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JACKSONVILLE, FL-Atlanta-based Oakmont Industrial Group is entering the Northeast Florida market with plans for 849,000 sf of bulk distribution space. Construction at NorthPort Logistics Center is set to start this September, with completion scheduled by next summer.

Tom Cobb, Oakmont’s senior vice president-development, says the developer scouted sites throughout Jacksonville for more than a year before finding a 75-acre site along New Berlin Road, which it bought from Schafer Development LLC for at least $10 million. Besides being convenient to Interstates 95 and 295 as well as Jacksonville International Airport, he notes that the site is 2.5 miles from the future Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. terminal at the Jacksonville Port Authority, also known as JaxPort.

“We feel like the location is premium for us. This is just great timing for it.” Cobb tells GlobeSt.com. He says Oakmont hopes to replicate the success of its one-million-sf industrial park in nearby Savannah, GA, that it recently sold to Alexander & Baldwin.

In addition to being designed to meet Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism security requirements, NorthPort will seek LEED Core and Shell certification by the US Green Building Council. Sustainability features will result in reduced power and water consumption, a 75% reduction in construction waste going into landfills and white metal roofing that will deflect solar heat from the building.

Besides Oakmont’s own commitment to green development, Cobb says NorthPort should appeal to prospective industrial tenants representing larger corporations that demand LEED-certified space. “If it’s not a requirement, it’s going to be very soon,” he says. “We just feel it’s critical.”

Richard Rider, president of Oakmont, says the company is encouraged by the JaxPort’s commitment to grow its container volume and significant investment by Mitsui and other international shippers. “Projected increases in port activity, combined with an already low vacancy rate in the market, will continue to generate heavy demand for quality industrial product,” Rider stated in a release.

Founded in 1996, Oakmont develops warehouse/distribution facilities with a development pipeline totaling 12.5 million sf in Georgia, California and New Jersey. Its capital partners include Prudential Real Estate Investors and Hunt Realty Investments Inc.

Colliers International brokers Steve Grable in Atlanta and Hobart Joost in Jacksonville represented Oakmont in the land acquisition. Oakmont is not disclosing NorthPort’s total project cost.

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