SunGard expanding on Downtown Southbank

By: 
Nov. 6, 2015
SunGard, which calls itself one of the world’s leading financial software companies, is expanding to another floor at the Prudential Building on the Downtown Southbank.SunGard occupies the 11th floor and is expanding onto the 10th floor of the 19-story structure at 701 San Marco Blvd. The expansion just about doubles its office space in the tower to more than 55,000 square feet.
Building plans approved in October indicate the additional floor can accommodate about 250 jobs or more.It appears to be the second phase of an expansion it announced in 2013, which the city supported by approving $204,000 in tax refunds for SunGard AvantGard LLC to create up to 170 jobs.The new building plans show offices, including some executive offices; an open office area; and rooms for training, video conferencing, IT and other functions.A spokesman for SunGard, based in Wayne, Pa., did not return several emails or telephone calls to comment about the expansion.Tenant Contractors Inc. is the contractor for the project at a job cost of $700,000.SunGard is hiring employees for its Jacksonville offices. A search on its website, SunGard.com, found at least 48 job listings for Jacksonville, with the latest posted Wednesday.Job titles include technology, programming, engineering, analysis software, sales and account management.The postings say SunGard AvantGard services more than 2,000 companies in more than 40 countries. SunGard AvantGard LLC is a subsidiary of SunGard Data Systems Inc.It also has Jacksonville offices at 1660 Prudential Drive, Suite 400, according to its website. That’s the duPont Center campus.The city issued incentives to SunGard AvantGard in 2013 to move to the Prudential Building from Southside. At the time, it had 80 employees and promised to create the additional 170 jobs over three years at an average wage of $54,719 plus benefits.SunGard sought a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund of $6,000 per job, totaling $1.02 million. The city is responsible for $204,000, or 20 percent.The deal was also code-named “Project Visor.”The project summary said SunGard would lease up to 65,000 square feet in two phases. It would hire the first 120 jobs by the end of this year and another 50 by the end of 2016.The city Office of Economic Development’s 2014 annual survey found the company was well on track. It had 172 jobs at the project site at yearend, of which 92 were new hires. The 2015 survey won’t be completed until year-end.SunGard AvantGard specified in that report it was nearing capacity on the 11th floor and making plans for expansion onto another floor.Meanwhile, SunGard Data Systems agreed in August to be bought by Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Information Services Inc. for more than $9 billion. That deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.FIS spokesman Brad Fennessy said Thursday when the acquisition is completed, the company will immediately start to integrate SunGard into its system.Until then, he said FIS doesn’t have insights into SunGard’s real estate perspective.Project Revere in reviewThe city is reviewing another Downtown Southbank deal for information technology jobs that sounds similar to the SunGard expansion.Legislation was submitted for the unidentified “Project Revere,” called one of the world’s largest privately held software and technology services companies.The company would expand its existing 120-job Jacksonville operation in leased space to add at least 250 information technology jobs over five years at an average annual wage of $49,340 at Downtown Southbank offices.It seeks up to $1.25 million of a Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund, up to $80,000 in a Recapture Enhanced Value grant and up to $500,000 in a Quick Response Training Grant.The city would be responsible for $330,000, comprising $250,000 of the QTI refund and the REV grant.The state would pay $1 million of the QTI and the training grant.Project Revere says it will expand its operations in Downtown Jacksonville by investing $2.2 million, comprising $1.2 million in IT equipment and furniture and $1 million in real estate improvements.The development agreement for Revere says it would retain 120 current permanent jobs “created pursuant to the Prior Agreement.”Asked if the SunGard expansion was “Project Revere,” Office of Economic Development Executive Director Kirk Wendland said by email that Revere has requested confidentiality.“I am not able to comment one way or another, at this time,” he said.Walter Lorenz now Zimmer BiometWhat began as Walter Lorenz Surgical Inc. is now Zimmer Biomet.Here’s how that happened.Jacksonville-based Walter Lorenz Surgical, a maker of surgical instruments for facial and cranial surgery, was bought in 1992 by Biomet Inc., based in Warsaw, Ind., and in 2007 became known as Biomet Microfixation.Zimmer Holdings Inc., also based in Warsaw, bought Biomet in June for about $14 billion and renamed it Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc.New “Zimmer Biomet” signs are going up at the Lorenz site at 1520 Tradeport Drive in Jacksonville International Tradeport.As for the Jacksonville founder, Walter Lorenz was a German immigrant who came to the country in 1959. He built the Jacksonville surgical-instrument company and made more than 10,000 instruments for jaw and skull surgery.His name will live on. His experience led him to establish the Walter Lorenz Endowed Scholarship Fund in 1990 at the University of Florida to assist students enrolled in the university’s maxillofacial surgery residency program.Lorenz was named an honorary alumnus of the University of Florida in 1991 and died two years later, at the age of 62, from complications of diabetes.Gate to start Collins constructionGate Petroleum Co. expects to start construction in December on its Gate store in Southwest Jacksonville at 7099 Collins Road.Construction on the 6,400-square-foot convenience store and gas station should be completed by June. It will include 20 fueling positions, including for non-ethanol fuel, and a soft-cloth automatic car wash.The city is reviewing permits for the project, totaling a job cost of almost $2.6 million. A contractor should be chosen in three weeks, according to Gate.Jacksonville-based Gate is building the store near a new Walmart Supercenter. The site is at Collins Road and Interstate 295.Food notes• The closed buffet restaurant at 9569 Regency Square Blvd. N. is being demolished for construction of a Zaxby’s to replace the existing smaller Zaxby’s next door. The new Zaxby’s should be open early next year. Meanwhile, ground was broken for the new Zaxby’s location at 6707 Commonwealth Ave.  Auld & White Constructors LLC is the contractor for both.• Brixx Wood Fired Pizza will open its first Florida location next summer at the 220 Riverside development. Carrie Smith, regional managing partner, and Katy Figg, associate of retail leasing, at the Franklin Street real estate company represented Brixx in the deal. The 3,714-square-foot restaurant, with another 1,400-square-foot outdoor patio, will be on the first floor near Sbraga & Company and HOBNOB. Juna Partners LLC is the franchisee for Brixx, a concept based in Charlotte, N.C., with 31 restaurants in the Southeast.• Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, with at least 13 locations in the Jacksonville area, wants to build-out a 1,745-square-foot location at 9965 San Jose Blvd., No. 46. Dakenna Development is the contractor for the $178,000 project. The city also has issued two sign permits for the site. Plans also were filed recently for Dakenna to build-out a Jimmy John’s in the Regency Pointe shopping center.• Starbucks wants to remodel its shop at 7153 Philips Highway. It’s an estimated $60,000 project.• The city is reviewing construction plans for the proposed Element bistro, bar and lounge and Myth nightclub at 333 E. Bay St. Downtown. It’s shown as a $90,000 renovation of 3,600 square feet for a restaurant, bars, kitchen, club and other functions. Davis & Associates Builders Inc. is the contractor. It formerly housed the Club TSI Discotheque and is under redevelopment by Nightlife Innovations Inc.• The Walmart Neighborhood Market in the West Beaches area is scheduled to open Wednesday at 1650 San Pablo Road. It will be the sixth Neighborhood Market to open in the area since June 2013.kmathis@jaxdailyrecord.com@MathisKb(904) 356-2466