Downtown, Baymeadows finalists for Citizens Property Insurance deal

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Baymeadows and Downtown remain in the running for Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s search for space to accommodate about 950 jobs.

The Citizens Property evaluation committee recommended Monday that negotiations commence with Crocker Partners, which owns the Prominence business park in Baymeadows, and Amkin West LLC, which owns EverBank Center Downtown.

Citizens Property, the Tallahassee-based insurer, wants to decide on a site for a consolidated Jacksonville Operations Center of about 226,400 square feet of space.

Citizens Property wants to select a location Nov. 3; start moving in July 1; and begin the lease Jan. 1, 2016.

A Citizens Property team decided Monday to recommend negotiations for space at EverBank Center, at 301 W. Bay St. Downtown, and in Prominence, the former Freedom Commerce Centre at 8935 Freedom Commerce Parkway.

The two sites overall scored the highest by the committee in areas that included IT, project management experience, scheduling and other factors.

The team cut Regency Square Mall in Arlington at 9501 Arlington Expressway and Three Oaks Plaza at 7960 Arlington Expressway from the running Monday. Regency Square scored high in parking and one committee member recommended including the site in negotiations, but the committee decided to narrow negotiations to the top two ranked bidders in the interest of time.

Citizens Property now leases 211,288 square feet among four buildings in the Baymeadows area and wants to consolidate into a single building or among several buildings at a single site. The offices comprise underwriting and claims operations.

It intends to consolidate its Jacksonville operations, which have 800 employees, and move another 148 IT jobs into the space.

Bid documents say Citizens Property is interested in bids for 215,080 to 237,720 square feet of space. Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. represents Citizens in seeking the lease opportunity.

Citizens Property was created by the Legislature in 2002 as a not-for-profit tax-exempt government entity to provide insurance protection to Florida policyholders unable to find property insurance coverage in the private market.

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