In a sign of a firming economy, Pattillo Industrial Real Estate will start construction on a $6 million speculative 237,000-square-foot building in Westside Industrial Park.
“We hope to provide a home for a new business (moving) to town or expansion of an existing business,” said Peter Anderson, Pattillo vice president.
Anderson said site construction will start before the end of January.
He did not announce any tenants.
Speculative industrial warehouse development tanked during the recession, although developers have wanted to see a market for more.
In July, developer Bill Spinner landed a permit for a speculative 70,512-square-foot industrial building in North Jacksonville at the Port Jax Trade Center.
At the time, he said it was the first speculative industrial building of any significance developed since 2009.
Anderson said he had no prospects to discuss for the Westside Industrial Park building, which could be used for a single tenant or split to accommodate two.
“Prospect activity is lukewarm but we are betting it will warm up by the time the building is completed in June,” he said.
Anderson said the building will have a 32-foot interior clearance, oversized trucking areas and 60 truck doors, which would be designed to attract tenants similar to those at the park, such as Kraft Foods, BMW and Owens & Minor.
In September, Pattillo submitted plans to the city and the St. Johns River Water Management District for the building at 4948 Bulls Bay Highway.
Construction could take six months. Houston Engineering Inc. is the civil engineer for the project.
Pattillo owns more than 7 million square feet of industrial space in Jacksonville, which Anderson said makes it the owner of the largest industrial real estate portfolio in North Florida.
2 Family Dollars in process
Site plans were filed with the city for proposed Family Dollar stores in West Jacksonville.
One is at Lane Avenue South and Hyde Grove Avenue and the other is at 2525 W. Beaver St., at Beaver and McDuff Avenue.
They would join about 50 Family Dollar stores that operate in Northeast Florida and several more are planned.
Body Central issues layoff notice
Jacksonville-based Body Central Corp., which has closed all its fashion retail stores, filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the state Jan. 12 that it was laying off 132 jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services industry effective Jan. 9.
An attorney for Body Central said Jan. 9 that the company was going out of business after failing to find additional capital.
The company said that week it was facing severe liquidity issues that could force it to file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Instead, it turned its business over to a firm that specializes in workout situations to handle the liquidation.
Proceeds will be turned over to creditors.
The fashion retailer, which focused on fashion for young women, decided to close its remaining 265 stores and sell off the inventory. It had employed about 2,500 workers.
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