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Freight company signs $38M lease

Jacksonville Business Journal - by Christian Conte Staff Writer


NORTHSIDE -- A national freight brokerage and transportation management company signed a 30-year, $38 million lease for up to half a million square feet at an industrial and commercial center under development adjacent to an Asian shipping terminal being built at Dames Point.

AllFr8 (pronounced All Freight) Global Logistics & Distribution LLC will operate a logistics campus focusing on cross dock facilities and distribution from containers to rail and truck in a 400,000-square-foot primary facility with an option of 100,000 square feet in a secondary facility at The Port Authority Center on Heckscher Drive.

The site, just yards away from the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. terminal under construction as well as the proposed site for a Hanjin Shipping Company Ltd. terminal, is incomparable, said Curtis Englert, the company's president and CEO.

"It's the old adage: location, location, location," Englert said.

AllFr8's parent company, Jacksonville-based All Freight International Inc., is a transportation management company and its sister company, AllFr8 Logistics Inc., is a national freight brokerage company. The AllFr8 Global Logistics & Distribution arm will operate and maintain the logistics campus.

Englert expects to eventually employ 50 people at the logistics campus.

For Planet Five Development Group LLC, the developer of the 80-acre Port Authority Center, the project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, said Chief Financial Officer David Zorn.

Although Planet Five has completed several projects and has several others under construction in Florida and elsewhere, this $50 million project is the Jacksonville company's largest to date. Plans for the site include 700,000 square feet of total space comprising the AllFr8 facilities along with cold storage space, office space, retail space and a 150-room hotel. Plans for a 20-unit residential condominium along with a 50-slip marina have been put on hold. The site also includes a rail spur.

Dana B. Kenyon Co. is expected to start construction on the first phase of the project, which includes the AllFr8 space, within six months and finish it by January 2010. Ryan Properties represented AllFr8 in the deal.

Elaine Brown and Mark Farrell will serve as consultants, helping with future leasing negotiations as well as strategic planning of The Port Authority Center. Brown is a former Jacksonville City Council president, a candidate for the Florida House District 18 seat and a part-time real estate consultant. Farrell is the former CEO of Jacksonville developer The Vestcor Cos. and the owner of Ponte Vedra Beach real estate consultation company Killashee Investments Inc.

Because the site is the closest industrial project to the Mitsui terminal as well as the proposed Hanjin terminal, Farrell said he and Brown want to make sure the project is the highest and best use not only for the developer, but for the tenants, the Jacksonville Port Authority and the city of Jacksonville as well.

"You have one chance to do it right," Farrell said. "You don't want to screw it up."

Copyright @2010 [InsightRealty Group, Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 10, 2010 .

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