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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Aug. 15, 201909:43 AM EST

SoFi subleasing space at Town Center Two; Web.com no longer needs entire building

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San Francisco-based lending company that matches Project Quail will take fifth floor of building along Gate Parkway.

A tenant is coming to Southside that pledges to hire 300 employees by year-end 2021.

SoFi, the California-based personal loan products company that matches the 300-job Project Quail, executed a lease this week to sublease in the Town Center Two building at 5335 Gate Parkway. 

SoFi will lease the 37,000-square-foot fifth floor of the six-story building, which is across Butler Boulevard from St. Johns Town Center.

SoFi has not responded to requests for comment.

“This is a great coup for Jacksonville as they looked at several other cities and obviously it’s a good win for the building as we competed against several other options in the area,” said a statement Thursday from Newmark Phoenix Realty Group, the company representing the sublease space.

The building was developed for lease to Jacksonville-based Web.com. The statement said Web.com downsized to the first three floors and made the top three available for sublease.

The SoFi floor is the first to be subleased.

SoFi will share signage on the building with Web.com, Newmark Phoenix Realty said.

Web.com said in 2017 it would take the entire building for its 1,000 Jacksonville employees. It now says it only needs half of the building.

“It’s a significant win,” Newmark Phoenix Realty Group said of SoFi. “It’s several hundred jobs and a nice growing IT company right here in Jacksonville.”

Newmark Phoenix Realty Group referred to SoFi as Project Quail.

In a 19-0 vote, City Council members adopted Resolution 2019-0491-A on Tuesday to support tax incentives and authorize an economic development agreement with Project Quail, whose identity was not disclosed in the legislation or the agreement.

Mayor Lenny Curry signed the legislation.

SoFi matches the description of Project Quail, “an international web-based financial services company” that offers “various personal loan products,” according to a city legislative fact sheet.

Quail considered Jacksonville along with a few other cities for a Southeast Operations Center and regional headquarters that would create at least 300 full-time jobs by the end of 2021.

The average annual wage is $54,941 plus benefits. 

It sought a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund of $5,000 per job, totaling $1.5 million. The city would refund $300,000, or 20 percent, and the state would provide the remainder, $1.2 million.

Quail would invest an estimated $5.5 million into real estate improvements, IT equipment, furniture and fixtures to create the company’s regional headquarters in Jacksonville.

Legislation did not specify a location.

A city spokesman said Wednesday that Curry will sign the economic development agreement after it is signed by the company. 

He declined to identify the company until the agreement was signed.

VanTrust Real Estate developed the six-story, 217,877-square-foot Town Center Two building for lease to Web.com, which said it would relocate its headquarters from Flagler Center.

Web.com said in 2017 it would take the entire building for its 1,000 Jacksonville employees.

Web.com was acquired last year by affiliates of private equity firm Siris Capital Group. 

It moved into Town Center Two in the spring. In July Web.com said it was looking into subleasing the three open floors, but did not say how many employees it moved into the three floors it is using. 

Web.com has not responded to questions about how many employees it has in Jacksonville.

“Web.com’s commitment to Jacksonville remains unchanged. We have a new senior management team committed to leading and servicing Web.com here in Jacksonville,” it said in a statement.

Itreferred questions about the building space to Newmark.

SoFi, based in San Francisco, has been hiring for a Jacksonville call center. SoFi is short for Social Finance Inc.

At SoFi.com, the company is posting for job titles that include senior director of DevOps; technical support analyst; consumer loan reviewer; executive assistant; financial crimes investigator; associate manager of financial crimes, fraud detection and prevention; and trainer.

The Trainer I listing said trainers “facilitate the new hire and skills-based training to the front-line call center agents in all the product lines SoFi offers,” it said.

SoFi says its more than 700,000 members use its products “for borrowing, saving, spending, investing, and protecting.”

It says its lending businesses have originated more than $42 billion among personal loan, student loan and home loan products.

JAX Chamber declined comment about SoFi.

 

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