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Microsoft is preparing to open at St. Johns Town Center.
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Nov. 21, 201312:00 PM EST

Microsoft opens Friday, to give $1M to nonprofits


Microsoft Corp. will make $1 million in software grants to area nonprofits Friday when it opens its first Jacksonville store at St. Johns Town Center.

Microsoft said Wednesday grant recipients are:

• YMCA of Florida's First Coast — $350,000

• The United Way of Northeast Florida — $250,000

• Youth Crisis Center — $250,000

• Community Connections of Jacksonville — $150,000

The store at 4791 River City Drive, Suite 113, will open at 11 a.m. Friday, but the line starts forming at 5 a.m.

Arriving by 5 a.m. puts people in line for the opening, where two tickets each will be distributed to the first 1,500 customers for a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performance Saturday.

The grand-opening ceremonies start at 10:30 a.m., when Larry Hryb, Microsoft director of Xbox Programming, will present the software grants.

On Saturday, the line starts at 10 a.m. for the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performance at the Town Center. The gates open at noon and the performance starts at 2 p.m. in the parking lot near Dick's Sporting Goods.

Microsoft's store hours will be 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

The St. Johns Town Center promotes the Microsoft retail store as "your destination to see and experience everything Microsoft has to offer," including Microsoft Surface – a touchscreen tablet with a cover that doubles as a keyboard.

"You'll also find Windows 8 PCs, Xbox 360, Kinect, Windows Phones, and more," it says.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., lists 78 retail stores in 31 states, obviously making a push to compete with Apple stores.

Apple lists more than 250 stores in 44 states and the District of Columbia on its website.

Apple was one of the original stores at the St. Johns Town Center when it opened in 2005.

Microsoft suggests customers follow the Microsoft Store Facebook Page and Microsoft Store on Twitter for details about the grand opening.

The Cove becomes The Palazzo on St. Johns

Developers announced Wednesday that the unfinished condo project in Baymeadows along Goodby's Lake will be renamed The Palazzo on St. Johns and be ready for move-in in March.

It was formerly known as The Cove at St. Johns.

The sales center will open Dec. 2 at 3958 Baymeadows Road for the up to 86 units among four buildings.

Developers said the gated community will offer floor plans ranging from 2,000 to 3,400 heated square feet.

Three-bedroom plans start in the $400,000s, three-bedroom-plus-study plans start from the $500,000s and there also will be a limited number of penthouses that start from the $800,000s.

Each condo will offer a private elevator landing.

The Marketing Directors firm will lead sales efforts. David Tufts is president.

Developers say the project will capitalize on its connection to the St. Johns River by offering residents access to a private boardwalk and marina featuring a dock with boat slips, a kayak launch and an outdoor recreation area.

There also will be a pool, a waterfront recreational area with an outdoor kitchen, as well as an electric vehicle charging station and a fitness center.

Project leaders are Prospect Real Estate Group, Forge Capital Partners and The Marketing Directors.

For information, visit

Real estate deals picking up

Colliers International Northeast Florida brokers Robert Selton, Bart Hinson and Guy Preston, who represented property owner DBSB 2 Inc. in the $3.5 million sale of a Western Way building to Conser Properties LLC, say the office and industrial markets are improving.

The almost 290,000-square-foot office-warehouse building was sold to the Conser, which is relocating its Mayflower moving agency from leased space in West Jacksonville to the 8451 Western Way building in Baymeadows.

Duval County property and Clerk of Court records show the structure was built in 1968 and at one time had been owned by Bellsouth Telecommunications Inc.

Selton is CEO and principal of Colliers International Northeast Florida, Hinson is senior associate and Preston is vice president. Ladson Montgomery and Bobby Gatling of Newmark Grubb Phoenix Realty Group represented Conser in the deal.

The Colliers brokers said the building, which DBSB owned as an investment property, had been on the market for at least three years and acquisition by an owner that will occupy it is a good sign.

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