Marc and Nicole Padgett wanted to change the corporate image of their company, Summit Contracting Group Inc.
In the process, they also are transforming a 53-year-old office tower in Riverside, already an area of renaissance near Downtown.
They bought the 1000 Riverside Ave. building and launched $4 million to $5 million in renovations, in addition to the $3 million purchase price for the nine-story, 82,000-square-foot building. They bought the structure, formerly the FPIC Building, in October 2014 and took occupancy in June.
It’s now the Summit Tower, with the company’s name in lights on top.
They put in new windows and painted the exterior; moved tenants from the first floor to the second; launched third-floor renovations for executive suites; leased out the fifth floor to GHG Insurance and Doctor’s Choice Home Care; and converted the sixth through eighth floors for their corporate headquarters and affiliated companies.
They envision the first floor as possibly a restaurant that also would lease the executive penthouse suite on the top floor for a lounge with a rooftop view.
Other options for the first floor include a coffee shop, a hair and nail spa or a fitness center.
The fourth floor will be for lease eventually. For now, it is storage for furniture left behind after they bought the building. Desks, tables, shelves, artwork, lamps and other pieces are stacked wall to wall, floor to ceiling.
The Padgetts have sold or donated some of it, but there’s much remaining. They are buying a warehouse to use for storage of equipment and business materials, which also would house the extra furniture until it is sold. That clears out the fourth floor.
Each floor, except the 1,300-square-foot penthouse, averages about 9,500 square feet of leasable space.
When all of the other renovations are made, the Padgetts want to refurbish the interior of the elevators.
“We haven’t marketed this at all,” said Nicole. Tenants sought them out.
“It’s a good investment for us,” Marc said. “It was nice. It was clean.”
And, he said, it was a “helluva good buy.” The sale came with three parking lots, along with access to on-street parking.
The corporate floors house Summit Contracting Group, Padgett Premiere Properties, Elite Tech Solutions, Pinnacle Air, Summit Realty Partners and P3 Fleet Equipment Rentals.
The Padgetts invested more than $2 million in renovating and furnishing those floors.
Each floor features the latest in technology by Elite Tech Solutions, demonstrated by the Padgetts as they use iPads to turn off lights and start wall-mounted flat-screen presentations.
Each floor also features a kitchen, including the seventh-floor kitchen where a chef makes brunch four days a week for the staff.
A round steel staircase connects the seventh and eighth floors, installed by the Padgetts in the renovation. And the amenities include a golf simulator.
“We stand out. We hire people for attitude,” said Marc. “We’re all about employee retention.”
Marc is president and Nicole is vice president and chief administrative officer of Summit. They are owners of the related companies as well.
Summit Contracting has built more than 10 million square feet of commercial space and more than 90,000 multifamily units. Its work spans 32 states.
The Padgetts said revenue increased from $165 million in 2014 to $180 million in 2015. They project revenue to grow this year to more than $200 million.
More than 100 employees work at Summit Contracting Group, which Marc founded in 2007.
In addition to owning and running Summit, both serve on public boards. Marc was appointed to the Downtown Investment Authority and Nicole was named to the Jacksonville Planning Commission.