Jtb, Vera Apartments to Top $63 Million

resort

The city is reviewing permits for JTB Apartments near Deerwood Park.

Two new Southside apartment communities, whose construction costs alone add up to $63 million, are in permitting review for Southside.

Killashee Investments LLC filed to build its proposed 350-unit JTB Apartments at 8876 A.C. Skinner Parkway while Davis Development Inc. wants to develop the 252-unit Vera apartments at 13051 Gran Bay Parkway in Flagler Center.

The JTB Apartments, at $35 million, comprise four five-story apartment buildings, seven two-story carriage houses, a pool and amenity area and a maintenance building on almost 13 acres.

The carriage structures have parking on the ground floor and two living units on the second floor.

Killashee Investments, of Ponte Vedra Beach, and Presidium Group of Austin, Texas, will develop the project. LandSouth Construction LLC is the contractor.

Dwell Design Studio Inc. of Alpharetta, Ga., is the architect and Connelly & Wicker Inc. of Jacksonville is the project civil engineer.

Partner Mark Farrell at Killashee said Monday it should break ground this month and take 20 months to complete.

He previously estimated the entire project would cost $50 million and had anticipated a construction start by year-end.

The site is at southwest Southside and J. Turner Butler boulevards.

JTB Apartments are planned across from the Deerwood Park office center anchored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. and other major employers, and it’s not far from St. Johns Town Center.

Farrell said previously the gated community will feature luxury apartments, comprising 150 one-, 160 two- and 40 three-bedroom apartments ranging from $1,100 to $2,000 a month.

The apartments will feature 9- to 10-foot ceilings and 42-inch European-style cabinets.

The clubhouse will include a fireplace, bar, demonstration kitchen, game room and a café lounge with a coffee and tea station and large-screen TVs.

The business center will include computers, printers and internet access, and the fitness center will offer exercise machines, free weights and a yoga room.

Residents with dogs will find a pet salon and swimming area for their canines.

Outdoor amenities include a resort-style swimming pool with a walk-in entry, lap pool, fire pits, outdoor bar area, a rooftop terrace adjacent to the pool area, grills and cabanas.

SWQ LLC, comprising Jim Efstathion and Kent Schmidt, own the property now. They formed JTB of Jax LLC, which was listed as the developer on the engineering plans and a mobility fee calculation application.

Farrell will be a partner in the ownership entity.

Farrell said the mix of retail, office and other uses in the area are driving demand for the apartments.

Less is known about the Vera apartments. Davis Development, based in Stockbridge, Ga., did not respond to two calls for information.

Plans show the apartments are planned on 11.13 acres and comprise three three-story apartment buildings.

Morrow Construction Co., also of Stockbridge, is the contractor. Baker Klein Engineering of Jacksonville is the civil engineer. GLA Architects of Atlanta is the contractor.

The city issued a permit in February to clear the site. Pending permits indicate a $28 million construction cost.

Plans filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District show three buildings comprising 138 one-, 98 two- and 16 three-bedroom units.

Building 1000 includes the pool and amenity city. There also is a car wash and maintenance building.

Killashee sells Pickwick Apartments in Mandarin

Killashee Investments of LLC announced the sale of Pickwick Apartments in Mandarin at 3580 Pall Mall Drive.

Pickwick Apartments Ltd., comprising members of the Demetree family, sold the property to Pickwick Jax LP for $14.8 million.

Pickwick Apartments comprises 152 units among 28 buildings. It includes one-, two- and three-bedroom units, including two-bedroom townhouses. The property was 99 percent occupied as of the sale.

The property sold for almost $97,400 a unit.

Mark Farrell and Ray Adams at Killashee Investments were the transaction brokers.

Macquarie’s jobs exceed required number, salary

The city reports that Macquarie Group created 92 position as of Dec. 31 at an average wage of $82,456.

That’s more than the 86 jobs that the city said were required to be created by then — and higher than the projected average wage of $64,356.

Macquarie must create 123 jobs by the end of 2017 to qualify for its full incentives package.

The city said the first Qualified Target Industry tax refund payment will be in fiscal 2018 after the job requirement is met.

It said a training grant of $120,000 has been disbursed so far.

Australia-based Macquarie Group opened in Jacksonville in February 2016 on the fifth floor of Riverplace Tower on the Southbank and intends to expand onto part of the fourth floor.

A company spokesman in New York declined comment about the expansion, the number of employees in Jacksonville or plans to hire more.

However, jobs posted online recently for Macquarie in Jacksonville include positions in tax accounting, financial control, financial accounting, product control, regulatory reporting, compliance analyst and financial analyst.

The global financial-services company started with 60 employees on the fifth floor and anticipated reaching 135 employees this year.

Macquarie executives and city and business leaders announced in July 2015 the company had chosen Jacksonville as a global banking shared-services office.

Its U.S. headquarters is in New York and it has offices around the country.

In coming to Jacksonville, Macquarie agreed to create 123 jobs by the end of this year and pay an average wage of $64,356, in addition to benefits.

For those first 123 jobs, the City Council approved taxpayer incentives of $393,600, comprising a Qualified Target Industry grant of up to $147,600 and a training grant up to $246,000.

Macquarie also requested $1.37 million from the state, consisting of the QTI match of up to $590,400, a Quick Action Closing Fund up to $500,000 and a Quick Response Training Grant up to $282,900.

Macquarie said it expects to invest least $3.1 million into its offices, and it has invested more than $3 million into the Riverplace Tower offices.

Amazon $3M roof OK’d

Roofing was approved for Amazon.com’s distribution center at Cecil Commerce Center. Barber & Associates is the contractor for the $3 million project at 13333 103rd St. The center is 1 million square feet and is expected to open this fall.

The Flame Broiler to open in OakLeaf

The Flame Broiler intends to open in OakLeaf at 9711 Applecross Road. No contractor is listed for the $200,000 project to renovate 1,465 square feet.

Gate buys Emerson site for Express Carwash

Gate Petroleum Co.’s car-wash company, BFC Property Holdings LLC, bought acreage at 3150 Emerson St. last week for $1.4 million.

Gate intends to build a Gate Express Carwash at the site, at Emerson Street and Philips Highway, near an existing Gate gas station and convenience store.

A mobility fee calculation certificate shows the 4,375-square-foot car wash on 1.453 acres.

kmathis@jaxdailyrecord.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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The city wants to give small business owners some help when it comes to planning and development.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced Tuesday a series of small business help sessions to educate business owners about getting their ideas through planning and development with the city.

The sessions, which will begin this month, will take place twice a month.

“There is a lot of information new entrepreneurs need to know to ensure they are meeting city requirements and ordinances allowing them to operate safely and efficiently,” Curry said in a statement.

“I am pleased that we can provide support to our local business owners to help make this process easier, getting them up and running faster.”

According to city spokeswoman Tia Ford, the sessions will be hosted by the Planning and Development Department, giving business owners direct access to members of the Building Inspection, Community Planning and Fire Prevention divisions.

Those city experts will be covering the ins and outs of pulling permits with the city, zoning changes, fire inspections and obtaining certificates of use.

Business owners are encouraged to bring plans, leases and any other information with them.

The sessions are by appointment only, and can be scheduled for an hour or half hour.

To apply, visit the city’s website, coj.net/smallbizhelp.

Ending months of speculation, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam filed papers Monday to run for governor in 2018.

The Republican’s entree into the race to succeed Gov. Rick Scott, forced to leave office next year because of term limits, was little more than a formality.

Putnam, a former congressman who has served in the Cabinet post since elected in 2010, has long been considered a GOP favorite for next year’s gubernatorial nomination.

In a statement released Monday, Putnam indicated he intends to make a formal announcement later this month in his hometown of Bartow.

“I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world because I get to call Florida home. It’s our responsibility as Floridians to keep our economy at work, to increase access to high quality education, to fiercely protect our personal freedoms, to keep our state safe, and to welcome our veterans home with open arms,” he said.

Putnam filed his campaign papers Monday with the state Division of Elections, a day before former Congresswoman Gwen Graham of Tallahassee is expected announce her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for governor at Miami Carol City Park.

Putnam, 42, served for a decade in Congress before his election to the state Cabinet as commissioner of agriculture and consumer services.

Before his stint in Washington, Putnam served in the Florida House of Representatives.

Throughout his political career, Putnam, who is a fifth-generation Floridian and a scion of a cattle and citrus family, earned a reputation as a straight-talking and affable Republican widely respected in the halls of the Capitol.

“We’ve been awaiting this announcement since about 2003,” joked Democratic political consultant Steve Schale.

“For all of the arguments among Republicans that he’s a career politician or has a moderate voting record in Congress, you have to consider him to be the front-runner on the GOP side at this time,” Schale said.

Putnam’s made an early start on amassing a campaign war chest. His “Florida Grown” political committee collected more than $1 million in March, and had $7.7 million in cash on hand as of March 31, according to the Division of Elections website.

During his tenure as agriculture commissioner, Putnam’s office has been faced with the devastating impact of citrus greening, which has caused orange production to plummet.

Putnam also has highlighted the need to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to children, and his office has aggressively used the “Fresh from Florida” marketing program to highlight the state’s produce industry.

Putnam is the first big-name Republican to announce a bid for governor. Others who have been mentioned as possible candidates include Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican who said earlier this year he was mulling a gubernatorial campaign.

Graham, 54, is the daughter of Bob Graham, the popular two-term governor and three-term U.S. senator from Florida.

As a one-term former congressional member from a largely rural North Florida district, Graham would normally face long odds in raising her statewide profile.

But the location of her announcement underscores her advantage in the race.

Graham will launch her campaign in a city park next door to Miami Carol City Senior High School, where her father began his “workdays” in 1974, teaching a civics course at the school while he was in the state Senate.

Bob Graham, who left the U.S. Senate in January 2005, performed more than 400 workdays during his lengthy political career. His daughter continued the tradition when she served in Congress representing Tallahassee and a portion of the Florida Panhandle.

Gwen Graham was elected to Congress in 2014, narrowly defeating U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla.

She declined to seek re-election last year after a court-mandated redistricting plan reshaped her district into a Republican bastion.

Graham’s announcement has been widely expected and could have come earlier. But she delayed her decision as her husband, Stephen Hurm, recovered from cancer treatments.

After leaving Congress in January, Graham has kept up her criticism of the Republican establishment in Tallahassee, hitting Scott and the GOP legislative leaders for “wasting time fighting each other.”

She recently slammed Trump’s executive order that could open up Florida to offshore oil and gas drilling. She said Florida beaches should not be exposed to another BP-type oil spill.

“Democrats must stand up to Trump and fight to permanently ban drilling off our beaches,” she said.

Graham will join a Democratic field that already includes Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Christopher King.

Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine also are considering the race.