City issues permit for $5 million JSO build-out at Florida Blue in Brooklyn

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is leasing almost 60,000 square feet of space for its Homeland Security Division in the Riverside Avenue building.

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  • | 9:01 p.m. May 26, 2024
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The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is leasing space inside the Florida Blue Riverside Office Complex at 532 Riverside Ave. in Brooklyn.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is leasing space inside the Florida Blue Riverside Office Complex at 532 Riverside Ave. in Brooklyn.
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The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is preparing for a move to Riverside Avenue in the Brooklyn area of Downtown.

The city issued a building permit May 24 for JSO at the Florida Blue Riverside Office Complex at a project cost of $5 million.

Plans show JSO will lease space in the garage/vault, the first floor, the ninth floor and the 10th floor at connected buildings at 532 Riverside Ave. The renovations cover 58,845 square feet.

The property comprises the 10-story center and adjacent 22-story tower.

JSO would use space in the garage, on the first floor of the center, the ninth floor of the tower and the 10th floor of the connected buildings.

Along with Danis Builders LLC as the contractor and construction manager, Hoefer Welker Architects is the architect and Meskel & Associates Engineering is the civil engineer.

All are based in Jacksonville.

Insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc., which does business as Florida Blue, is the property owner.

The Duval County Property Appraiser shows Florida Blue owns the 8-acre property that comprises the 571,459-square-foot building developed in 1950 and the four-level parking garage built in 1973.

Florida Blue is based at 4800 Deerwood Campus Parkway in Deerwood Park North.

In September 2023, the Jacksonville City Council approved a 149-month lease for the sheriff’s office to occupy 58,959 square feet of space in the Florida Blue tower to house its Homeland Security Division.

Under the Council-approved lease, JSO is charged $20 per-square-foot annually by Florida Blue for office space in the building and another $6 per square foot for 3,567 square feet of space in the parking garage.

The lease includes a 3% annual escalation rate and two five-year renewal options. JSO’s Homeland Security Division is at 711 N. Liberty St., north of the Police Memorial Building and Duval County Jail.

A fact sheet filed with Ordinance 2023-494, the Council legislation containing the lease, showed that Florida Blue was to provide the city and JSO a $3.45 million tenant improvement allowance, with JSO contributing $1 million for improvements. JSO’s portion of the funding was included in the department’s 2022-23 budget.

Early this year, it was reported that the city and JSO were in discussions about moving JSO’s headquarters from the Police Memorial Building to Florida Blue. 

Those reports came as the city is discussing building a new jail away from Downtown and deciding what to do with the Police Memorial Building, which, according to JSO, is outdated for the department’s needs. 

The potential move to Florida Blue has been discussed in a special Council committee on the jail, but no legislation has been filed on the matter since September.



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