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Mathis Report
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Feb. 5, 201905:00 AM EST

The Mathis Report: Cra-Z-Art will lease space at new Imeson 300

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The New Jersey company will relocate to the 300,000-square-foot warehouse now under development.

Cra-Z-Art, which was approved for incentives in November under the code name Project Buckeye, will lease Imeson 300, the VanTrust Real Estate LLC warehouse under development in North Jacksonville.

Cra-Z-Art sells activity, art and school supplies, toys and stationery products and intends to relocate manufacturing and distribution functions to the 300,000-square-foot industrial facility.

Cra-Z-Art is a division of LaRose Industries LLC, which is based in Randolph, New Jersey.

VanTrust Executive Vice President John Carey said Monday that his company has entered into an agreement with The Silverman Group of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, building when the shell is completed. That is expected late summer.

Carey said The Silverman Group has leased the building to Cra-Z-Art. Tenant build-out is separate from the shell construction.

The Silverman Group, also with offices in Palm Beach and Charlotte, North Carolina, is a family owned and operated private equity and real estate development organization. It invests in the commercial real estate and industrial sectors.

Silverman Group Vice President of Leasing Toby Nelson said Monday the deal came about because of the group’s relationship with Cra-Z-Art.

He said Cra-Z-Art had a need to relocate and was attracted to Jacksonville because of the port and the workforce.

Nelson said Cra-Z-Art will relocate manufacturing and distribution from the Midwest and New Jersey.

JAXUSA Partnership confirmed at a Dec. 13 meeting that Project Buckeye is Cra-Z-Art.

Cra-Z-Art proposes to hire 21 full-time management and administration employees in Jacksonville by year-end 2021 at an average $53,298 annually.

Those positions include production supervisors, management staff and warehouse personnel, according to public documents.

The company also says it could annually hire 50 seasonal employees.

Jacksonville City Council adopted legislation Nov. 13 that said Buckeye planned to lease 293,000 square feet in a warehouse to be built for $12 million.

The city’s project summary says Buckeye operates warehouse and distribution facilities and its manufacturing is in the Midwest. It sought incentives to consolidate manufacturing, warehouse and distribution functions in Jacksonville.

Buckeye sought $689,000 in city and state incentives that comprise a $626,000 Recapture Enhanced Value grant from the city and a $63,000 QTI refund of which the city will pay $12,600.

With the incentives package approved, the project moved ahead.

VanTrust applied for a permit to build the foundation of Imeson 300 at 10501 Cold Storage Road. It comprises warehouse space and a small office area.

The project, shown at a job cost of $11,741,535, is described on the permit application as the foundation for construction of a shell building, utilities, roads and landscaping.

Plans call it a speculative warehouse, while the permit application describes it as a build-to-suit industrial building, which indicated it is being constructed for a specific tenant.

Evans General Contractors of Alpharetta, Georgia, is the contractor.

VanTrust holds 3 million square feet of development rights for the 156 acres it bought from Imeson International Industrial Park Inc. in September for $18.4 million.

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