Giuliani Promises to Bring Nuclear Carrier to Mayport

16 01 2008

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, if elected, would work to base the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush at Naval Station Mayport after it’s commissioned in 2009.

Giuliani promised to do so during a campaign speech in front of the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall outside Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

Giuliani cited one of the reasons local leaders have given for years — fleet dispersal. All the East Coast-based carriers, all of which are nuclear-powered, are based in Norfolk, Va.

Giuliani acknowledged that making Mayport capable of supporting a nuclear-powered carrier will require new infrastructure.

The candidate has garnered the support of some of the most influential retired officers in Jacksonville, including Robert Natter, the retired four-star admiral who led the state’s efforts to preserve its military bases during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.

Retired Adm. Kevin Delaney, who is a former commander of Navy Region Southeast and commanded Naval Air Station Jacksonville, joined Natter on the stage behind Giuliani, as did Dan McCarthy, a former captain in the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps and current director of military affairs for the city.

“He thinks it’s the right thing to do,” Natter said about Giuliani’s decision to make Mayport’s nuclear capability an election promise.

Giuliani credited Natter as being a close advisor to his campaign on military matters.

McCarthy noted that the Bush, with its 3,300-member crew and the shore-based personnel needed to support it, would have an economic impact as big as any company relocating or starting new operations in Jacksonville. The Bush, whose keel was laid in May 2003 and which was launched in October 2006, is under construction in Newport News, Va.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

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Joint Venture Buys The Strand

16 01 2008

The developer of The Strand residential tower on the Southbank has formed a joint venture with a real estate equity fund to purchase the project.

American Land Ventures of Miami developed The Strand, a 28-story apartment building. The company formed a joint venture with Real Estate Capital Partners, an equity fund based in New York.

The joint venture bought The Strand for an undisclosed amount. Merrill Lynch Capital provided $46 million in financing for the purchase, and additional funding was provided by IVG Institutional Funds GmbH.

The 295-unit project was originally planned as apartments. Late in 2006, before construction was complete, American Land Ventures announced plans to convert it to condominiums, but that conversion never took place. The project was sold as apartments, but a conversion could take place later, depending on the market, said Tom Angelo, a lawyer who represented American Land Ventures in the transaction.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Giuliani Promises to Bring Nuclear Carrier to Mayport

16 01 2008

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, if elected, would work to base the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush at Naval Station Mayport after it’s commissioned in 2009.

Giuliani promised to do so during a campaign speech in front of the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall outside Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

Giuliani cited one of the reasons local leaders have given for years — fleet dispersal. All the East Coast-based carriers, all of which are nuclear-powered, are based in Norfolk, Va.

Giuliani acknowledged that making Mayport capable of supporting a nuclear-powered carrier will require new infrastructure.

The candidate has garnered the support of some of the most influential retired officers in Jacksonville, including Robert Natter, the retired four-star admiral who led the state’s efforts to preserve its military bases during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.

Retired Adm. Kevin Delaney, who is a former commander of Navy Region Southeast and commanded Naval Air Station Jacksonville, joined Natter on the stage behind Giuliani, as did Dan McCarthy, a former captain in the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps and current director of military affairs for the city.

“He thinks it’s the right thing to do,” Natter said about Giuliani’s decision to make Mayport’s nuclear capability an election promise.

Giuliani credited Natter as being a close advisor to his campaign on military matters.

McCarthy noted that the Bush, with its 3,300-member crew and the shore-based personnel needed to support it, would have an economic impact as big as any company relocating or starting new operations in Jacksonville. The Bush, whose keel was laid in May 2003 and which was launched in October 2006, is under construction in Newport News, Va.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Joint Venture Buys The Strand

16 01 2008

The developer of The Strand residential tower on the Southbank has formed a joint venture with a real estate equity fund to purchase the project.

American Land Ventures of Miami developed The Strand, a 28-story apartment building. The company formed a joint venture with Real Estate Capital Partners, an equity fund based in New York.

The joint venture bought The Strand for an undisclosed amount. Merrill Lynch Capital provided $46 million in financing for the purchase, and additional funding was provided by IVG Institutional Funds GmbH.

The 295-unit project was originally planned as apartments. Late in 2006, before construction was complete, American Land Ventures announced plans to convert it to condominiums, but that conversion never took place. The project was sold as apartments, but a conversion could take place later, depending on the market, said Tom Angelo, a lawyer who represented American Land Ventures in the transaction.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





New Town Home Development in Ponte Vedra

15 01 2008

One of the last remaining parcels of developable land east of State Road A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach may be developed into town homes.

The St. Johns County Concurrency Review Committee is scheduled to review Jan. 24 a concurrency application for a proposed 60-unit town home project on an approximately 10-acre parcel on Mier Road that is south of Corona Road, and west of Sea Winds Lane.

A group of investors acquired the property for about $2.2 million under the name LGT Holdings LLC in August 2007, according to the St. Johns County Property Appraiser’s Office.

A representative of LGT Holdings said the investment group is pondering a single-family or town home development on land surrounded by The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach condominiums, the Colony at Ponte Vedra condos and the Ponte Vedra by the Sea single-family community. Although the details of the project have not been determined, the representative said it would be a high-end, luxury development.

Some of the 215 homeowners in The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach condos and Ponte Vedra by the Sea have concerns about traffic during construction and afterward on the shared road Sea Winds Lane as well as the appearance of the entrance to the new community, said Larry Steiner, the president of The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach Master Association. That association manages common property among The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach condos and Ponte Vedra by the Sea.

“We’ve talked about what the potential might be,” Steiner said of the property, “but when the sign went up a couple of weeks ago we were all pretty shocked.” The investment group would have two years, plus a one-time three-year extension, from the date of the concurrency approval to develop the property.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





New Town Home Development in Ponte Vedra

15 01 2008

One of the last remaining parcels of developable land east of State Road A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach may be developed into town homes.

The St. Johns County Concurrency Review Committee is scheduled to review Jan. 24 a concurrency application for a proposed 60-unit town home project on an approximately 10-acre parcel on Mier Road that is south of Corona Road, and west of Sea Winds Lane.

A group of investors acquired the property for about $2.2 million under the name LGT Holdings LLC in August 2007, according to the St. Johns County Property Appraiser’s Office.

A representative of LGT Holdings said the investment group is pondering a single-family or town home development on land surrounded by The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach condominiums, the Colony at Ponte Vedra condos and the Ponte Vedra by the Sea single-family community. Although the details of the project have not been determined, the representative said it would be a high-end, luxury development.

Some of the 215 homeowners in The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach condos and Ponte Vedra by the Sea have concerns about traffic during construction and afterward on the shared road Sea Winds Lane as well as the appearance of the entrance to the new community, said Larry Steiner, the president of The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach Master Association. That association manages common property among The Inlet at Ponte Vedra Beach condos and Ponte Vedra by the Sea.

“We’ve talked about what the potential might be,” Steiner said of the property, “but when the sign went up a couple of weeks ago we were all pretty shocked.” The investment group would have two years, plus a one-time three-year extension, from the date of the concurrency approval to develop the property.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Brooks Donates Fitness Center to YMCA in $16M Deal

8 01 2008

Brooks Rehabilitation is donating its Southside health and fitness center to the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. The donation, valued at $16 million, is the largest gift to the local YMCA in its history.

Effective Feb. 1, Brooks Health & Fitness will become the 19th YMCA location in a network of facilities that covers a five-county area in Northeast Florida. The facility opened in May 2006.

Brooks officials said donating the 60,000-square-foot center is the best way to expand its programs, such as adaptive sports, injury prevention and wellness.

“We determined that a gift to the YMCA with its existing network of 18 facilities and 65 program locations would best accomplish our goal,” said Brooks President and CEO Doug Baer.

Members of Brooks Health & Fitness will be given the option of joining the YMCA when the switch officially takes place Feb. 1, and will have the added enticement of lower rates. An individual membership at Brooks is $75 a month, while a similar membership at the YMCA, which includes access to all YMCA locations in Northeast Florida, is $55 a month.

“We currently have about 3,800 members,” said Betsy Fallon, marketing vice president at Brooks. “We believe we could have more.”

Fallon said she expects most of Brooks’ members to join the YMCA.

Brooks will continue to operate its Center for Sports Therapy at the facility, and Native Sun Natural Foods will continue to operate a cafe at the site.

Not everything will remain the same, though. The YMCA will close the saunas and whirlpools at the facility because they are in open corridors and unmonitored, and the pool will be monitored by lifeguards during all operating hours.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal








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