Category Archives: Downtown
Over the coming years, some 1,109 new hotel rooms will be entering the downtown market. A Residence Inn planned for Brooklyn is going through the city planning process, and the new owners of the Ambassador Hotel have said they will refurbish it into 100 rooms. That seems about to change.
The partners of Augustine Development Group provided details of their plans, after they purchased five lots to bring back the historic Ambassador Hotel in Downtown Jacksonville to its “original luster”.
The mayor’s office said an unnamed developer has bought the half-built skeleton of a tower on downtown’s riverfront and plans to build a hotel, entertainment venue and parking garage on the property. Even though the building is exposed with incomplete concrete and steel structures for more than a decade, developer believes structure is sound and will be developed as per the plan.
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.
EverBank Financial Corp. announced on Monday (8/8) that the Jacksonville HQ’d bank would be bought by TIAA for $2.5B, or $19.50 per share. For several weeks there has been much talk and speculation surrounding the potential sale. TIAA, a financial services firm that was formed in 1918 by the Carnegie Foundation, also has a banking arm, which will soon be combined with EverBank. The company has stated that Jacksonville will serve as the headquarters for the combined bank, however further details regarding the new operations are unknown, including the new name of the combined entities. Additionally, many locals wonder if the Jaguars stadium will remain EverBank Field, or if it will be re-branded.
Lingerfelt CommonWealth Realty Partners recently purchased the Stein Mart building for $23.7M from Parkway Properties. The 10-story building is about 197K SF and is located in the downtown CBD (on the Southbank). The building was about 97% occupied at the time of the sale, and anchored by Stein Mart, who occupies about half of the building and has naming rights to the building. Lingerfelt also owns the Riverplace Tower across the street, which they bought from Gate in 2014 for $29M .
The 28-story, 295-unit Strand apartment tower, located on the Southbank recently traded for $64.6M, or, $219K per unit- a new record for local apartment/multifamily sales. The waterfront, luxury tower was built in 2007, and is the only high rise tower to be built in Jacksonville in recent years (most of the new apartment construction has been low to mid rise or “garden” style). The Stand was purchased by an investment firm based in Winter Park, FL. Other recent and notable sales included the sale of the Broadstone Beach House ($46M; $203K/unit) and Brooklyn Riverside ($58M; $187K/unit).
Ameris Bank, which expanded in Jax with the purchase of Jacksonville Bank several years ago, celebrated the recent move of the banks executive headquarters to Jacksonville, a move that was credited to Jacksonville’s impressive pool of talent in the financial services industry. The bank, which still retains its corporate office in Moultrie, GA, has been rapidly expanding in recent years. Ameris recently leased space in Riverplace Tower on the Southbank, and subsequently purchased signage rights for the tower, adding the Ameris logo to the skyline.
Aetna Inc., who has been located on the Southbank (CBD) since 1999 and has the naming rights to the tower they currently occupy, will be relocating to the suburbs when their lease expires in 2017. The national life insurance company will be moving to the former Bank of America campus, known as Gramercy Woods, located on Southside Boulevard (just north of Phillips Highway). Gramercy Woods is a 1.2M SF office park owned by Gramercy Property Trust (NYSE: GPT). Aetna will occupy 132,000 SF of space in the park.
Colliers International brokered the deal. The team included Chuck Diebel, Robet Selton, Preston Phillips and Lisa McLatchey.
The firm that was privately seeking $3.29M in incentives from the city and state and was code named “Project Omega” has finally been identified- Ernst & Young, a London HQ’d accounting and financial services firm is expanding in Jacksonville. The city is committing to a $450,000 incentive and the state is contributing $2.84M, in exchange for Ernst & Young’s commitment to create 450 jobs. Jobs will be in the IT and financial services sectors, with average paid wages of $49,000+. It is unknown where Ernst & Young will locate their offices; right now, the company has a presence in the Wells Fargo Center downtown.