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November 2009

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From Site Selection magazine, November 2009

Cecil Commerce Center and
JAXPORT –Perfect combination
for growth in the Jacksonville area


he Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) is one of the largest ports in Florida and has no plans of slowing its growth. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines recently completed a $200-million, 158-acre container terminal and is expected to have $870 million in new economic benefits to the Jacksonville region. The facility is expected to handle 800,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), doubling the container throughput of JAXPORT. In addition to this new port growth, in November 2008, JAXPORT signed an agreement with Korean-based Hanjin Lines for the development of a $300-million, 88-acre terminal. It will be capable of handling approximately 800,000 TEUs per year and expected to be operational in the late 2011. These recent JAXPORT developments will triple the amount of container throughput in Jacksonville and potentially may double or triple the economic impact of the port.

The ultimate landside complement to JAXPORT is Cecil Commerce Center. As the largest single industrial land holding in Jacksonville, Florida, Cecil Commerce Center is a significant, long-term economic development asset, representing more than three percent of the land area in Duval County (17,000 acres). It is one of the most sought after locations in the Southeastern United States for manufacturing, supply chain logistics and industrial end users.

Due to the expected growth at JAXPORT, the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a master developer of +/- 4,499 acres of City-owned property at Cecil Commerce Center. Ron Barton, executive director of the JEDC, said "The decision to issue the RFP was driven by the need to capitalize on market momentum created by JAXPORT and leverage the experience and financial resources of a private developer that will bring the property to shovel-ready status thereby attracting quality end users and higher wage jobs to Cecil."  The JEDC is currently in negotiations with Hillwood to be the master developer. 

Cecil Commerce Center is positioned to be a world-class distribution and logistics center with market dominance and a critical mass of factors converging in its favor. Extensive site due diligence, permitting and core infrastructure investment has been performed by several public sector agencies. These efforts, along with the continued growth at JAXPORT, will help implement Jacksonville's long-term vision for growth.

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