The city is starting to issue permits for Southeast Toyota Distributors to build its auto processing center foundations at Blount Island Marine Terminal.
The city issued a permit Aug. 17 for J.E. Dunn Construction Co. for deep foundation and ground improvements at 8975 Dave Rawls Blvd. at a project cost of $4 million.
Two more foundation permits are in review totaling $10 million.
Those are for a $7 million concrete foundation for the accessories industrial building and the $3 million foundation for the operations building.
Southeast Toyota Distributors is consolidating and upgrading its Jacksonville facilities in West Jacksonville and building the new processing center at the Jacksonville Port Authority’s Blount Island Marine Terminal while selling its Baymeadows buildings and leaving its Talleyrand terminal property.
Southeast Toyota Distributors said in April 2022 it would move its auto processing operations from JaxPort’s Talleyrand terminal to a new $36 million facility at the Blount Island terminal.
The Jacksonville Port Authority board voted 7-0 on April 25, 2022, to approve a 25-year lease that includes three five-year renewal options with JM Family Enterprises.
The JaxPort board also approved a Public Transportation Grant Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for $16.5 million that will fund nearly half the project.
JaxPort officials say the lease agreement and facility upgrades are valued at $210 million over 40 years.
The company signed its existing Talleyrand lease with JaxPort in 2002. It was a 15-year agreement with a 10-year renewal option.
At the 88-acre Blount Island site, Southeast Toyota plans to build two processing buildings and associated work areas.
Southeast Toyota said it employs 800 people at JaxPort comprising processing, parts and distribution, and technical support and training jobs, according to a JaxPort news release.
Jacksonville-based kasper architects + associates announced April 6 it is designing the new Blount Island facility. J.E. Dunn Construction will serve as construction manager.
A kasper news release said the parcel will include seven proposed buildings totaling more than 380,000 square feet serving as office space and a vehicle processing facility.
Construction is estimated to be completed in early 2025.
“We are in the midst of the largest investment in our history,” said Brent Sergot, president of Southeast Toyota Distributors, in a statement April 14.
“With the continued population migration to the Southeast, it is imperative that we continue to look for new ways to evolve our approach to best serve the Toyota dealers in our region.”
Eric Carter, group vice president of operations, said in a statement April 14 that Southeast Toyota Distributors is continuing its long-term commitment to growth in Jacksonville.
“With Toyota’s continued development and success within our five-state footprint, it was time to modernize our facilities with the addition of a new parts distribution center in Westlake and a ground-up state-of-the-art vehicle processing center with the Jacksonville Port Authority,” Carter said.
Southeast Toyota Distributors LLC is part of Deerfield Beach-based JM Family Enterprises Inc., which the jmfamily.com site says is a privately held, diversified company founded in 1968 by automotive pioneer Jim Moran when he partnered with Toyota Motor Sales to help expand the automaker’s presence in the U.S. market.
The site says Southeast Toyota Distributors is the world’s largest independent distributor of Toyotas.
It says vehicles manufactured in North America and Japan are processed at the company’s facilities in Jacksonville and in Commerce, Georgia.
At Westlake Industrial Park, developers of Florida Gateway Logistics Park sold Building 3 and expansion property to neighboring Southeast Toyota Distributors on March 8 for almost $39.5 million.
Southeast Toyota bought a 416,000-square-foot building and an expansion parcel of about 4.5 acres that would allow for another 100,000 square feet.
Westlake Industrial Park is along Pritchard Road, west of Interstate 295, in far West Jacksonville.
Southeast Toyota owns and operates a Toyota processing and distribution facility, comprising 12 buildings totaling 381,413 square feet, on 250 acres at 9985 Pritchard Road next to Florida Gateway Logistics Park.
At Deerwood Center in Baymeadows, JM Family Enterprises sold two warehouses April 14 for almost $34.5 million.
Southeast Toyota uses the buildings as parts distribution centers.
The 392,313-square-foot warehouse at 8040 Bayberry Road was built in 1978 on 14.1 acres.
The 140,766-square-foot warehouse at 8019 Bayberry Road was built in 1979 on 4.9 acres.
Bain Capital Private Equity of Boston bought the properties.
JM Family Enterprises said it has occupied the Bayberry Road warehouses since 1978.
It “will be transitioning from the property in phases, correlating with the Southeast Toyota Distributors’ growth in Jacksonville.”
“With the expansion of the parts distribution center in Westlake, where we currently have processing and transportation operations, we continue to focus on expanding our future network capacity to better serve the 177 Toyota dealers and their customers within the region,” it said.