Could CenterState Bank lease 100 North Laura?

Ameris Bank is leaving 100 N. Laura St. in September.
Ameris Bank is leaving 100 N. Laura St. in September.
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A bank is expected to move into 100 North Laura in Downtown Jacksonville when Ameris Bank’s lease ends in September.

Here’s why it could be CenterState Bank of Florida.

One, CenterState Bank of Florida recently loaned $5 million to building owner 100 N. Laura Street L.L.C., indicating it has an insight into the structure, ownership and potential.

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

Three, the building, at Laura and Forsyth streets, most recently was known as The Jacksonville Bank Building. CenterState Regional President Gil Pomar formerly led The Jacksonville Bank, so he knows the Downtown territory.

Pomar declined to comment Wednesday.

Landlord representative Matthew Clark, vice president of Prime Realty, said last week a bank was in negotiation for the lobby branch and half of the top floor of the 10-story building. He said the undisclosed bank does not operate Downtown now.

CenterState’s area executive offices are in Liberty Center in Southpoint and its two other branches are in Riverside and Ortega.

Clark said Wednesday he could not share the identity of the bank.

The building, which is 144,079 square feet, has space for a bank because the lease is expiring in September for The Jacksonville Bank, which was bought by Ameris Bancorp in March.

Ameris changed the name of the eight offices over the weekend and a banner name for the bank is on the Downtown structure.

The Jacksonville Bank leased 23,000 square feet there among the lobby, the entire 10th floor and part of the sixth floor, Clark said.

The new bank tenant would lease the lobby branch space and part of the 10th floor, totaling about 9,000 square feet.

The building is about 60 percent occupied.

In addition to the bank, Clark said a tech company new to town and a co-work style tenant were considering leases.

Owners of Black Sheep Restaurant will lease space on the ground floor for a new-concept eatery.

Lawyers Eddie and Chuck Farah, managing members of 100 N. Laura Street L.L.C., bought the building in 2011. Their law firm is based nearby at 10 W. Adams St.

CenterState Bank’s $5 million loan to 100 N. Laura Street L.L.C. consisted of a $3.7 million term note and $1.3 million line of credit note.

Media reports in 2014 and 2015 said CenterState Bank was interested in opening a branch office in the Laura Street Trio Downtown, but the buildings have not been redeveloped.

Trio developer Steve Atkins did not return a phone call or email Wednesday afternoon.

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