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Liberty Sells Office, Industrial, Flex Properties Across States

15 Nov 2013, 11:02 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Liberty Property Trust has sold office properties located in Maryland, Southern New Jersey and the Fort Washington submarket of Philadelphia.

Jacksonville is the only market Liberty is exiting entirely, and the properties sold also include some flex properties in Minnesota. In total, the sale includes 4 million square feet of office space, 2.3 million square feet of flex properties and 274,000 square feet of industrial properties. The sales are expected to close progressively, starting in late December. The name of the buyer has not been made public

William P. Hankowsky, CEO of Liberty, says the idea behind the transaction is to concentrate the company’s office portfolio in fewer markets and to extend it portfolio allocation to industrial real estate. “We expect these steps to enhance our ability to exploit our expertise in creating and managing high-quality office environments in which we can create significant future value,” he said in a statement for the press.

Liberty is a $7.3 billion REIT founded in 1972 that develops, acquires, leases and manages office and industrial properties. At the end of Q2, the firm enjoyed the ownership of 80.6 million square feet of developed space in more than 21 markets throughout U.S. and the United Kingdom.

The Jacksonville portfolio sold includes numerous Class A office and Class B industrial properties such as Butler Plaza and Liberty Business Park. Most of the properties are located in the Southside near the intersection of J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Interstate 95, but the firm also owns about 120 acres along Imeson Road, West Jacksonville.

Photo credits: Liberty Property Trust

Fuqua and Regency Plans Shopping Center on $3M Site it Purchased

1 Nov 2013, 6:54 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Fuqua Development and Regency Centers Corp. acquired a downtown plot of about two acres from Pope & Land Enterprise Inc. of Atlanta for $3.085 million. The former landlord acquired the Brooklyn site located at the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Jackson Street from a bank in late 2011. The partnership intends to establish a grocer-anchored shopping center on the still-empty parcel, Jacksonville Business Journal reports.

The developers’ vision is in fact an urban mixed-use project comprised of 300 luxury multi-family units and 60,000 square feet of space including multiple restaurants and other retail venues as well as a specialty grocery store. Potential partners were not specified. Completion can be expected in spring 2014.

The newspaper announced one year ago that The Fresh Market Inc. was considering expansion to the location the partnership just bought. Fuqua’s intention to build a retail center was already public, though Fresh Market representatives still keep mum about the details. Developers also decline comment on possible cooperation with the firm.

The grocer’s expansion sounds reasonable by every indication, considering that the site in question is surrounded by a population of over 75,000 with the average household income of $48,579, and has a daily average traffic count of 18,000 according to the developer’s estimates. Right next to the property, Hallmark Partners Inc.’s residential and retail project is under construction and Lincoln Property Co. has proposed an apartment complex in the neighborhood as well. The Fresh Market operates more than 100 stores in over 20 states across the nation and they are not new to the Jacksonville market either, already having two locations in the city and one in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Photo credits: Fuqua Development

San Marco Neighbors Welcome $50M Publix Mixed-Use Development

24 Oct 2013, 9:50 pm

 By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Last Thursday San Marco residents met with developers Whitehall Realty LP, Regency Centers Corp. and St. Joe Co. in a town hall meeting where updated plans for the East San Marco Publix development were presented to the public. According to Jacksonville Business Journal, most of the residents received the plans for the mixed-use concept positively, with potentially increased traffic in the neighborhoods being their largest concern.

In contrast to the initial plans, the complex now calls for less retail space and more residential units. The project embraces a 30,000 square-foot Publix store and 14,000 square feet of small-shop retail space, 240 apartments and 35 townhomes. Most of the apartments will be studios and one-bedrooms averaging 900 square feet. The original proposal included 125 condominiums and 27,000 square feet of small-shop space. The building will be built in Mediterranean style with a blend of glass, stucco and stone and will be located at the corner of Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard, circling the whole block, with 570 parking spaces in the middle.

The joint venture for the project came into existence between St. Joe and Regency in 2006 and Whitehall joined the team just a few weeks ago. As reported by jacksonville.com, the original developers still own the property, but Whitehall Realty Partners will purchase and build the project. Regency Centers will purchase and complete the retail, while Whitehall handles the residential.

The development team still needs to file requests with the city for a land-use change. John Carey, managing partner of Whitehall, is hoping to break ground next May or June. Construction would require 18 months and cost about $55 million.

Photo credits: Google Maps


Jacksonville Landing Redevelopment Plan Includes Adding Residential Units

11 Oct 2013, 9:58 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Toney Sleiman, president and CEO of Sleiman Enterprises, recently announced plans to add residential units to the Landing. The facility will be renovated.

A consultant is analyzing the property to determine a viable number of units. A parking study was also commissioned, and its results should be available this month, according to the Jax Daily Record.

Built in 1987 by The Rouse Company as a festival marketplace, the 125,000 square foot center was purchased by Sleiman Enterprises, North Florida’s first family to operate in the real estate industry and one of Florida’s largest privately held real estate companies, for $5.1 million in 2003. The $250 million redevelopment plan would have expanded the existing space and added a parking garage, boutique hotel, office building and condominiums. Since then, the Landing functioned as a dining and entertainment destination for the area.

In September, Sleiman stated that the ownership was planning a renovation, but originally, the plan called for only repainting and improving the lighting system, Jacksonville Business Journal reported. After brainstorming with Alex Coley and Mike Balanky, superiors of the groups that developed 220 Riverside and the San Marco Place condominium tower, Coley recently said that adding residential to the Landing would be a viable strategy.

Sleiman said costs have not yet been determined, and that he will request for city incentives. After seeing the plan, Council member Bill Bishop gave assurances that he is pleased with the plan. Urban core advocate Peter Rummell said that the property plays a key role in Downtown revitalization. Chances are, the project may be supported by the city.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

JU Starts Work on New $8M College of Health Sciences Building

10 Jul 2013, 9:58 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

As part of Jacksonville University’s $85 million ASPIRE campaign, work will soon start on the College of Health Sciences’ new building, meant to address the growing needs of the school.

To be located at 2800 University Blvd., in the plaza between Lazzara Health Sciences Center and the Davis College of Business, the two-story 30,000-square-foot building will cost $8 million. The facility will feature dedicated and multi-purpose classroom equipped with advanced technology, event space and meeting rooms, faculty and staff offices, multidisciplinary simulation learning center, advanced speech and computer laboratories. The plan also calls for interior green space and open, clerestory lighting to bring in natural daylight, as well as wireless technology throughout.

Site preparation has already begun, and the university has chosen Jacksonville-based Perry-McCall to build the new facility. With Dasher Hurst Architects of Jacksonville in charge of design, the Marine Science Research Institute is scheduled for completion July 2014.

A centerpiece of JU’s $85 million ASPIRE comprehensive campaign, the new two-story building is part of a $20-million phased plan to meet growing demand by expanding the College of Health Science’s facilities, programs, faculty and partnerships with the medical community.

About 1,600 students are enrolled in the College of Health Sciences. With Nursing and Exercise Science program increases, and the addition of programs in Speech-Language Pathology, Health Executive Leadership, Occupational Therapy and Health Information Management, enrollment is projected to rise as much as 40 percent, to about 2,300, students by 2016.

Image courtesy of Jacksonville University

Microsoft to Create its First Retail Store in St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville

28 Jun 2013, 9:03 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Rumors that Microsoft will build its first Jacksonville-area retail store have just been confirmed.

The software giant recently hired JTM Construction—a subsidiary of the Fisher Companies, a privately held construction services company primarily active in the western United States—to build a store at St. Johns Town Center.

St. Johns Town Center is an outdoor lifestyle mall that houses approximately 150 stores, among which Dillard’s, Apple, Pottery Barn and Ann Taylor, as well as shops in the palm-lined streets of the Luxury Collection such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Mayors. Conveniently located in Jacksonville’s Southside neighborhood, St. Johns Town Center is easily accessible to I-95, I-295 and J. Turner Butler Boulevard and between Downtown and the beaches serving Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Amelia Island and South Georgia.

At the beginning of May, the Florida Times-Union first reported that Microsoft had filed an application with the city to build a store at that location, calling for a $400,000 investment in renovating the space previously occupied by Puma.

The 4,975-square-foot space—located right next to Urban Outfitters—has been standing vacant for several months; the store’s location at 4791 River City Drive will be placing it merely two blocks from the Apple store.

Retail stores are a rather new concept for the Seattle-based software giant that opened its first store in 2009. The state of Florida is currently home to four other Microsoft stores, with the Orlando one— opened in August 2013—being the first, followed by three more in Miami and Tampa.

Image via Simon Malls

Centerline Funds $6.7M Fannie Mae Loan for Jacksonville M-F Property

24 May 2013, 9:46 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

The 136-unit Pinewood Pointe Apartments has recently been refinanced by a $6.75 million Fannie Mae fixed-rate, affordable loan provided by Centerline Capital Group.

The fixed-rate loan has a 12-year term, 9.5-year lockout, and a 30-year amortizing schedule. The borrower is SP Pinewood LP, a Florida limited partnership. The proceeds from the loan will be used to refinance existing tax-exempt bonds, which were also financed by Centerline, which is a subsidiary of Centerline Holding Co.

The affordable multifamily property, originally built in 1991, consists of 24 two-story apartment buildings and a clubhouse, with 48 units being garden style and the other 88 townhouse style apartments. Amenities include a clubhouse/leasing office with business center, common laundry room, a community pool, two children’s playgrounds, car wash area and picnic areas. Pinewood Pointe Apartments was acquired and renovated in 2007 with tax-exempt bonds issued by Florida Housing Finance Corp. and equity from the sale of 4 percent low income housing tax credits.

“The property is well-located in a desirable residential neighborhood with high=quality development surrounding the property and easy access to major employers, supportive commercial uses and recreational amenities,” noted Jim Gillespie, managing director at Centerline. “The borrower is a repeat Centerline client that is a very experienced multifamily developer, owner and manager. At Centerline, we continuously look to identify affordable housing opportunities that are attractive to our investors and also make a significant impact on the communities where they exist.”

Image via www.pinewoodpointe.com

Public-Private Partnership to Add ‘Central Park’ to Brooklyn, Jacksonville Development

10 May 2013, 7:09 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

A public-private partnership is looking to bring a signature park to historic Brooklyn. Mayor Alvin Brown and Jen Jones—executive director of Jacksonville Unity Plaza Inc.—accepted the deed to the premiere ‘central park’ for Jacksonville at the construction site of 220 Riverside, a mixed-use development aiming to revive Brooklyn.

Jacksonville Unity Plaza Inc., the non-profit that will manage Unity Plaza, promises to deliver a new entertainment hub that will host events year round. Developers have projected a plaza with a fountain, a lake and a staging area flanked by an amphitheater able to accommodate 2,000.

The Unity Plaza concept is the vision of Alex Coley, principal and co-founder of Hallmark Partners, currently developing the adjacent 220 Riverside mixed-use project. The public-private partnership is part of a redevelopment agreement that obligates the private developers of 220 Riverside to donate the Unity Plaza property, establish the 501(c)(3) non-profit and fund the basic operations of the non-profit entity that will manage the property as a community ‘central park.’

“We have said all along that the 220 Riverside is actually a community service project disguised as a real estate deal,” said Coley, who presented the deed to the Mayor and Jones. “Unity Plaza will host and nurture the diversity and spirit of our community while revitalizing downtown and fulfilling our mission of place-making.”

Unity Plaza is the cornerstone in the current redevelopment of Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood. It is located at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Forest Street, adjacent to the 220 Riverside project featuring 294 market rate apartments and 18,000 square feet of retail. The Unity Plaza project development team is led by Hallmark Partners Inc., and Jacksonville-based Studio 9 Architecture is leading the park’s design. Programming in development includes seasonal events, concerts, educational programming and unique activities that utilize the nearby St. Johns River.

Image courtesy of Hallmark Partners

Improving Jacksonville Industrial Market Attracts 1M SF Distribution Center

22 Apr 2013, 3:44 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

The local commercial real estate community is talking about a mystery firm’s plans to develop a one million-square-foot distribution/warehouse center in the St. Johns Water Management District, ever since the Jacksonville Business Journal first reported on the project.

According to the publication, a permit application has been filed at the beginning of the month for two centers, one encompassing 600,000 square feet, and the other 400,000. The two would rise on a 102-acre site located at the intersection of Normandy Boulevard and 103rd Street and runs along Alcoy Road.

The City of Jacksonville, the landowner, applied for the permits on behalf of Hillwood Investment Properties. There have been rumors that FedEx Ground Shipping or Amazon.com could be the anchor tenants of the proposed facility, but no official announcements have been made yet.

Industrial market CBRE Research has revealed that the Jacksonville industrial market experienced a great start to the year, with positive indicators of recovery. The first quarter 2013 closed with a vacancy rate of 10.8 percent. The overall vacancy rate is the lowest it’s been since 2009. In 2007, at the market’s height, there were more than 4.5 million square feet of industrial projects underway. Very few developments have been delivered to the market since the recession, mostly due to high vacancy rates and economic uncertainty.

Currently, in addition to the warehouse/distribution center, there are 22 buildings proposed in the Northside, Westside and Southside submarkets. These developments could add up to 4.3 million square feet of space to the market. Yet developers seem to be awaiting a further decline in vacancy rates to break ground on the projects, as there is currently no construction underway in the Jacksonville industrial market.

Chart courtesy of CBRE


Nordstrom Adds 35K SF Rack Store to Local Retail Options in Jacksonville

5 Apr 2013, 9:45 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

After announcing last year that it will be opening a 124,000-square-foot, two-level, full-line store at St. Johns Town Center, Nordstrom is now planning a 35,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack store at The Markets at Town Center in Jacksonville. The opening date has been set for fall 2013.

The Markets at Town Center is a retail, dining, and entertainment center conveniently located at Gate Parkway and Town Center Parkway just off I-295/J. Turner Butler Boulevard. The location will place the new Nordstrom Rack across from St. Johns Town Center where the new Nordstrom full-line store will open in 2014. The new Rack store will be part of the final phase of the center and will be joining a vibrant business, retail and restaurant scene. Nearby stores include REI, Ulta, Best Buy, West Marine, Brio, Black Finn, Whiskey River, Suite and a variety of boutiques.

“We could not be more excited to be welcoming Nordstrom as our neighbor and Nordstrom Rack to our incredible array of one of a kind merchants and restaurateurs at The Markets at Town Center,” said Steven Cadranel, president of Arris Realty Partners.  “Our vision and success for attracting the most desired retailers and creating a truly unique shopping and dining experience for all of northeast Florida continues to build on itself.”

Nordstrom currently operates nine full-line stores and eight Rack stores throughout Florida, and has recently revealed plans to open a new 35,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack shop at the Shoppes at University Town Center in Sarasota. The next two targeted markets for Nordstrom Rack stores are Chicago and Louisville, Ky.

Image via The Markets at Town Center

Omni Amelia Resort Unveils Outcome of Massive $85M Renovation

21 Mar 2013, 10:04 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort opened its doors on March 5 to reveal the completion of a massive $85 million renovation. The renovation had consisted of extensive remodeling work on the entire building and the addition of 155 rooms.

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort now features a new 155-room wing—called the Oceanside wing—that will function alongside the rejuvenated Sunrise wing that features 249 rooms, totaling 404 oceanfront escapes. Of the 27 suites, most notable are the Infiniti Suites, which occupy the farthest edge of Oceanside, and boast wrap-around porches offering extensive views of the Atlantic coastline.

Directly off the hotel lobby, the new outdoor area offers the largest pool deck in Northeast Florida with lounge seating for sun-seekers, three fire features, additional food and beverage services and expanded changing facilities. The tiered poolscape includes the Serenity Pool, an adult, infinity-edge pool; the family-friendly Splash Pool; Splash Park, a water playground perfect for toddlers and small children; and two hot tubs – all featuring uninterrupted Atlantic Ocean views. In addition, a full service luxury spa housing 16 treatment rooms has been added.

Omni Amelia Island Plantation now features more than 80,000 square feet of versatile function space in the onsite Conference Center and across the 1,350-acre property. The space, which will accommodate meetings, banquets, weddings, social events and conferences for up to 1,800 attendees, includes the 16,800-square-foot Magnolia Ballroom, as well as the 11,165-square-foot Amelia Ballroom and the 5,465-square-foot Cumberland Ballroom. Pre-function and exhibit space and 37 breakout rooms complete the new Conference Center, while the Magnolia Garden, located just outside, features 11,000 square feet of lawn edged by majestic magnolia trees and herbs used daily by the resort’s chefs.

Originally built in 1976, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is a gated luxury resort acquired by TRT Holdings Inc.—owner of Omni Hotels & Resorts—for $67.1 million. The owner kick-started renovations work on the 1,350 acre-property in November 2011.

Image via Omni Amelia Island Plantation

NorthMarq Arranges $11.1M Mortgage for Two Orange Park M-F Properties

21 Feb 2013, 10:25 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Real estate financial intermediary NorthMarq recently arranged combined acquisition financing of $11.1 million for two multifamily properties located in Orange Park, Fla.

Financing was based on a 10-year term and a 30-year amortization schedule and was arranged for the borrowers, Fieldstone Group, LP and Millstone, LP, by NorthMarq through its seller-servicer relationship with Freddie Mac. Ryan Whitaker, vice president of NorthMarq’s Jacksonville Regional office, spearheaded the operation.

“Each property was an acquisition with legal complexity associated with the HOA and separate CDD and had to close by year-end 2012,” Whitaker said. “Freddie Mac understood the time sensitivity and legal complexities added by the HOA and CDD structures and delivered another successful closing for NorthMarq.”

The two properties make up for 160 market rate units, with Fieldstone Village Apartments—located at 573 Oakleaf Plantation Parkway—consisting of 96 units, and Millstone Village Apartments, set at 4190 Plantation Oaks Boulevard, of another 64 units. Both properties are part of a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) and Community Development District (CDD).

Image courtesy of NorthMarq

Rosemont Realty Adds 288KSF Office Complex for $31.75M

9 Feb 2013, 2:21 am

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

In its fifth Florida acquisition, Rosemont Realty LLC recently purchased the three-building Concourse office complex in Jacksonville.

According to Financial News & Daily Record, the company—which specializes in commercial real estate acquisition and asset management—paid $31.75 million for the 288,147-square-foot property. This marks the first deal closed by the company in 2013. Last year, Rosemont Realty acquired eight Class A and Class B commercial properties, representing more than 2.5 million square feet valued at approximately $250 million. The 2012 acquisitions were in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Denver, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, San Antonio and Tulsa.

“The Concourse in Jacksonville is Rosemont’s first acquisition in 2013,” said Daniel Burrell, CEO of Rosemont Realty. “We have confidence in the Jacksonville market and will continue to evaluate high quality opportunities in Florida’s high growth markets.”

The Concourse complex consists of three four-story office buildings, each building encompassing approximately 96,000 rentable square feet. The buildings were all constructed between 1998 and 2001. Concourse fronts I-95 on Belfort Road in Jacksonville and is just one-quarter mile from the J.T. Butler Boulevard (SR 202) interchange.

Currently 88 percent occupied, the office complex lists as tenants DeVry University, SJ&P advertising agency, Diversified Clinical Services, Meridian Technologies, Gresham, Smith and Partners, and Pulte Homes, among others. According to an official company release, NAI Hallmark Partners will continue to provide property management and leasing services for the Concourse property

Rosemont Realty now controls five commercial office properties in Florida, representing nearly 720,000 square feet, including Metro Parkway in Fort Myers; Westland One, Butler Pointe, Concourse in Jacksonville; and Cypress Pointe in Tampa.

Image Courtesy of Rosemont Realty


Parkway Agrees to Pay $130M for Flagler’s Deerwood Office Portfolio

25 Jan 2013, 10:18 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Deerwood South

Deerwood South

Continuing its recent buying spree, Orlando-based Parkway Properties is now moving to purchase a one million-square-foot office portfolio in the Deerwood submarket of Jacksonville, Fla. The company has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire eight office properties from Flagler for $130 million or $128 per square foot.

The eight properties are located in Flagler’s Deerwood North and Deerwood South office parks and have a combined occupancy rate of 93.7 percent with an average in place gross rent of $19.11 per square foot.

Deerwood South contains four Class A buildings totaling 519,221 square feet of office space and ample parking. Its Southside address—10151 Deerwood Park Boulevard—places it 12 miles from the beaches and from downtown Jacksonville. Deerwood South is a two-time TOBY winner for Best Suburban Office Park.

Deerwood North is located in Jacksonville’s corporate growth corridor of Southside Boulevard and J. Turner Butler Boulevard, at 4600 Touchton Road. A winner of NAIOP’s Best Office Development, the office park is comprised of four office buildings totaling nearly 500,000 rentable square feet.

Deerwood North

Deerwood North

“We believe the Deerwood portfolio offers a stable, core investment with strong occupancy and a high-quality rent roll.  The Deerwood submarket has been a targeted growth area for Parkway given its prime location and the many amenities it offers, attracting a multitude of institutional and strong credit tenants to the area,” said James R. Heistand, Parkway’s president and CEO. ”Parkway will have a critical mass in this submarket, owning approximately 29 percent of the total office inventory, which should provide us with operational efficiencies and leasing advantages,” he added.

Parkway expects the portfolio to generate an initial full-year cash net operating income yield of approximately 9 percent. According to an official company release, Parkway will own 100 percent of the portfolio and plans to place secured financing on the properties totaling up to 65 percent of the purchase price simultaneous with closing. Parkway intends to fund the remaining equity using borrowings from its revolving credit facility.  Closing is expected to occur by the end of the first quarter 2013.

Images courtesy of Flagler’s Official Website

FFG Expands Downtown Footprint, Signs 38K Lease in SunTrust Tower

11 Jan 2013, 7:13 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Financial services corporation Foundation Financial Group (FFG) is increasing its presence in downtown Jacksonville. The company has signed a lease to occupy 38,000 square foot in the SunTrust Tower.

“FFG has experienced tremendous growth over the last several years and our expansion into the SunTrust building was a strategic move to accommodate that growth,” said FFG Chief Financial Officer, Tanya Mauro. “This lease provides us the opportunity to grow our business and support the city in which we work in live. We are proud to do our part to help rejuvenate downtown Jacksonville and make Northeast Florida more appealing.”

According to a company release, FFG estimates that it will be injecting over $1.5 million into the downtown market over the next three years. Up to now, FFG has been leasing approximately 18,000 square feet in One Enterprise Center on Water Street.

The 23-story SunTrust Tower is a Class A office building which encompasses 383,239 square feet of space and accommodates about 150 people per floor. Built in 1989, the building was last renovated in 2004. Located in the very center of Jacksonville’s downtown central business district, the building offers tenants views of the St. John’s River and places them within walking distance from the Jacksonville Landing and several nearby eateries.

The tower’s current occupancy rate is 41 percent. Once FFG takes possession of the space, the occupancy rate of the building will increase to 50 percent. Owner Parador Partners LLC is confident that, along with FFC’s move, advertisers, lawyers, IT shops and accountants will also be seeking space nearby.

Image via CoStar


Elco Landmark Buys Multifamily Assets Totaling $100M from Equity Residential

21 Dec 2012, 9:57 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Elco Landmark Residential recently closed on the acquisition of four multifamily properties in two separate transactions with Equity Residential for a combined price of approximately $100 million. The company is targeting the acquisition of apartment communities in what it sees as quality locations throughout the Southeast.

The first transaction consisted of three Jacksonville properties that make up for 882 units. According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, these properties called for a $72.5 million sale price. The three Jacksonville properties involved in the transaction are:

-          The 248-unit Landmark at Sage Commons, formerly known as Waterford at Deerwood; the property was built in 1985;

-          Landmark at Hampshire Place, formerly known as Royal Oaks, was constructed in 1991 and contains 284 units;

-          Landmark at Crescent Ridge, formerly known as Bermuda Cove, was constructed in 1989 and contains 350 units.

Each community offers residents a number of amenities including a swimming pool, spa/hot tub, tennis courts, clubhouse, fitness center, business center and a car care center. Elco Landmark plans to implement a nine month renovation and repositioning program to enhance the properties’ common areas and amenities. The three properties are currently 94 percent occupied.

An Orlando multifamily property—the 252-unit Landmark at Siena Springs—was acquired in a separate transaction. This property is also headed for improvements, as the company plans on adding new signage and enhancing the interior of each unit over the next nine months.

“We are pleased to expand our existing portfolio with four high-quality properties that adhere to our disciplined investment strategy,” said Joseph Lubeck, CEO of Elco Landmark Residential. “Each asset is located in a core southeast market that is supported by strong fundamentals including above-average employment rates, population growth and limited new housing supply. These market dynamics combined with our proven repositioning strategy will allow us to achieve unrealized cash flow potential and value.”

Image: Landmark at Crescent Ridge via Elco Landmark Residential


364-Acre Ranch Retreat Sells at Auction

7 Dec 2012, 9:56 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Anabelle Island, a 364-acre private ranch estate located 30 minutes south of Jacksonville, recently changed hands at an auction.

The sale of 2920 Russell Road, which includes a furnished 7,798-square-foot main residence, was conducted  through New York-based Concierge Auctions in partnership with Beverly Brandenburger, Gayle Washnock and Newman Rossie of Manormor Sotheby’s International Realty. Washnock also represented the buyer.

Anabelle Island is a private enclave tucked in the woods at the end of a nearly mile-long graded sand and limestone drive. The main home contains five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, a custom cook’s kitchen, a massive Georgia stone fireplace and a spiral staircase that leads to an upstairs loft area. The living room overlooks a 5.41-acre spring-fed lake, which is stocked with bass, bream, carp and catfish. Also outdoors is a screened-in, lakeside veranda and two natural artesian wells. A stone deck runs to the infinity pool, spa and outdoor kitchen.

Adjacent to the main house is a three-car garage with a heated and cooled storage space above the parking, ideal for guest space or an extra amenity like a media room. A separate four-car garage is at the end of the paver motor court. Fully fenced, other amenities include a large functional barn with tractor and other farm equipment included and an 18-acre pasture.

“Anabelle Island is a versatile property in an area ripe for growth, which appealed to a diverse mix of potential owners,” stated Laura Brady, president of Concierge Auctions. “Concierge Auctions has had tremendous success in the Jacksonville area including the recent sale of a three-acre luxury estate along the St. Johns River, a private residence in the Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club, and a newly constructed home within the exclusive Palencia golf and tennis community. We appreciate our ongoing partnership with Manormor Sotheby’s International Realty and thank their team for their collaborative efforts towards making this auction a success.”

Image courtesy of adelto.co.uk


DeBartolo, Liberty Group JV Buys Jacksonville’s Holiday Inn Express

27 Nov 2012, 5:41 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

DeBartolo Development L.L.C., in a joint venture with Liberty Group as operating partner, has acquired the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Jacksonville-Blount Island.

The joint venture obtained the non-performing senior mortgage on the asset in 2011, and recently received ownership of the property in Federal Court after a bankruptcy and foreclosure case. No financial details have been disclosed, but the amount for which the property most recently traded was $6.5 million.

Built in 2004, the property is located at 10148 New Berlin Road, just off Route 9A in the heart of the city of Jacksonville near Blount Island and the St. Johns River. It is the closest hotel to the Jaxport Cruise Ship Terminal. The hotel features 73 guestrooms including 17 suites, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a 2,000-sq.-ft. meeting room, and atrium-style great room.

The three-story Holiday Inn Express and Suites is just a few blocks from the Carnival Cruise Port. Only 11 miles from Jacksonville Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, it is a preferred choice for travelers sailing out of the local port. Several area attractions–Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Jacksonville Zoo, Kinsley Plantation and Jacksonville Landing–are minutes away.

“This hotel perfectly complements our growing portfolio and investment strategy of acquiring under-valued top-tier assets. The Jacksonville market has shown significant resilience, and we anticipate creating tremendous value through our great relationship with Intercontinental Hotels, and increasing Net Operating Income through capital improvements and operational efficiencies,” said Punit R. Shah, president and chief operating officer of Liberty Group.

Image via TripAdvisor

MAA Joins Hallmark, Bristol on Development of $37M Mixed-Use Project

7 Nov 2012, 10:43 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Less than a week before groundbreaking, a major multifamily player is added to the construction team of the newest residential and retail project in the Brooklyn area of downtown Jacksonville.

Memphis-based Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. (MAA) will join Hallmark Partners Inc. and Bristol Development LLC on the $37 million 220 Riverside project.

Set to break ground on Nov. 13, 220 Riverside will include a 294-unit upscale apartment community with structured parking and luxurious common areas.  The seven-story apartment development will feature units ranging in size from 615 square feet to 1,200 square feet. 220 Riverside will sit on a two-acre site, approximately one mile southwest of Jacksonville’s Central Business District in the Riverside neighborhood.

220 Riverside will directly front a new community park and amphitheater. The majority of the units will have river, park or courtyard views. The development will also feature 18,000 square feet of retail stores and restaurants on the first floor of the project fronting the community park and Riverside Avenue. Other amenities featured at 220 Riverside will include a fitness center, active club room, cyber café and a rooftop courtyard with a resort-style pool, outdoor kitchen and seating niches overlooking the St. Johns River.

According to Jacksonville Business Journal, MAA currently owns 12 apartment communities in Northeast Florida. Two of these properties—Atlantic Crossing on Gate Parkway and Tattersall at Tapestry Park—are among the highest-dollar commercial real estate transactions in 2011.  

LandSouth Starts Work on New $21M Apartment Community in Jacksonville

24 Oct 2012, 8:18 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

LandSouth Construction will be bringing new housing options to Jacksonville residents. The company has officially started work on a $21 million community at the southwest corner of J. Turner Boulevard and Southside Boulevard.

The 18 acres development will consist of 280 residences, 19 buildings, a resort-style clubhouse and other amenities. Construction commenced last week and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2013. When completed, Lost Lake Resort Apartments amenities will include an 18,000-square-foot clubhouse with a full-service fitness center, indoor basketball court, Cyber Café, zero entry resort-style pool and spa. Other amenities will be volleyball courts, resort cabanas, dog park, covered hammock areas and outdoor kitchen with grills.

The gated community will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom homes with one or two baths. Apartments will average 1,096 square feet of living space.  Interior elements will include ceramic tile floors in baths, faux wood plank flooring in kitchen and entry ways, wide-rail premium wood cabinetry with crown moulding, island kitchens with snack bar, luxury appliances with laundry in each unit, and custom details including curved shower rods, security door locks and electronic security system.

Lost Lake Resort Apartments will be located at the center of Jacksonville’s growing entertainment, retail, restaurant and employment hub, while also offering easy access to the beaches and downtown.

According to a company release, in building Lost Lake Resort Apartments, LandSouth Construction is using an integrated approach under which service components work together to provide a seamless delivery system.

Lost Lake Apartments L.L.C. is the developer, while Forum Architecture & Interior Design of Altamonte Springs, Fla. is designing the community.

Image via Forum Architecture & Interior Design