Sorensens, Leggett partner for Northside retail development

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A partnership comprising the founders of Firehouse Subs and North Jacksonville land owner Steve Leggett bought 15 acres at Max Leggett Parkway and North Main Street for development of a shopping center.

Old No. 1 Partners LLC, consisting of Leggett and brothers Robin and Chris Sorensen, paid $3.2 million Thursday for the 15-acre site.

The Sorensens founded Firehouse Subs, now with more than 900 locations, in 1994.

Leggett’s father, Max, and the Sorensens’ father, Rob, joined the fire department together in 1960.

“We have been friends with the Leggett family most of our life,” Robin Sorensen said in an email.

The late Max Leggett was a North Jacksonville City Council member.

Leggett said the property is entitled for up to 75,000 square feet of retail space, which he said they envision for a shopping center.

He also anticipates four outparcels of an acre or more each that could be sold.

“We’ve been talking for a while about some investment,” Leggett said. “This is a good opportunity.”

The property was sold by M&C Investments of Northeast Florida LLC, managed by John David Coxwell.

Leggett said the site is “right in the middle of everything” at northeast Main Street and Max Leggett Parkway. The property is near the Parkway Shops and River City Marketplace, where Firehouse Subs has a shop with a mural that includes Max Leggett.

Leggett said there was no timetable for development or a name yet for the retail center.

“Duval Station” name might come into play because there formerly was a train station in the area.

He said the center would be marketed at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in May in Las Vegas. He doesn’t anticipate any movement on the property until later this year.

Sorensen said Leggett was instrumental in the development of River City Marketplace. One of the main thoroughfares at the large retail project is Max Leggett Parkway. The marketplace is west of Interstate 95 and east of Main Street.

Sorensen said he and his brother “look forward to further development projects” with Leggett.

Leggett also is preparing for development of 65 acres he owns along Max Leggett Parkway at Owens Road, near the UF Health North medical campus and Parkway Shops.

A developer plans an apartment community on part of the site, while Leggett intends to develop the rest of it for medical and related uses.

Four outparcels are available there as well.

He also owns the property under contract for Project Rex at Pecan Park and Duval roads. Rex is believed to be an Inc. fulfillment center.

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