations from the finalists:

• Ryan Companies US Inc. seeks to either redevelop JEA’s existing campus at 21 W. Church St. or build nearby at 325 W. Adams St. on the Northbank.

•  Kings Avenue Station P3 LLC, led by Mike Balanky, would develop property he owns near Kings Avenue Station at 1201 Kings Ave. on the Southbank.

• Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan and The Cordish Companies are seeking JEA as its corporate anchor for the Lot J development near TIAA Bank Field.

JEA anticipated that a decision might have been made at that meeting.

Bid details were not made public to comply with JEA’s procurement code, which requires a 30-day “cone of silence” period.

JEA plans to release an information package about the proposals by Friday on That package will not include proprietary information.

According to JEA, the package will include “an excerpt of the original submittal” with an overview of each firm’s team, site location and building solution design and will not include new information for JEA to evaluate.

The JEA email states that “the package will not include financial ability, pricing information or legal terms and conditions.”

While the three groups will present their proposals to the board of directors Tuesday, the deadline for what the utility company calls “Best and Final Offers or Final Replies” was moved to March 11.

A board meeting will be scheduled for the week of April 8 to make a final selection.

“JEA and our project consultant, CBRE, will continue to clarify, refine and negotiate to gain further understanding of the responses during this additional time,” the email states.

Real estate firm CBRE is leading the search on JEA’s behalf.

In October, JEA solicited bids from development groups who wanted to partner with the public water, electric and wastewater utility to build a new corporate campus.

JEA executives say its 19-story tower and adjacent customer service building, built in 1962 at 21 W. Church St., are obsolete, too big and not ideal for its 836 corporate employees.

The utility wants a new office to be 200,000 square feet where it would combine corporate operations and a customer service center.

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