Project Raptor taking steps at Cecil

The project is issued a permit that authorizes the construction and operation of a stormwater management system on more than 257 acres.

The Project Raptor area of Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville is at southwest Interstate 10 and First Coast Expressway.
The Project Raptor area of Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville is at southwest Interstate 10 and First Coast Expressway.
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The St. Johns River Water Management District issued a permit March 22 for Project Raptor, which also has been called Raptor Stone, a code-named manufacturer considering a facility at Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center.

The permit authorizes the construction and operation of a stormwater management system for a 257.78-acre project in the West Jacksonville business park. Records show a total area of work in, on or over wetlands of 41.11 acres.

As the owner of Cecil Commerce Center, the city applied for the permit through the Department of Public Works. England, Thims & Miller Inc. is the civil engineer and Environmental Resource Solutions is the agent. Both are based in Jacksonville.

The environmental resource permit allows the mass clearing and grading of a future development site at southwest Interstate 10 and First Coast Expressway. The project includes preparation of the building foundation.

While the application did not provide details about the project, a November request for the availability of JEA services shows a 410,000-square-foot facility that would operate with 180 employees.

Jacksonville-based Haskell, which provides architecture, engineering and construction services, was the applicant on behalf of the project. 

The city responded to a Nov. 15 public records request for applications, documents, emails and correspondence related to the project.

“Any responsive documents are confidential and exempt from disclosure pursuant to Section 288.075, Florida Statutes,” the city’s Public Affairs email said Nov. 16.

The statute details exemptions to the state Sunshine Law for public economic development agencies and officials.

Raptor Stone requests the availability of chilled water, electric, reclaim, sewer and water services from the municipal power company. The request was dated Nov. 7.

JEA provided the availability letter Nov. 8 explaining its connections for those services and outlining the next development steps for service.

The JEA application does not describe or identify the identity of Raptor Stone or indicate what it would produce. lists a project, updated Feb. 15, for Raptor Stone in the category of heavy and highway, industrial/manufacturing and a subcategory of manufacturing/processing plant and site development.

It says construction is expected to start in May 2023 with a construction value of $220 million.

Construction Journal is a proprietary system that tracks projects and sells bidding and other project information to general contractors, subcontractors, specialty contractors, construction services, distributors/suppliers, building product manufacturers and owners.

The basic information was available publicly. More details would be availalable for a price.

The site says project information has been obtained through public sources.

Project Raptor Stone is shown in public records on land designated a megasite at Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center, whose master developer is Dallas-based Hillwood.

The megasite is shown as almost 750 acres. The city says about 600 acres can be developed.

Projects of the size described for Raptor Stone typically need less acreage than that.

Hillwood contracted with the city to develop 4,474 acres as an industrial and business park in the 17,000-acre former naval air station in West Jacksonville. 

Hillwood has developed several large industrial projects, including 1 million-square-foot fulfillment centers for and Wayfair.

Other companies include GE Oil & Gas, Saft, Bridgestone, FedEx Ground, Industry West, JinkoSolar and a smaller Amazon facility.

Raptor Stone is smaller than the GE Oil & Gas factory, which makes valves and controls. 

That 510,000-square-foot plant opened in 2015 on 40 acres. The city and state agreed to $15.4 million in incentives for the project, and GE Oil & Gas agreed to hire 500 people.

Raptor Stone is larger than the 283,652-square-foot JinkoSolar solar panel factory that opened in late 2018, but which has 280 employees. 

Jinko agreed to a 200-job threshold when it was awarded $4.2 million in a grant and tax refunds in March 2018 by the city and state for the $50.5 million facility.

In 2006, site selection consultants McCallum Sweeney announced the certification of a site at Cecil Commerce Center as an official “Megasite,” considered a large industrial property qualified to support a major automotive manufacturing facility or similar activity. 

The site is in the northernmost portion of Cecil Commerce Center adjacent to I-10 and CSX rail. 

It said the designation sets the stage for the attraction of a large industrial user who will add high-paying job opportunities and significant private capital investment in the community.



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