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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Nov. 3, 202005:20 AM EST

VanTrust looking for more land, wraps up Imeson Park

The company bought the North Jacksonville industrial site in 2018.

VanTrust Real Estate LLC is completing its 156-acre Imeson Park industrial center and is looking for land in North and West Jacksonville for more development.

It bought the Imeson site, at northeast North Main Street and Zoo Parkway in North Jacksonville, in 2018.

VanTrust Real Estate Executive Vice President John Carey

“It’s been about two years. I think we did absorb the land more quickly than we thought,” said VanTrust Real Estate Executive Vice President John Carey on Oct. 22.

“The demand was excellent.”

Imeson Park comprises an almost 1.1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in development; a 552,720-square-foot building leased to Margo State Line; a 300,000-square-foot building leased to Cra-Z-Art; and the 552,720-square-foot Building B in permitting review.

VanTrust Real Estate submitted plans to the city Oct. 14 for the proposed Building B, which is planned on 27.14 acres at 10501 Cold Storage Road, No. 200.

The site plan shows 204 parking spaces.

England-Thims & Miller Inc. is the civil engineer.

The new proposed Building B can accommodate a single or multiple tenants, Carey said.

“We do have prospects but we don’t have any signed leases,” Carey said.

“We are starting the building spec based on what we felt is the state of the market right now,” Carey said.

He said it could be divisible by 50,000 square feet and would be ideal for two 250,000-square-foot tenants, he said.

“We are definitely talking to a couple of tenants in the 100,000-square-foot range.”

Carey expects to break ground in January with shell completion for occupancy in the summer.

VanTrust, through JI Imeson Industrial LLC, owns Imeson Park.

JI Imeson Industrial LLC paid $18.44 million for the property in September 2018, buying it from Imeson International Industrial Park Inc. 

Imeson Park will have about 2.5 million square feet of distribution and fulfillment center space.

It has development rights for up to 3 million square feet of space, but other buildings needed more land for parking or truck aprons,  Carey said.

Carey said the industrial market is strong, but “it is the strongest for these occasional big deals that come along,” he said.

“I would like to see more demand for the smaller spaces in addition to the occasional big deal.”

Carey would like to see more tenants in the 100,000- to 300,000-square-foot range.

Imeson Park is leasing up its buildings in a Northside market where third-quarter warehouse vacancy ranges from 13%-16%, higher than the area average. 

North Jacksonville is one of the city’s largest warehouse markets.

VanTrust is based in Kansas City, Missouri. It opened a Jacksonville office in January 2016, which Carey and his group leads. 

Imeson Park is one of its office and industrial developments, and Carey wants to start another.

“We are currently looking for additional industrial land,” he said.

“We don’t have anything firmed up, but we would like to continue an active industrial program in Northeast Florida,” he said.

He said VanTrust would like to find a site similar to Imeson Park, in the 100-150-acre range that could accommodate several buildings.

“We are very early in looking at a couple that look like they might work,” he said.

He did not specify where, but said his group is looking at the major distribution areas, dominated with North and West Jacksonville where most of the industrial development has taken place the past several years.

VanTrust also intends to develop 350 acres in Savannah that would accommodate almost 5 million square feet of distribution space to serve the Port of Savannah. 

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