Tru by Hilton on deck in Arlington

Company expects April opening at Merrill and I-295

A Tru by Hilton is in review for Arlington near Golden Corral and Publix.
A Tru by Hilton is in review for Arlington near Golden Corral and Publix.
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Hilton’s “millennial-mindset” Tru by Hilton hotel could open in Arlington in April.

A Tru by Hilton spokeswoman said it would be owned by Champion Hotels, an Oklahoma City-based hotel operator.

Champion Hotels, through Sunny Hotels LLC, intends to develop the Tru by Hilton at 2700 Jane St., along Merrill Road east of Interstate 295, according to documents filed with the city.

A Champion representative did not return a phone call.

The plans are shown on an application for a zoning deviation to permit two hotels to share a parking field.

Tru by Hilton would go up next to the Candlewood Suites, also owned by Champion Hotels.

Both are behind the Golden Corral restaurant and west of a Publix Super Markets-anchored retail center.

A Tru by Hilton spokeswoman said the hotel, shown on plans as a four-story, 82-room hotel, would open in April.

It would be the second in the area for the new brand.

The city approved a permit Monday for the $5 million construction of a four-story, 98-room Tru by Hilton at 4640 Tropea Way in Town Center Promenade.

The spokeswoman said that it should open March 14 and is owned by Kana Hotel Group. Kana is based in Knoxville, Tenn.

The spokeswoman said no other Tru by Hilton properties are planned for development in the area “as of yet.”

A new midscale brand, Hilton Worldwide designed Tru by Hilton to attract leisure and corporate travelers, particularly millennials.

Hilton Worldwide developed it for generations united by a “millennial mindset.” It says it focuses on hotel basics — bed, shower, technology — along with a public space to foster connections at a value price.

USA Today reported in January rates at Tru will vary by location, but will be in the $90 to $100 range.

Champion Hotels is scheduled to open the first Tru by Hilton on May 25 in Oklahoma City.

The site shows four more sites in McDonough, Ga., set to open in July; Cheyenne, Wyo., to open in August; Lancaster, Pa., to open in September; and Murfreesboro, Tenn., to open in November.

The spokeswoman said 10 locations are expected to open this year, followed by 75 in 2018. There are 340 more in the pipeline in various stages of development.

Hilton Worldwide unveiled Tru by Hilton in January 2016, describing it as a brand “simplified, spirited and grounded in value, filling a massive void in the midscale category in the U.S. and Canada.”

Features include the first-floor lobby with fluid areas for lounging, working, eating or playing.

Amenities include a fitness center and enhanced technology.

Arizona Kraton plans $1M build-out at Gramercy

A permit application for $1 million in renovations at Gramercy Woods was submitted for Arizona Kraton, the combined Arizona Chemical Holding Corp. and Kraton Polymers LLC.

Arizona Chemical, now part of Kraton, will occupy all of the third floor and part of the second of the 10-story Building 100 at 9000 Southside Blvd., plans show. Gramercy Woods is the renamed Bank of America office park.

Arizona Kraton now operates at 4600 Touchton Road in the Deerwood North building.

Kraton Polymers announced in January 2016 that it completed the $1.37 billion acquisition of Arizona Chemical Holdings, which was based in Jacksonville.

“Through the combination of Kraton and Arizona Chemical, we create a global leader in specialty materials technology, manufacturing, and geographical presence,” said Kraton President and CEO Kevin Fogarty after the acquisition.

Arizona Chemical Holdings Corp. was a privately held specialty chemical company headquartered in Jacksonville and the Netherlands. It makes products derived from pine wood pulping co-products.

It has no manufacturing facilities in Northeast Florida.

Kraton is a publicly traded company based in Houston that makes engineered polymers.

Chuck Diebel with Colliers International, which represents the landlord, said the move is expected in September or October.

Daily’s adding Dash at Gate Parkway

The city OK’d renovations for First Coast Energy LLP to renovate space at its 4991 Gate Parkway Daily’s store to add its Dash food-service concept and a coffee area.

C&R General Contractors Inc. is the contractor for the $301,345 project.

A First Coast Energy spokeswoman said previously the company is targeting a late May or early June completion.

Dash is Daily’s fast-casual, cafe concept that sells made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and specialty coffee drinks.

First Coast Energy is growing the Dash brand in the Jacksonville market.

Fresh-Mex & Co. renovating former Corner Bakery

Renovations were approved for Fresh-Mex & Co. to renovate space at the former Corner Bakery Café at 7111 Bonneval Road in the Southpoint area.

Retired New York City firefighter Michael Toussaint and his wife, Amanda, developed the concept as Fresh-Mex & Co. Urban Grill and Cantina, a fast-casual restaurant.

Toussaint said previously he wanted to open in early June. Customers will order at the counter and their food will be delivered on plates and with metal flatware, he said.

Menu items include nachos, chips and queso, guacamole, shrimp-avocado egg rolls, fried yuca and fried plaintains, chili with jalapeno cornbread, tacos, burritos and health-conscious bowls and carnitas, as well as desserts.

Toussaint said the space is being renovated, including the covered patio and a bar, and will seat 172 inside and out.

This will be his first Fresh-Mex, and he hope to expand to three or four in the area.

The area’s two Corner Bakery Cafes closed in early December — at Southpoint and at Brooklyn Station on Riverside.

The Brooklyn location will become a First Watch, The Daytime Café.

Oaklawn Chapel in for permitting

Plans and permit applications were filed for $1.35 million in construction at Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Chapel and Oaklawn Cemetery.

The Dignity Memorial network property will add a chapel and Life Well Celebrated Center north of the cemetery at 1601 Inman Place off San Jose Boulevard.

Jody Brandenburg, president of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Cremations, said previously he expected to break ground by June.

He said the $4 million investment includes 6 acres of land purchased in August and development costs.

The center will provide a larger funeral and reception area as well as expanded parking facilities.

Florida Blue applies for almost $6M renovation

Jacksonville-based Florida Blue wants to renovate one of its original buildings at 4800 Deerwood Campus Parkway in Deerwood Park.

Danis Construction LLC is the contractor listed for the almost $5.69 million project to Building 300.

Spokeswoman Toni Woods said the insurer is upgrading at its 20-year-old Deerwood Campus complex to include mechanical, electrical, plumbing and interior feature improvements.

UPS lands permit for expansion

United Parcel Service Inc. will receive a St. Johns River Water Management District permit for its 264,000-square-foot warehouse expansion at Westside Industrial Park. The district gave notice Friday of its decision to grant the permit.

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