Harden building 'significantly' late, but filling up

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  • | 12:00 p.m. April 18, 2007
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by Mike Sharkey

Staff Writer

When The Auchter Company and Perry-McCall Construction, Inc. merged several weeks, one of Auchter’s biggest projects was left in a bit of a limbo. Nearly complete, the new Harden & Associates building on Riverside Avenue is set to house several tenants and a restaurant. What Harden & Associates President Ceree Harden needs now is someone to finish the project.

“We are unclear is to what their status is,” said Harden.

Auchter served as the original contractor on the job. However, when Auchter merged with Perry-McCall, Harden said the new company did not take ongoing projects into account. And while Harden says the project is behind schedule, he expects to get a Certificate of Occupancy within the next 60 days and start moving tenants in within the following month.

“The project is a couple of years old, but we are near the very end. We are significantly behind schedule, but we have the same tenants,” said Harden, who until recently, served as chair of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission.

EverBank will occupy the top two floors of the 13-story building that also includes ground level retail and five floors of parking. In addition to Harden & Associates, the building will also house Rock Creek Capital, Axcess Sports & Entertainment, three law firms — Volpe Bajalia Wickes Rogerson Galloway & Wachs; Fisher Tousey Leas & Ball; and Peek Cobb & Edwards — Oracle and several others.

“It’s a wonderful list of tenants,” said Harden, adding Pam and Bruce Pollett, former owners of Cafe Nola, will open Chives on the ground floor. “We are about 90 percent occupied. We have 2,000 to 3,000 square-foot spots and abut 10,000 square feet available on the 6th floor.”

Overall, the building consists of 210,000 square feet of Class A office space that’s centrally-located and near a major interstate interchange. All Harden needs now is the punch list filled out. But, questions remain as to who will do the work.

“I hope the old Auchter company will,” he said. “I don’t really know if those people are still there. We have a contract with the old company and I hope the principals still there live up to the agreement.”