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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

JACKSONVILLE, FL-King Commercial Realty of Florida, a branch of Atlanta-based King Realty, has changed its brand to King Industrial Realty of Florida as a way of better reflecting its customer base and specialty. Since the local branch’s opening in 1998, it has specialized in leasing and sales in the industrial market, which accounts for 99% of the office’s business, says Jeff Graham, president of King Industrial.

When the Florida branch first opened, Graham and Charles B. King, Jr., owner of the Atlanta-based industrial company, decided to pursue all types of commercial real estate, and later changed the Atlanta headquarters name to reflect that goal. “This year we went through a strategic plan for King Realty in Atlanta, and during that we realized when we got rid of the industrial name, we lost our identity because we were still focused on industrial,” Graham tells GlobeSt.com. “What better way to identify your expertise than to include it in the name?” He notes that the Atlanta office has not yet gone back to the original designation as an industrial company, but indicates that they will.

The company’s brand shift coincides with a move in the Jacksonville market toward industrial growth as the city’s port undergoes rapid expansion. The new $220-million Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. container terminal is expected to substantially raise the amount of cargo coming into JaxPort, with Mitsui’s first ships expected in July.

“Growth of the port from a container standpoint and anticipated arrival of expansion will increase the container traffic in Jacksonville by over two million containers per year,” says Graham of the expected changes over the next few years, pending another JaxPort deal with Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. “That expectation is driving a very huge growth in industrial speculative building. Most every major developer in the country has come to Jacksonville now.”

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