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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Apr. 11, 201805:40 AM EST

Love’s Travel Stops to open near Baldwin

New Pilot Express planned on I-295.

Love’s Travel Stops expects to start construction next year in far West Jacksonville, near  Baldwin.

The 10,000-square-foot store is planned on 17 acres at northwest Interstate 10 and U.S. 301. It will create about 50 jobs.

It will have 10 gas pumps and eight diesel pumps.

In December, the Oklahoma-based company said it intends to open the store, its second in the area, by early 2020.

A spokeswoman said the travel stop will open when intersection improvements are completed.

The chain opened a store in May 2015 at 400 Pecan Park Road off I-95 north of Jacksonville International Airport.

The spokeswoman said the company does not disclose the investment for specific locations. The average investment for a new Love’s Travel Stop is $11 million. 

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores operates more than 430 locations in 41 states, including 15 in Florida.

The Pecan Park Road store opened with Chester’s Chicken and Subway restaurants. It also features seven showers, 82 truck parking spaces, a Love’s Truck Tire Care center, cardless fueling and CAT Scales for weighing trucks.

Love’s has not determined which restaurants will open at the new stop.

Critical Alert Systems relocating

Critical Alert Systems Inc., which provides nurse-call systems for hospitals and health care centers, will relocate from 5343 Bowden Road about 3 miles south to Liberty Business Park at 4901 Belfort Road, No. 130.

Jacksonville-based Critical Alert Systems wants to build-out about 15,800 square feet of office space, according to a pending building permit application.

Plans show offices, a conference room, training, an open office area, production, warehouse space, shipping and more.

“We needed more modern space with more open floor plans, meeting space, staging areas” and other uses, spokesman Joshua Troop said in an email.

Troop said the company had a couple of reasons for the move.

The first is to make more efficient use of space “and to be in a more central, professional location with better access to amenities like lodging and entertainment. “

Also, he said, “the move allows us to ‘reboot’ the environment for our employees with an open, modern workspace that is more conducive to our company’s culture of cooperation, collaboration and support.”

Critical Alert employs almost 100 people, with about 25 working remotely across the country. The 75 Jacksonville staff members will be relocating to the new offices.

Troop said Critical Alert, which has been based in Jacksonville for 30 years, will develop, manufacture, market, sell and support next-generation nurse call and clinical communication solutions to the U.S. health care system.

He said Critical Alert expects to occupy the space in June. 

“This space enables the company to increase and modernize our office space for our ever-expanding software development and hardware engineering teams as well as offer more square footage for our administration, production, quality assurance and technical support functions,” he said.

Critical Alert will be relocating from an almost 35,000-square-foot standalone building it leases.

NAI Hallmark was hired by the owner to sell the building, which says has 20,000 square feet of office space, remodeled in 2006, and 15,000 square feet of warehouse space with three loading doors.

Troop said the Bowden Road location included a large, undeveloped warehouse on the north side of the building that was not being used.

Because it is concrete, the cost to renovate it “with exterior windows and access points, interior finishes, electrical, plumbing and HVAC would be too prohibitive from a cost standpoint,” Troop said.

The company also was concerned about how a prolonged renovation project would affect the workforce in terms of comfort and inconvenience.

Pilot Express to develop along I-295

A Pilot Express travel center is closer to development along Interstate 295 north of Jacksonville.

Pilot Express is part of Pilot Travel J, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Pilot Travel J is considering a 6,248-square-foot express convenience store and fueling center on about 5.7 acres at 3515 Zoo Parkway, west of I-295. 

The Pilot Express is smaller than the typical Pilot Travel centers.

The St. Johns River Water Management District is reviewing a permit application for the project and the city is reviewing permit applications for the building, fueling canopies and dumpster enclosure totaling almost $1.6 million.

Pilot J caters to commuters, truckers and the neighborhood with fuel, food outlets, retail goods, a tire center and other amenities.

Plans filed with the Jacksonville Planning Commission show more than 50 spaces for cars and 29 truck spaces.

A spokeswoman said previously that as a private company, Pilot Flying J does not disclose details of its new business developments.

The Zoo Parkway property is owned by Duval Partners LLC and the applicant is Connelly & Wicker Inc.

The commission previously approved a minor modification with conditions, including lighting levels, to the property’s Planned Unit Development.

Pilot Travel J says on its website it has more than 750 Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers in 43 states and six Canadian provinces.

They offer services to the public and truckers, including fuel, food, showers and laundry facilities. 

Pilot Flying J operates three centers in Northeast Florida — in Northwest Jacksonville at 4075 Jones Branch Blvd., at 1050 U.S. 301 S. in Baldwin and 1625 County Road 210 W. in St. Johns County.

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