Dream Finders Homes to build corporate headquarters in Bartram area

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Jacksonville area city and business leaders herald corporate headquarters as a priority catch in economic development.

Not only do they recruit them, but they especially want to keep them.

And grow them, such as with Dream Finders Homes LLC.

Orange Park-based Dream Finders Homes LLC, ranked the area’s second-largest homebuilder last year, filed a permit application to build the shell of a three-story, 47,111-square-foot office building.

It’s planned at 14701 Philips Highway in Jacksonville’s Bartram area, just north of Nocatee Parkway and Race Track Road.

Batey McGraw, vice president of land for Dream Finders Homes, said the site offers convenient access to Interstates 295 and 95, Florida 9B and U.S. 1, which is Philips Highway, as well as to St. Johns County.

McGraw said Dream Finders Homes expects to move into the building in early 2016. It employs 80-85 people.

Brasfield & Gorrie LLC is the contractor for the almost $3 million shell building. The interior build-out would be permitted separately.

The architect is Rolland, DelValle & Bradley and the civil engineer is Taylor & White Inc.

Dream Finders, through DFH Office LLC, bought the 30.24-acre site July 30 for $750,000.

McGraw said the site offers about 12 developable acres. The headquarters site will take about 5 acres. There are no plans for the remaining property.

He said Dream Finders Homes was working on the interior plans for the building, which likely will have space for other tenants.

The company was formed in 2009 and is led by majority owner and President Patrick Zalupski.

Dream Finders Homes announced in January it had expanded into two new markets, marking its evolution from a Northeast Florida regional builder to a national presence. It secured land in Savannah, Ga., and in Boulder, Colo.

Dream Finders said deals also were in place to expand into Orlando and Austin, Texas.

The Metrostudy industry analysis service reported that Dream Finders was the second-largest homebuilder in the Northeast Florida market for the year that ended July 31, with 384 closings. The leader was D.R. Horton, with 1,046 closings.

The Dream Finders team started at Pine Ridge Plantation in Middleburg. Zalupski previously said the company found a developer who would sell finished lots on an as-needed basis, making it a low-risk entry.

As Dream Finders lowered costs and risks at one end of the business, it offered a compelling product at the other. Its philosophy is “best value at every price point.”

Dream Finders Homes says that as the largest Jacksonville-based private national homebuilder, its homes are priced from the $130,000s to more than $1 million.

Elite Stor renovating in Baymeadows

The proposed Elite Stor climate-controlled storage project in Baymeadows is closer to redevelopment, and plans show it will offer wine storage.

Elite Stor Western Way Jax LLC wants to spend at least $200,000 to build-out an almost 66,000-square-foot warehouse in Baymeadows into climate-controlled storage units.

The single-story concrete building at 8539 Western Way will be converted by contractor Bradley Knox Clark of Atlantic Coast Roofing & Construction.

Thomas Duke Architect is the architect.

In July, Elite Stor Capital Partners LLC bought the former bank-records storage center for $1 million and planned to convert the now 45-year-old building into at least 500 climate-controlled storage units.

The West Palm Beach investor who bought it said he expected to spend at least $2 million to buy and convert it. Elite Stor Capital Partners deeded the property to Elite Stor Western Way Jax LLC. Benjamin Macfarland III is its manager.

Macfarland, managing partner with Calidus Holdings LLC and founder of Benjamin Macfarland Co. LLC, said last fall that Baymeadows was a growing market and he was looking for more distressed properties in the area that could be used for self-storage. The acquisition was his first in Jacksonville.

Elite Stor Western Way applied for a building permit to demolish the interior for build-out of climate-controlled storage units at a project cost of $100,000. The city issued roofing permits totaling more than $303,000 and approved sign permits for Elite Stor Self Storage Wine Storage.

Plans for the interior build-out show storage units and a special area for wine storage. McFarland said wine cellars are popular in some of his other properties because wine collectors don’t have enough space at their homes for their bottles.

The elite-stor.com site shows four locations in Florida in Hobe Sound, Lehigh Acres, Riverview and West Palm Beach.

Wine storage is maintained in the “Elite Stor’s Vineyard Vault,” whose climate control is maintained by backup generator support.

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