The Hanania office building is the only Downtown mid-rise tower with the name of a Jacksonville-based family on it.
Now the family’s business will anchor what is called Hanania Place in a seventh-floor office build-out estimated at $2.5 million.
“It’s something that Jacksonville has not seen. It’s a wow factor and that is why it is expensive,” said Hanania Automotive Group founder and CEO Jack Hanania.
Hanania bought the building in August 2021 and is preparing to move its headquarters onto the seventh floor of the 10-story, 200,627-square-foot structure at 1200 Riverplace Blvd. on the Downtown Southbank.
Hanania, who grew up in Jacksonville, said Aug. 10 he hopes to move some of his executive team into the renovated space by Nov. 1.
He expects 20 full-time staff there and 40 to 50 Hanania associates throughout the month for meetings and other functions.
The city issued a permit Aug. 9 for Ladson Construction Co. to build-out space at a project cost of $1.99 million. Counting other work, Hanania estimates the cost at $2.5 million.
As the owner-operator of the building, he sees the need for the space to have “the wow factor.”
To design the space, Hanania hired Chicago-based Ideation Studio, led by founder and Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Nemec.
Hanania said Nemec designed his Acura dealership in 2004 and that at the time the project “was one of the premier Acura dealerships in the country.”
He described Nemec’s designs for the headquarters space as “outside-the-box thinking.”
Nemec said Aug. 15 that Hanania, a client of 20 years, contacted Ideation Studio with a special project to design the corporate office headquarters.
“The goal was to establish a sophisticated environment that defined their brand, conveying luxury and precision,” she said.
She said Ideation Studio created a corporate space that aligned with Hanania Automotive Group’s brand.
“This environment is bright, clean and modern with lighting, geometry and texture as an integral part of the design,” she said.
Nemec said the design “conveys a sophisticated, high-performance hospitality culture.”
She said each area in the office is defined by visual highlights.
“Artful installations have been incorporated into the space and are derived from the automotive industry to help tie in the brand’s purpose,” she said.
Nemec said the color is a neutral palette with navy and blues – the brand color – incorporated.
The design renderings for the space include an installation art wall with auto parts and tools and outdoor balcony space overlooking the St. Johns River, the Downtown Northbank and parts of the Southbank.
“There will be a lot of high-profile meetings in the office, it has a high-end look to it,” Nemec said.
The building and the business
Hanania Riverplace LLC paid $20.7 million for the former Stein Mart headquarters building and the adjacent six-level parking garage.
Stein Mart vacated the building after filing bankruptcy and removed its sign in November 2020.
Hanania Automotive Group installed its sign on the building in May 2022.
Hanania said upon the purchase that he intended to move his headquarters there. Hanania Automotive Group now is based among its Blanding Boulevard dealerships.
The group has 16 auto dealerships in Florida and Pennsylvania.
Hanania grew up in Lakewood and lives in San Marco, both neighborhoods near the Southbank. He founded the automotive group in 1988.
The automotive group employs about 1,000 people total among the office and dealerships, including 600 in Jacksonville.
Its dealerships include Acura, Audi, Buick GMC, Ford, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Porsche, Subaru and Volkswagen as well as used models.
Hanania Automotive Group has two collision centers in Florida.
Newmark Phoenix Realty Group Inc. represents the building, which includes a full-service deli, a renovated fitness center, a conference center and other services.
About 120,000 square feet of space was available for lease when Hanania purchased the building.
Truist moving in
Truist Bank is relocating its offices from the Northbank Truist Tower to the fifth floor of Hanania Place and also taking a first-floor branch space and drive-thru that was used by TD Bank, which moved.
Jim Sebesta, CEO of Newmark Phoenix Realty Group, said previously the total Truist lease is about 15,000 square feet.
He said that lease, along with Hanania Automotive Group’s headquarters move and other leases, will boost occupancy of the 200,627-square-foot building to 60%.
Sebesta said it was 35% when Stein Mart Inc. left the building.
Hanania said there is traction in tenant interest in the building. He said Aug. 14 about 65,000 square feet is available for lease, meaning occupancy is about 68%.
“We have some really good conversations going on,” he said.
It’s one of Hanania’s Downtown investments.
Jack Hanania and investment partner Joe Hassan own two Downtown Northbank buildings – the six-story historic Dyal-Upchurch Building at 6 E. Bay St., purchased in 2017, and the three-story Title & Trust Company of Florida Building at 200 E. Forsyth St., acquired in December 2020.