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Jax Daily Record Friday, Apr. 16, 202105:10 AM EST

The JAXUSA outlook for 2021

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JAXUSA Partnership President Aundra Wallace speaks to the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Northeast Florida Chapter.

JAXUSA Partnership President Aundra Wallace spoke March 31 to the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Northeast Florida Chapter. JAXUSA is the JAX Chamber’s economic development division that recruits companies and jobs to the city. The organization has a budget of $3.3 million and a staff of 14. Here’s are some of Wallace’s insights:

Prospects in the pipeline

Right now the team is chasing about 58 new projects that represent more than 3,300 jobs and almost $584 million of capital investment.

We’ve got about 22 projects that are very hot.

E-commerce and advanced manufacturing will remain active and remain strong this year.

We think there is a great opportunity for us in the biotech and life sciences.

Back to the office

As the vaccine continues to roll out and people come back to the office, we’ll see more significant opportunities for us in 2021.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, very few U.S. executives and employees are prepared to totally abandon the office environment.

By July, three-quarters of executives anticipate at least half of the office employees will be working in the office.

That said, you’ve got about 85% of executives expecting to make changes to their real estate strategy over the next year, including consolidating office space in premier locations, and/or opening satellite locations. 

Office opportunity

Because of company decisions to leave high-cost areas, we see tremendous opportunity, particularly in financial services and IT.

We believe there’s opportunity in the office sector and JAXUSA will be relishing the opportunity to work with our commercial brokerage industry to attract these companies.

Hybrid workplace 

Florida seems to be the top state for remote work, and we will be working with companies that are relocating here when employees may also be relocating elsewhere.

We will work to attract (the) remote workforce in addition to attracting talent for existing jobs within our region.

Too many apartments under development?

Will job recruitment and job growth fill those units? I would say yes.

They wouldn’t be building it if there weren’t numbers that dictate that they can actually fill the units.

I certainly believe that, yes, recruitment and job growth will fulfill that. 

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