Another Industrial Portfolio Trades; this one at $59/SF

For the third time recently, an industrial portfolio has traded in JAX.  The latest was Cabot Properties’ exit of the market with the sale to NY-based DRA Advisors of about 924k SF of warehouse-distribution space in five buildings around town, four up at Alta Lakes and one at Flagler Center, plus some 16 acres at Alta Lakes.

Earlier in January, MDH Partners of Atlanta paid $54.6M, or $42/SF for seven buildings and 1.3MSF of warehouse space around Imeson Park on the north side of town and Boston-based STAG Partners paid $34.3M of about $34/SF for seven area buildings.

Karen Brune Mathis of The JAX Daily Record has the article on all three here.

Regency Centers to Acquire Equity One

Jacksonville based Regency Centers Corp. just announced a deal to acquire another major shopping center owner, Equity One, Inc. Regency currently owns 307 properties across the country, and the acquisition/merger with Equity One (122 properties) will result in a combined company with 429 properties across the US, with a total market value of $15.6 Billion.  The deal is expected to take place in the first to second quarter of 2017. The company will retain the Regency Centers name and the headquarters will remain in Jacksonville. The merger will be done through an exchange of stock.

Mark Basch with the Daily Record covered the story.

8 Retailers Announced Significant Store Closings in 2016

According to a Bankrate.com posting by Sarah Berger, the following 8 chains announced significant store closings this year.

WalMart (January) – 154 in US (269 worldwide)
Sports Authority (March) – 450 stores (all)
Kmart/Sears (April) – 78 stores (68 KM’s and 10 Sears)
Macy’s (?) – 100 stores
Ralph Lauren (June) – 50 stores
Office Depot (August) – 400 + 300 in next 3 years
Aeropostale (May) – 113 stores (plus all 41 of its Canadian stores)
JCPenney (January) – 7 stores (shuttered 33 in 2014 and 40 in 2015)

Topgolf and IKEA Updates

Topgolf opened for business on October 28th, after much anticipation and excitement. The venue is 65,000 SF and located near the St. Johns Town Center, just west (and visible) from I-295.

Ikea broke ground yesterday, with a planned opening in 2017. The store will be 290,000 SF and located on 25 acres, with 950 parking spaces. Ikea plans to hire 250 people once the store opens. This will be the 4th Ikea in Florida, and the first in Northeast Florida.

Both of these developments are great signs for the city, demonstrating that the city is now “on the radar” for major retailers who previously overlooked Jacksonville. Topgolf and Ikea chose sites close to the St. Johns Town Center, which is viewed by outsiders as the prime retail hub of the city.

Strong Job Growth Continues

Metro JAX’ 5-county employment has added some 24,900 jobs in the 12 months’ ended in August 2016.  That’s a 3.8% growth ranks 3rd amongst its peers in the Southeast, just behind Savannah at 4.0% and still well behind Orlando at 4.4%, but well ahead of Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, and Miami – and substantially better than the nation at about 2.0%.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, every employment category had gains in JAX except one (Information, which lost 400 jobs or down 4.3%); increases were widely dispersed, with the biggest gains being in Construction (+12.1%), Leisure/Hospitality (+5.9%) and Education and Health Services (+5.2%).

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IKEA Development Details Released

IKEA plans to invest nearly $36M into the planned Jacksonville location. According to a recent article, the opening is expected to be in the fall of 2017 and the store plans on hiring 250 people to staff the location. The permits show a store size of 294,203 SF with 950 parking spaces and an expected development cost of $22.7M. IKEA paid $13M for the 25 acres back in May.

Karen Brune Mathis with the Daily Record covered the story.

Land bought at Town Center for 305 unit apartment development

Stanmore Partners reportedly paid $7M to Preferred Growth Properties for about 6 acres of land near the St. Johns Town Center to construct a 306-unit apartment building. The apartments are being referred to as “Ravella at Town Center” and will include 6 buildings and a 7-level parking garage. The total cost of the development was reported at $32M.

Karen Brune Mathis with the Daily Record covered the story.

Best Buy to relocate Town Center area store

Best Buy is going to be relocating their existing store at The Markets at Town Center to the proposed new development across the street, known as The Strand, and expanding by 4,800 SF along the way. The Strand is being developed by Preferred Growth Properties, LLC, a subsidiary of Books A Million, Inc.

Karen Brune Mathis with the Daily Record covered the story.

Best Cities for Job Seekers

According to data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) between 2012 and 2015, Jacksonville ranked #4 for “Construction and Extraction” jobs, and #5 for jobs in the “Health Care Practitioners and Technical Occupations” category. The figures are based on comparing local occupation density in various occupation categories with national averages to determine the rankings.

Click here for the original article, which was posted on Abodo.

Project Vero- Another Amazon DC?

An unnamed company is seeking incentives totaling some $8.3M from the state and city for the proposed construction of a 1 million square foot distribution center that could be built at city owned Cecil Commerce Center in Jacksonville’s Westside submarket.

The project sounds very similar to the Amazon distribution center that was announced earlier this year, which was being referred to as Project Rex when they were at this stage of the process. There is a strong possibility that the company behind Project Vero could be Amazon, who has built more than one distribution center in the same market before. In fact, it is somewhat common for Amazon to build one distribution center to pick, pack and ship smaller items, and another to process larger items, such as furniture, sporting equipment, TV’s and other larger consumer products.

The Cecil Commerce location would be about 23 miles south of the location that was already announced, which is at 12900 Pecan Park Road, right off I-295 and just south of the Airport.

Karen Brune Mathis with the Daily Record covered the story.