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Gov. Rick Scott welcomed Macquarie to Jacksonville as it opened a financial services center in Riverplace Tower on the Downtown Southbank in 2016. It now wants to add 50 jobs with the help of city and state incentives.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, May 9, 201712:00 PM EST

Macquarie incentives add 50 jobs

Permit in review for Southbank expansion

It appears to be all systems go for Macquarie Holdings USA Inc. to expand its financial services offices from the fifth floor onto the fourth floor at Riverplace Tower.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee signed off Monday on the introduction of legislation for a city-state incentives package for $250,000 for Macquarie to locate its Corporate Operations Group in Jacksonville and create 50 jobs.

“If we approve this, they are going to do it,” said Office of Economic Development Executive Director Kirk Wendland on Monday.

He was responding to city Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa, who asked Wendland whether Macquarie still was evaluating the move or was going to expand here.

Legislation could be introduced to City Council on May 23.

A project summary said Jacksonville was competing with Gurugram, India, for the new business unit.

The unit would be a shared services center that provides human resource and business services to support Macquarie’s global operations.

The 50 jobs would pay an average $56,160 a year, plus benefits, and would be created by year-end.

Macquarie seeks $250,000 in a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund, of which the city would pay $50,000 and the state $200,000.

The taxes would be refunded after they are paid and the jobs and salaries are verified by the state.

Macquarie would invest about $1.7 million in tenant improvements, purchase of IT equipment, furniture and fixtures, according to a legislative fact sheet about the project. It would be built within Riverplace Tower on the Downtown Southbank.

Wendland said Macquarie, which was approved in 2015 for incentives to open a finance and accounting shared services facility in Jacksonville, was on track to create the 123 jobs it pledged in that deal to create by the end of this year.

The company employs 102 people at an average wage of $64,356, the fact sheet said.

“Macquarie has met or exceeded all the benchmarks associated with their 2015 project,” the summary said.

The city previously reported that Macquarie created 92 positions as of Dec. 31 at an average wage of $82,456. That’s more than the 86 jobs that the city said were required to be created by then — and higher than the projected average wage of $64,356.

The Australia-based financial services company opened in Jacksonville in February 2016 on the fifth floor of the Southbank tower at 1301 Riverplace Blvd. and already had leased the fourth story in anticipation of growth. Now it’s moving into about half of that floor.

A permit application and plans under city review show that Brasfield & Gorrie LLC is the contractor for the $850,000 project to demolish the interior of 8,500 square feet of space.

A company spokesman in New York previously declined comment about the expansion, the number of employees in Jacksonville or plans to hire more.

However, Macquarie Jacksonville jobs posted online recently include positions in tax accounting, financial control, financial accounting, product control, regulatory reporting, compliance analyst and financial analyst.

The global financial-services company started with 60 employees on the fifth floor and anticipated reaching 135 employees this year.

However, the two floors can accommodate 250.

Macquarie executives and city and business leaders announced in July 2015 the company had chosen Jacksonville as a global banking shared-services office.

The team provides finance, accounting, tax and regulatory support and other services to Macquarie functions in the U.S. and in some European markets.

Its U.S. headquarters is in New York and it has offices around the country.

Macquarie initially leased about 17,500 square feet on the fifth floor at Riverplace Tower.

For those first 123 jobs, the City Council approved taxpayer incentives of $393,600, comprising a Qualified Target Industry grant of up to $147,600 and a training grant up to $246,000.

Macquarie also requested $1.37 million from the state, consisting of the QTI match of up to $590,400, a Quick Action Closing Fund up to $500,000 and a Quick Response Training Grant up to $282,900.

Macquarie said for the first incentives that it expected to invest $2.2 million into improving its leased space. Adding in IT, equipment and furniture boosts that to at least $3.1 million.

It has invested more than $3 million into the Riverplace Tower offices.

$42M Hines apartments OK’d

What are called the Southside apartments at the new Southside Quarter won permitting approvals Friday at a construction cost of $44.2 million.

Summit Contracting Group Inc. will build the 306-unit project on 10.56 acres at 7385 Park Village Drive.

The Hines international real estate firm is the developer. The project comprises six apartment buildings, three parking garages, a clubhouse, mail box and dog spa building and maintenance and car-wash building.

The units comprise 150 one-, 132-two and 24 three-bedroom units.

Hines is developing the 105-acre mixed-use Southside Quarter along Gate Parkway at Interstate 295 and Butler Boulevard.

The apartments will be the first construction at the site.

Along with the apartments, Hines plans office, hotel, commercial, housing and other spaces. The international real estate firm said office sites in the first phase include up to two 125,000-square-foot buildings with signage opportunities and parking.

The development is at southwest I-295 and Butler Boulevard, south of St. Johns Town Center.

It set up the site to provide more information.

In October, Hines paid $20 million for the site, which the Duval County Property Appraiser’s Office calculated at nearly 69 acres.

A Hines spokesman said Monday there was nothing final to release.

Mayport center demo to make way for assisted living

Realco Recycling Co. landed city approval to tear down the former Food Lion-anchored shopping center in the Mayport area in preparation for an assisted living development.

The 70,000-square-foot center occupies an 8.3-acre site at 701 Mayport Crossing Blvd., where Fleet Landing seeks rezoning to build the assisted-living uses.

It owns the property through Naval Continuing Care Retirement Foundation Inc. and Future Landing LLC.

Fleet Landing seeks City Council approval to rezone the property to include assisted living facilities and limited nursing facilities.

An exhibit filed with Ordinance 2017-312 shows three connected buildings in the complex, which is immediately north of Mayport Crossing Boulevard from the Fleeting Landing campus.

Fleet Landing, a retirement community, bought the retail property in two purchases since August 2014. Fleet Landing and the property are in Atlantic Beach.

Fleet Landing offers independent and assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitative services.

JU approved for Downtown build-out

Jacksonville University is closer to opening a Downtown campus now that the city approved a permit for Emerald C’s Development Inc. to renovate the 18th floor at SunTrust Tower for the university.

The permit allows a $120,000 renovation of the 12,280-square-foot space at the 76 S. Laura St. tower.

The Arlington-based university wants to move graduate programs in the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences into the space. The permit application shows four classrooms, offices, conference space, collaboration rooms, open cubicles, IT workspace and a kitchen. Plans also show offices for JU health care and nursing directors and coordinators.

A JU spokesman said previously there were ongoing internal discussions about possibly offering graduate programs there by the Davis College of Business.

JU said 30 faculty and staff members would provide courses to about 100 students taking day and evening classes.

The Downtown Investment Authority agreed to lend JU $274,000 for costs associated with tenant improvements and capital expenditures. The loan will be forgiven at the rate of 3.45 percent per month over the course of the initial 29-month term of the lease.

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