3 developers pitch plans for new JEA HQ

Artists renderings show options Jacksonville-owned utility's new office

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three developers proposing a new headquarters building for JEA made their pitches Tuesday to the city-owned utility's board.

The proposals each include a new office tower. One developer would put a the tower in the development planned for Lot J in the Sports Complex. Another would put it in the heart of Downtown next to the Duval County Courthouse. A third developer would locate the JEA offices next to the Kings Avenue parking garage in San Marco.

Last week, JEA put out artists' renderings of the three proposed headquarters. All three companies said they would office a state-of-the-art office building, but none gave a price, saying it was a competitive secret.

The board is not expected to made a final decision before April, and the companies said the cost would be made available at that time.

There is speculation that the Lot J site at the stadium is the likely choice, something that board Chairman Alan Howard denies.

"I am frustrated by that response from the community," Howard said. "It disrespects this board and the staff at JEA and our consultants who have taken this very seriously. We have evaluated several opportunities that have been presented to us from numerous bidders and narrowed it down from six to three. It’s a very deliberate process."

Ryan Companies US Inc. is proposing a headquarters at 325 W. Adams St. West, which it says is easily accessible for employees and customers. The building would include several collaborative spaces and offices. The company said it would be a catalyst for other Downtown development.

The proposal to put JEA's headquarters on Kings Avenue is from Jacksonville 1-C Parcel One Holding Co. The design shows the headquarters would be eight stories tall. Proponents said the location is already on a major bus route, there's plenty of parking and no special permits would be needed before construction could begin.

The Lot J proposal is outside TIAA Bank Field, the stadium where the Jaguars play. The Cordish Companies is the developer for that proposal. The developer says the location gives JEA employees and customers access to nearby restaurants and other businesses. The headquarters would include interactive meeting spaces and a work cafe. It would also give a jump-start to the development of a part of town that would ultimately include the shipyards property.

Each developer told the board there would be minority participation in the construction of the building.

Since 11,000 customers visit the JEA offices each month, either to set up service, pay bills or for some other reason, customers want to make sure there is easy access to the building, including by public transportation.

Full reports of the three sites can be found by clicking here.

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