Stellar Energy appears to be Project Orion, leases at AllianceFlorida

The Jacksonville-based power-system manufacturer would sublease the closing Baker Hughes/GE Oil & Gas plant in West Jacksonville.

Reports indicate Stellar Energy has leased the former GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes Co. manufacturing facility at 12970 Normandy Blvd. in Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.
Reports indicate Stellar Energy has leased the former GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes Co. manufacturing facility at 12970 Normandy Blvd. in Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.
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Jacksonville-based Stellar Energy matches the description of Project Orion, a code-named manufacturing company that was approved for a city grant for expansion.

Some fourth-quarter Jacksonville real estate market reports list Stellar Energy as a key lease for the October-December 2023 period.

They report that Stellar Energy has leased the former GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes Co. manufacturing facility built in 2014 at 12970 Normandy Blvd. in Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.

The 510,433-square-foot center is available with the impending closure of Baker Hughes, which announced in May it was closing the Westside Jacksonville plant this year. 

Stellar Energy has not responded to requests for comment.

General Electric Co. opened the plant in 2015 and merged its oil and gas division with Baker Hughes in 2017. GE retained a majority stake in Baker Hughes after the merger but it sold off its stake beginning in 2020.

CBRE marketed the site for sublease on behalf of the property owner. 

Mark Wainwright and Mac Easton of Pine Street/RPS LLC represented Stellar on the lease.

Project Orion and Stellar Energy

On Oct. 24, 2023, Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved a Recapture Enhanced Value Grant up to $1.5 million for the unidentified Project Orion.

According to Resolution 2023-0715, the code-named company is an established manufacturer of mechanical equipment in Jacksonville and “operates a state of the art manufacturing operation which designs, engineers and delivers modular equipment to aid power suppliers.”

The company seeks to continue operations in its current location and increase production of its product at a new location.

With the grant, the company will expand into an existing building in West Jacksonville with a capital investment of $28.8 million, which includes $8.8 million in equipment purchases.

Completion of improvements will be no later than Dec. 31, 2027.

The expansion would retain 175 jobs and add 250 jobs to its current operation with an additional annual payroll of more than $12.5 million, excluding benefits, by Dec. 31, 2028, under the terms of the REV grant agreement.

A city project summary says the annual payroll of the new jobs is expected to be more than $12.5 million excluding benefits. At a minimum of 250 new jobs, the annual pay would average $50,000.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that the definition of “Orion” is a constellation and of “stellar” as relating to stars.

Jacksonville-based Stellar Energy says its manufacturing facility in Jacksonville features the latest technology, equipment and tools, “enabling us to completely fabricate entire systems, modular systems, partial structures, piping and skids.”

Stellar Energy analyzes, designs, constructs, fabricates, integrates, installs, operates, maintains and services energy systems.

It owns and operates a manufacturing facility at 989 Imeson Park Blvd. in North Jacksonville. Property records show Star Fabricators LLC, part of Stellar Energy, owns the almost 19.7-acre site. 

Star Fabricators LLC bought the property in 2003 and developed two buildings totaling almost 96,000 square feet in 2004, property records show.

Similar to the Orion description, Stellar Energy says it provides custom power augmentation and energy plant solutions for power generation and utilities, liquefied natural gas, data center, biopharma and other markets. 

It says its solutions include turbine inlet air chilling, inlet air conditioning (heating and cooling), evaporative cooling, direct contact air chilling, thermal energy storage, district cooling and central utility plants. 

“The company’s experience spans more than 20 years and stretches across the globe, with offices in the United States, Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,” it says.

Stellar Energy says it uses 115,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

The property

The REV grant is another incentive for the property.

In 2014, the city and state approved a $15.4 million taxpayer incentives package for GE Oil & Gas to create 500 jobs there.

Both GE and Baker Hughes made industrial valves, pumps and gear valves there.

Baker Hughes sent a notice May 18 to state officials under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act saying it will close the facility this year and lay off 183 workers beginning in January and continuing through the end of 2024.

The company has 228 manufacturing, sales and services and engineering employees at the site, it said, but it did not say what will happen to the workers not subject to the layoff.

Hillwood, the city’s master developer of AllianceFlorida, developed the site and then sold the GE Oil & Gas manufacturing plant property in February 2015 for $57.6 million to a California investor.

San Diego-based Realty Income Corp., through Terraza 13 LLC, paid almost $57.6 million for the property, on almost 41 acres.

Realty Income Corp. has not responded to requests for comment.

Stellar Energy headquarters

Stellar Energy also is relocating its headquarters within Jacksonville.

The website shows it already is based at the new offices at 1776 American Heritage Life Drive in South Jacksonville.

The city issued a permit Dec. 8 for Dav-Lin LLC to build-out tenant space for Stellar Energy’s headquarters at the former Allstate Campus at a project cost of $2.635 million. The campus is at that address.

The permit shows Stellar Energy is building-out about 13,000 square feet of space on the seventh floor and a limited scope of about 1,600 square feet on the eighth floor at 4920 San Pablo Road S., which is another locator for the campus, which is along San Pablo Road.

Plans show the seventh-floor work at closer to 14,000 square feet of space.

Trevato Development Group announced May 31 it bought the Allstate Campus office park near Mayo Clinic in Florida and signed Stellar Energy as the anchor tenant.

Trevato said the new Stellar Energy headquarters will lease 34,600 square feet of space on the top two floors of the main eight-story building.

Stellar Energy has been based at 3015 Hartley Road in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville.

“As a critical ingredient brand in a large, multinational corporate ecosystem, this innovative approach to real estate is exactly the kind of environment we naturally thrive in,” said Stellar Energy Executive Chairman Peter Gibson in the May news release.

Jacksonville Beach-based Trevato said the property comprises three buildings that total 235,484 square feet of commercial space. 

Duval County property records show the three buildings at eight floors, five floors and two floors.

Trevato anticipated renovations to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.



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