CenterState Bank to establish local HQ Downtown

Gil Pomar
Gil Pomar
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CenterState Bank of Florida announced Thursday it will establish its Jacksonville headquarters on the top floor of the 100 North Laura building, where it also will open a lobby branch.

“We believe in Downtown Jacksonville and CenterState is committed to participating in Downtown revitalization and competing with the major players in our industry who are here,” said Gil Pomar, executive vice president and regional president, in a statement.

Occupancy is scheduled for the fourth quarter and will generate about 15 new jobs to enhance the commercial and residential lending departments.

CenterState has offices and branches in Liberty Center in Southpoint, Riverside and Ortega. Pomar operates among the offices and will establish the headquarters Downtown upon the move.

The move brings another bank presence to the core Northbank, where many other financial institutions occupy branch space or anchor office buildings.

CenterState will occupy 9,000 square feet at 100 North Laura that will be vacated when Ameris Bank’s lease ends in September.

It will lease the 4,000-square-foot lobby branch space and 5,000 square feet on the 10th floor. It signed a 10-year lease.

“Hopefully we’ll be there for a very long time,” Pomar said.

CenterState is relatively new to Jacksonville, having moved into the market in 2012. A Downtown presence could elevate its exposure.

Based in Davenport in Central Florida, the community bank is one of Florida’s largest publicly traded banks. It provides online banking, commercial lending, residential mortgages and investment services from 66 branches and four loan-production offices in 24 counties.

The 100 North Laura building, at Laura and Forsyth streets, recently was known as The Jacksonville Bank Building. Ameris Bancorp bought The Jacksonville Bank in March and transitioned the offices to Ameris.

Ameris put up a banner sign at the 100 N. Laura St. branch. Its executive offices are based across the St. Johns River on the Downtown Southbank, where its name is on top of Riverplace Tower.

Pomar formerly led The Jacksonville Bank, so he knows the Downtown territory. He will return to the same space he occupied when he was president of the bank from 1999-2011.

“It’s a great corner in a great building,” Pomar said.

Matthew Clark, vice president of Prime Realty Inc., represented building owners Eddie and Chuck Farah in the lease transaction.

Clark said CenterState will put up signs on the building, but doesn’t have signage rights on top of the building.

He said the building is about 60 percent occupied.

Clark said the building was becoming a premier tenant destination, assisted by a $2.5 million lobby renovation and the addition of exterior lighting this summer. That lighting can change colors for special events and for holidays.

The city recently approved almost $997,000 in lobby renovations and canopies for the building.

“It’s good to be back Downtown and this building will be spectacular when the renovations are completed in the next few months,” Pomar said.

Clark said the building is attracting interest from some well-known companies in Jacksonville that want a Downtown presence.

Also at street level, owners of Black Sheep Restaurant will lease space for a new-concept eatery. The city is reviewing a permit application for a $750,000 renovation of 4,700 square feet of space.

Black Sheep partner Jonathan Insetta said Wednesday there is no name yet for the restaurant.

Other tenants include Farah & Farah, Barnett Wealth Advisors, Anytime Fitness, Content Design Group and Ingenuity Marketing.

CenterState Bank of Florida recently loaned $5 million to 100 N. Laura Street L.L.C., consisting of a $3.7 million term note and $1.3 million line of credit note.

CenterState Bank had been interested in opening a branch office in the Laura Street Trio Downtown, but the buildings have not been redeveloped.

Pomar said the bank’s needs changed and it needed to move more quickly on its plans.

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