Source: JaxUSA Partnership
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.
JaxPort’s Blount Island facility just received 3 new container cranes last Friday, after a 2.5 month long trip, traveling 17,000 miles from China. The cranes will allow the port to service wider vessels that are becoming more prevalent since the opening of the newly expanded Panama Canal. As explained in the article, the existing cranes can reach across 16 containers, while the new cranes can reach across 22.
The Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF for short) that is currently under construction near the Dames Point JaxPort terminal is set to be “substantially complete” this month, according to senior JaxPort officials. The ICTF will provide increased efficiency for logistics companies shipping products thru Jacksonville. An ICTF allows for the transfer of TEU’s from large container ships to rail lines in a much more efficient manner, which will in turn make Jacksonville a more attractive place for logistics firms to do business. Expect increased activity in the Northside industrial submarket in coming months following the completion.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) recently announced a long anticipated plan (preliminary) for the Skyway, an automated/elevated monorail system that runs to and from 8 stations in the CBD, on both the South and North-banks of the river. JTA has taken a lot of criticism in recent years over the Skyway project, and the number of riders got so low that the city waived the cost to ride the monorail, in an effort to try to boost its use. JTA hopes to finalize the project, including securing funding for the construction by this time next year. The plans outlined by JTA show a major expansion of the rail line, to expand to new locations on both sides of the river, including:
The FDOT is tentatively agreeing to begin to set aside money for the controversial harbor deepening project, which will be needed in order to attract larger shipping vessels, referred to as “Post Panamax” cargo ships. The funding will still need to be approved by state legislature, however this is a good sign of progress. The money that is being allocated is as follows:
The popularity of JaxPort (No. 1 in the state in terms of TEU’s handled; more automobile exports than any port in the country) is driving growth in the industrial warehouse market in Jacksonville. It is expected that the demand for warehouse space in this market will soon lead to Built to Suit projects, and eventually spec development. With pending projects, including the ICTF (Intermodal Container Transfer Facility) near the Dames Point, river dredging and new cranes, we should continue to see growth at JaxPort and in the warehouse and logistics industry.
Port Jax Trade Center, an industrial park located off of Alta Drive and just over 1 mile from the Dames Point, recently signed on two new tenants, bringing the newest building up to 75% occupancy. Lockheed Martin, who does work for the Navy, will be taking on 24,000 square feet, and Clovertech, a printer cartridge recycler will occupy 30,000 square feet. Port Jax Trade Center is represented by Colliers agent Bart Hinson, and already features high profile tenants, including W&O’s North American Headquarters, and Hoegh Autoliners. According to the owner/developer, he plans to continue to build on spec, one building at a time. There are currently 3 dock high multitenant buildings within Port Jax Trade Center.
Carole Hawkins of The JAX Daily Record reports on an update for the search for funding to the tune of $684M to dredge JAXPorts’s shipping channels from 40 to 47′ to accept Post-Panamax ships while Savannah has its funding and Charleston seeks to deepen to 52′ as The Boston Consulting Group forecasts as many as 9M East Asia containers will be diverted from the West Coast to East Coast ports by 2020 after the Panama Canal expansion opens next year. The same report suggests the deepening of JAXPort will result in container cargo tripling by 2035, creating 14,000 new jobs, and a regional economic impact of $850M per year.
Following its big brother, Volkswagen, Porsche has announced it will begin importing its cars thru JAXPort in October instead of Brunswick where it has brought in cars since 2002. Roger Bull of The Florida Times-Union has the story here.