Merritt Properties buys land in Oakleaf, plans flex-light industrial park

The commercial real estate developer paid $4 million for property near First Coast Expressway.


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Merritt Properties, a commercial real estate firm with more than 21 million square feet of space in Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, announced Oct. 25 it bought 16 acres in Clay County for the development of a 158,400-square-foot flex-light industrial business park.

It will be the developer’s second speculative project in the market.

“There is increased demand for small-bay, dock-loaded product throughout Jacksonville, so we are confident that this park will be well-received by a wide range of companies who are seeking office and warehouse space. Buildings will primarily cater to small businesses needing 2,700 to 10,000 square feet,” Pat Franklin of Merritt Properties’ Florida leasing team said in a news release.

Through Merritt JADO LLC, Merritt bought the property Oct. 19 for $4 million from Armstrong Development Inc., according to Clay County records.

The purchase comprises two adjoining 13.13-acre and 3.21-acre parcels totaling 16.34 acres

Property records say the property is on Royal Pines Drive in Middleburg. An updated site map shows the properties south of Armstrong Way and west of the First Coast Expressway.

The site is within the 6,400-acre Oakleaf master-planned community. 

The park will feature four single-story, flex-light industrial buildings from 21,600 to 57,600 square feet. Each will offer 20-foot clear heights, auto parking and truck courts. 

“The business park will be a great home for small businesses given its position off First Coast Expressway, near bustling residential areas, community recreation facilities and retail locations,” Franklin said.

David Little of Watson Commercial Reality Inc. represented Merritt and Arlene Leslie Mount of O’Connor Development Corp. represented the seller in the transaction. 

 “We are thankful for Merritt leading the way with well-designed, well-positioned facilities that can meet the operational needs of a variety of tenants,” Crawford Powell, president of Clay County Economic Development, said in the release.

Construction is expected to begin by year-end. The first phase will consist of three buildings along Armstrong Way, just off the expressway.

“Newly constructed, Class A light industrial product is challenging to find within the market, which is why this speculative development will be a desirable addition to the local area and to our existing Jacksonville portfolio,” said Gary Swatko, director of development and construction at Merritt Properties, in the release.

The company’s first development in Jacksonville, Imeson Landing Business Park, is under construction with an expected November 2022 delivery. 

Once complete, Imeson Landing will feature five flex-light industrial buildings totaling 266,200 square feet. 

Merritt also owns and manages Magnolia Park, a three-building, 80,863-square-foot flex-light industrial park in Duval County.