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Jax Daily Record Friday, May 4, 201805:30 AM EST

Suntrust Tower: 'The shiny new penny'

Downtown building attracting tenants after $2 million renovation.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

After about $2 million in improvements, SunTrust Tower at 76 S. Laura St. is Downtown’s most-recently renovated Class A office space.

“We are the shiny new penny,” said Celeste MacDonald, on-site property manager for the building’s owner, Mainstreet Capital Partners Inc.

SunTrust Tower has a new fitness center for tenants that’s open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Fort Lauderdale-based company purchased the building three years ago for $31.1 million and then invested about $2 million for  mechanical improvements, renovation of the common areas and restrooms and installation of amenities.

Colliers International Senior Vie President Chuck Diebel said long-term tenants are expanding their presence and interest in the building from prospective tenants has been growing.

The Morgan & Morgan law firm expanded its space by about 25 percent, now occupying more than two floors, and two law firms relocating from other Downtown addresses have recently signed leases.

Also moving in is Wingard, a marketing and public relations agency that’s outfitting about 5,000 square feet of space.

“We’ve got the skyline views and you can see the river from just about anywhere in the building,” Diebel said.

The new lounge has WiFi and is available for tenants who want to take a break from their office and work in a different environment.

The building has a new conference center available to tenants for large meetings and seminars, as well as a new fitness center with lockers and showers that’s open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday for people who work in the building.

There’s a lounge area with Wi-Fi that allows people to leave their offices and have a change of scenery while remaining productive and on-site.

“It can make people more efficient while they’re still in the building. The work experience isn’t just sitting at your desk anymore,” Diebel said.

He said such amenities weren’t imagined when he got into the commercial real estate business 20 years ago, but they have become practically a requirement.

“The millenials have changed how we look at work,” Diebel said. “Having these amenities for tenants in the building makes the companies more competitive when they’re recruiting.”

MacDonald said additional improvements are planned, such as completing refurbishment of the elevator landings.

“As more tenants move in, we will continue to enhance the common areas,” she said.

Some floors at SunTrust Tower offer nearly 20,000 square feet of Class-A office space ready for build-out with east, south and west views of the Downtown skyline and St. Johns River.


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