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Marc and Nicole Padgett bought 1000 Riverside Ave. in late 2014 and have invested more than $2 million in renovations.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Dec. 18, 201512:00 PM EST

Summit Tower gains GHG Insurance headquarters

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In October 2014, Marc and Nicole Padgett bought 1000 Riverside Ave. for $3 million, intending to restore the structure to Class A status.

They have invested more than $2 million into upgrading three floors for their corporate and business offices, renovating other levels, adding new windows and repainting the building.

They now call it the Summit Tower and put their corporate business name, Summit Contracting Group Inc., on the top of the nine-story building in lights.

“We bought this for our business. That was the motivation,” said Marc Padgett.

Formerly based in Southside, they looked at sites in Downtown, San Marco and Riverside, he said.

“We love it,” he said of the tower.

And being in Riverside near Downtown works well. “It’s great to be a part of it.”

It’s filling up, too.

On Wednesday, the city issued a permit for Summit Contracting Group to renovate part of the fifth floor for the headquarters of GHG Insurance, a division of Sihle Insurance Group.

The permit allows a $355,000 renovation of 4,827 square feet of space.

GHG will relocate a few blocks from Park Place at Riverside, at 751 Oak St., to the fifth floor of Summit Tower.

The company now leases less than 4,000 square feet of space on the first and part of the second floor at Park Place, where it has operated since 2004. The move includes GHG’s wholly owned HPB Insurance division, known as Haynes, Peters & Bond Co.

GHG founder Tim Gaskin said the 21 employees should move into fifth-floor space at Summit Tower by the first of February.

GHG Insurance LLC is led by managing members Gaskin, Bill Hardaker and Roger Gibson, who formed the group in 2004.

The company is a full-service independent insurance agency providing personal and business insurance, as well as commercial property and casualty coverage.

Gaskin said GHG wanted to consolidate into larger space on one floor. He said his company tried to buy a nearby building, but the deal didn’t work out.

“There’s not a whole lot available in Riverside,” Gaskin said.

That put the Summit Tower in a positive position for tenants looking for space in the redeveloping area near Downtown.

Padgett Premiere Properties LLC, led by the Padgetts, bought the more than 81,000-square-foot Riverside Avenue structure built in 1963 from First Professionals Insurance Co. Inc.

It acquired the property along with two more parking lots.

The Padgett companies completely renovated and now occupy the sixth through eighth floors.

The first and top penthouse floors are vacant but not for lease as the Padgetts decide what to do with them.

Tenants from the first floor were moved to the second. GHG Insurance and another tenant will share the fifth floor.

The fourth floor has two interested tenants who each want to lease the entire floor.

The third floor is being converted into executive office suites that Padgett said is tentatively called Summit Tower Suites. It will include 28 offices, two conference rooms, a lounge, coffee bar and work areas.

“The reason we decided to turn them into executive office suites is we had so many people interested in that,” said Nicole Padgett. No agreements have been signed yet.

Marc Padgett is president of Summit Contracting Group and was appointed by Mayor Lenny Curry to the Downtown Investment Authority through June 30, 2018.

Nicole Padgett is vice president and chief administrative officer of the company and was appointed by Curry to the Planning Commission for a term expiring Sept. 30, 2018.

Marc Padgett said the ninth-floor space provides widespread views of the city. He said if a restaurant leases space on the first floor, it could turn the top-floor space into a complementary use.

When the popular Two Doors Down restaurant closed in November along nearby Park Street, speculation circulated owner Norm Abraham might consider re-opening the business at 1000 Riverside Ave.

Padgett said he has talked with Abraham about space in Summit Tower, but nothing more. “As far as I know, Norm is retiring,” he said.

Padgett said while he always is interested in a good idea, he is not in the development business, so more acquisitions are not in the plan.

“The building was a good buy,” he said.

“It will truly be a Class A building,” said Rob Crowe, division manager of Summit Commercial Group.

“There is an energy. Riverside is a cool place to be,” he said.

GE Transportation moving to Lakeside

GE Transportation expects to relocate about 14 employees from a Belfort Road office to Lakeside Two in Flagler Center in February.

Tenant Contractors Inc. plans to renovate about 4,000 square feet of office space at 12740 Gran Bay Parkway W. at a cost of almost $200,000, according to the building permit.

Plans show offices, an open office area, and video conference, data, copy and break rooms.

Spokeswoman Clarissa Beyah-Taylor said the targeted completion date is Feb. 26.

GE Transportation’s Signaling business was sold to Alstom in November. Alstom remains at 4901 Belfort Road, Suite 150, in Liberty Business Park.

The relocating employees are part of the services team that will remain employees of GE Transportation.

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