Citizens Property Insurance bringing 950 jobs downtown?November 7, 2014 20 comments Print Article
Good news for downtown Jacksonville as Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is moving forward with negotiating a lease to bring 950 jobs to EverBank Center.
On Thursday, after months of considering several locations for a new consolidated job operations center, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has decided to negotiate a lease to relocate to downtown's EverBank Center.
The Tallahassee-based company spent the last few months seeking 226,400 square feet of office space to consolidate offices in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Tampa.
Citizens Property's decision to relocate downtown will result in the largest influx of workers to downtown since EverBank's decision to relocate to the same building in 2011. Citizens intends to consolidate 800 employees in Jacksonville's Southside and another 148 employees in Tallahassee and Tampa into EverBank Center.
Created by the Legislature in 2002, Citizens Property is a not-for-profit tax-exempt government entity that provides insurance protection to Florida policyholders unable to find property insurance coverage in the private market.
The selection is a potential coup for Miami-based Amkin West Bay LLC, which recently purchased EverBank Center and a nearby garage from El-As Florida LLC in September 2014 for $47.4 million. At the time, the 30-story tower was 60 percent occupied.
The win for downtown is also an example of "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. In May 2014, Citizens issued an invitation to negotiate for office space outside of downtown. In response, EverBank Center's previous owner requested that downtown be included in their search for new office space, allowing El Ad Florida LLC to submit a bid.
In the end, EverBank Center beat out several high profile suburban locations for the right to negotiate a lease with Citizens Property. These locations included Prominence business park, Regency Square Mall, 7960 Arlington Expressway, Graham & Company, and CRT Baymeadows Limited.
Mayor Alvin Brown issued the following statement on the Citizens Property Insurance decision to relocate employees to the EverBank Center:
"This is a big win for Downtown Jacksonville. We appreciate the teamwork on this initiative from EverBank Center, JAX Chamber, and other Downtown stakeholders.
"The City has been working diligently to provide EverBank Center with all the information it needed to encourage Citizens’ relocation to Downtown. We also met with the selection committee multiple times to highlight the benefits of relocating Downtown, and to help the company gain a better understanding of our Downtown parking options."
"Downtown revitalization is one of my top priorities as Mayor. I will continue to work with stakeholders like JAX Chamber, the Downtown Investment Authority, Downtown Vision, and other business and community leaders to make Downtown Jacksonville a vibrant and economically prosperous destination."
Citizens Property wants to start moving into EverBank Center on August 1, 2015 and begin the lease January 1, 2016.
In the event that lease negotiations fail between Citizens and Amkin West LLC, owner of EverBank Center, Citizens second choice for relocation would be the Prominence business park in Baymeadows.
Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at email@example.com