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Hilton Worldwide is launching its millennial-focused Tru by Hilton brand. The first in Jacksonville is planned at Town Center Promenade.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 13, 201712:00 PM EST

Work on Tru by Hilton may start in early February


Tru by Hilton at Town Center Promenade could break ground the first week of February, pending approval of the building permit.

Hotel partner Roshan Patel said the holidays and approvals delayed an expected start in December.

Construction could take nine months, he said, which indicates the hotel could open at the same time as other stores and restaurants at the Promenade under development.

The four-story, 98-room hotel is planned on 1.5 acres on a lakefront at 4640 Tropea Way, off of Town Center Parkway.

The city is reviewing a permit for a $5 million construction job. Patel said the total deal is $10 million, which includes the $1.45 million property purchase.

Kana Hotel Group of Knoxville, Tenn., is the franchisee.

Preferred Professional Services Inc., led by Michael Graham with Graham Construction, is listed as the contractor.

Dasher Hurst Architects is the architect and Prosser Inc. is the civil engineer.

The rooms comprise 53 king and 45 double-queen units.

The hotel is the first Tru by Hilton in Jacksonville.

A new midscale brand, Hilton Worldwide designed Tru by Hilton to attract leisure and corporate travelers, particularly millennials.

Patel said the group also is building a Tru by Hilton in Tallahassee, home to Florida State University.

Aetna soon to build-out at Gramercy Woods park

Aetna Inc.’s build-out at Gramercy Woods is adding up to almost $6.5 million.

The company announced in May it would leave the tower that bears its name on the Downtown Southbank in mid-2017 as its lease expires in late summer.

The city is reviewing a permit for Gilbane Building Co. to renovate about 150,000 square feet at Gramercy Woods at a construction cost of $5.9 million.

The city already issued a permit for an almost $587,000 interior demolition.

Aetna will lease 133,503 square feet among six floors of the 10-story Building 100 at 9000 Southside Blvd., the former Bank of America office park. The permit covers space on the first floor and on the fourth through eighth floors.

The health insurer said it will leave 170,000 square feet Downtown.

Gramercy Property Trust Inc. has been rebranding the 10-building, 90-acre business park. Bank of America remains the lead tenant as it consolidates space and makes room for more companies.

Kaycee Gardner joins CBRE Group

Kaycee Gardner, who was with JLL, joined CBRE Group Inc. on Thursday as a senior vice president in advisory and transaction services.

With more than $86.4 million in transactions in 2015, Gardner will focus on office agency and occupier services for the Jacksonville market.

Tripp Gulliford, CBRE managing director in Jacksonville, said Gardner has more than 12 years of experience “and a very impressive track record of facilitating more than 4 million square feet of commercial leasing transactions.”

Before joining JLL, Gardner provided national account transaction management services for The Staubach Co., which merged with JLL in 2008, according to a news release.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri and a master’s in biomechanics from Barry University.

Wawa to build on Beach Boulevard

Permit applications are revving up for Wawa’s entrance into Northeast Florida.

The Pennsylvania-based gas station and convenience store chain applied for permits Thursday to build at 11812 Beach Blvd. in EastPark.

The three applications — for the 6,119-square-foot building, a gas canopy and a dumpster enclosure — total almost $1.1 million. No contractor is specified.

Wawa also has applied for permits to build at 4866 Gate Parkway in The Crossing at Town Center and at 6787 Wilson Blvd. in West Jacksonville.

All of the stores are 6,119 square feet.

Other identified sites are one in East Arlington and two in Clay County.

Wawa said in June it would open at least five Northeast Florida locations by the end of this year. Over time, it considers the area a 30-40 store market.

Pet Supermarket to open at Landmark Station

Pet Supermarket intends to open midyear in Landmark Station at 12740 Atlantic Blvd., at Girvin Road.

The 6,700-square-foot store becomes the first junior anchor at the neighborhood shopping center, where Dunkin’ Donuts has opened a location in a former bank.

The Franklin Street real estate company and property owner DSC Properties Inc. said Pet Supermarket is a good fit at the center.

Whitney Kantor, director of retail leasing at Franklin Street, said in a news release that pet owners want more accessible and convenient pet stores in their neighborhoods.

Landmark Station was built in the mid-1990s and recently renovated.

Pet Supermarket will be in the building where Epik Burger opened in the end unit.

The release said the 25,900-square-foot center has an additional 5,000 square feet available for lease.

Sunrise-based Pet Supermarket has 10 locations in the region.

It has merged with Pet Valu of Canada. The combined company, called Pet Retail Brands, is ranked as the third largest pet care and supplies retailer in North America, according to the release.

Amazon to add 100,000 jobs in U.S. said Wednesday it will create 100,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months.

It said it has created more than 150,000 jobs in the past five years, expanding its workforce from 30,000 employees in 2011 to more than 180,000 at the end of 2016.

The Seattle-based company said the positions range from engineers and software developers to entry-level positions and on-the-job training.

It said many of the jobs will be at the fulfillment centers announced over the past several months that are under construction in Florida, Texas, California, New Jersey and other states.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in a news release that jobs for the new “Amazonians” also will result from its investments in cloud technology, machine learning and advanced logistics.

The company said it has created more than 4,000 full-time jobs in Florida since 2013.

The two fulfillment centers announced in Jacksonville increased the company’s presence to nine locations, including fulfillment and sortation centers and Prime Now Hubs, it said.

The new centers boost Amazon’s Florida workforce to more than 6,500 jobs. Legislation shows the two Jacksonville centers will create 2,700 positions.

Copart buys 52 acres

Copart Inc., a Dallas-based global online vehicle auction company, bought almost 52 acres at 10300 N. Main St. on Wednesday.

The North Jacksonville site is the third property it operates in Jacksonville.

Its website lists two more in Northwest Jacksonville at 5007 New Kings Road and at 450 Hammond Blvd. in West Jacksonville.

Copart, founded in 1982, sells salvage and clean title vehicles on behalf of insurance companies, banks, fleet operators, dealers and other sources, as well as cars from the public.

Copart says it links sellers to more than 750,000 members in more than 150 countries worldwide through its multichannel platform.

Copart of Connecticut Inc. paid $4.2 million for the North Jacksonville property it bought from Setzer’s Warehousing Corp. Inc.

That company formerly was known as Setzer’s Building Material and Construction Corp. Inc.

Prime Realty arranges sale in Fernandina

Matthew Clark and Austin Kay with Prime Realty completed an off-market sale to assist Pembroke Pines Investors LLC to buy its first property in Northeast Florida.

Pembroke Pines bought a 30,000-square-foot medical center at 2416 Lynndale Road in Fernandina Beach for $1.7 million. Renovations will begin early this year.

Part of the building will serve as a surgery center and the remainder will be available for lease to other medical users.

Prime Realty said in a news release the property previously was marketed but didn’t sell. Clark and Kay secured a buyer within 90 days.

Pembroke Pines Investors specializes in minimally invasive surgery and functional spinal surgery.

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