27 June Clay EDC Seeks to Strengthen the Strong Commercial Broker Relationships Criticial to Economic Development June 27, 2016 By Laura Pavlus General economic development, commercial broker, commercial real estate, commercial property, office center, business park, industrial, intermodal, clay county, clay, clay county florida 0 "Location, Location, Location" - This is one of the most important factors in business relocation or expansion efforts and at the heart of this is the commercial brokers who represent these sought after locations. Clay EDC relies heavily on brokers to stay informed on upcoming and available inventory as well as the unique offerings of these properties. The Q2 2016 Clay EDC Luncheon provided a fantastic opportunity to engage commercial brokers deeper into EDC efforts which are critical as Clay begins to grow rapidly with the new First Coast Expressway (FCX) Outer Beltway. EDC Talks Office Space with Commercial Brokers by Jesse Hollett, Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2016 8:00 pm, Clay Today READ FULL ARTICLE HERE ORANGE PARK – Clay County’s lead economic development agency is seeking to become the go-to entity for corporations seeking local commercial real estate. Bill Garrison, president of the Clay County Economic Development Corp., addressed business leaders and commercial realty brokers from adjoining counties on June 16 to promote Clay County as the focal point for commercial realty contracts. In the past, Clay County has experienced many ‘chicken and egg’ conundrums regarding the precarious balance of available large-sized office space and the amount of companies willing to relocate to Clay County. Among the crowd were representatives from the Northeast Chapter of the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks, or NAIOP, the commercial real estate trade organization that serves Baker, St. Johns, Clay, Nassau and Duval counties. “The importance of events and programs like this is to educate professionals, brokers, architects, engineers and planners on what a great future environment that Clay County has,” said Christian Harden, NAIOP president. The event comes at an important time for Clay County, when the financial benefits and positive impacts of the First Coast Expressway are starting to take concrete shape. The First Coast Expressway is a planned multi-lane limited access toll road that will eventually connect Interstate 95 at the northern edge of St. Johns County to Interstate 10 in Western Duval County. The toll road’s first phase is currently under in the Branan Field Road quadrant and will make its way southward through Middleburg and Lake Asbury, eventually crossing the St. Johns River near the current Shands Bridge. Naturally, businesses tend to conglomerate near major transportation veins that facilitate proper traffic and higher visibility. The First Coast Expressway is expected to bring growth in the form of new housing developments, as well as commercial developments as it builds out. Garrison intends for the EDC to work on the front end of that anticipated development as the liaison between Clay County and commercial brokers. Harden said businesses tend to select locations that offer “existing infrastructure and availability of office properties at low rents close to major transportation hubs.” He pointed to locations such as St. Johns Town Center to illustrate his point. The international consumer goods and farm products company Calavo Growers Inc. moved into the North Florida Industrial Center in Green Cove Springs last September. With the portion of the FCX connecting Blanding Boulevard to I-10 in Duval County scheduled for completion this summer, Garrison hopes to corall more high paying manufacturing jobs into Clay County along the new transportation hubs. “Our big thing is being able to keep more of the 60,000 people a day that leave Clay County to let them stay for Clay County. But they can’t stay here if we don’t have jobs for them,” Garrison said. “FCX is creating a lot of opportunities, and we want the real estate brokers to know that there’s the EDC to help and support economic growth. If they need help, we’re here for them. I want those people to understand what we do and understand that we’re just a phone call away. That’s what the EDC is all about. We’re here to facilitate the state transactions.” According to Harden, one way to spark the growth that the EDC expects in the months following the expressway’s completion is for a large company to move its headquarters into Clay County. This would allow for the company to offer more jobs to the county as well as encourage the growth of channel partners essentially creating an economic snowball of new companies, jobs and tax revenue. Forming relationships with commercial real estate brokers to encourage that cooperative climate is just one of the many strategies outlined in the EDC’s Five-Year Strategic plan to increase the average wage in Clay County by maximizing the impact of the expressway and creating a climate that encourages businesses to uproot themselves. According to the EDC’s website, Clay County employs 98,133 employees at an average wage of just over $33,000, while Duval County employees 450,001 at an average salary just over $47,000. The EDC hopes to not only raise the average salary of Clay County through the five strategies outlined in the plan, but also help retain a portion of the 60 percent of Clay County residents that leave for surrounding counties for work. Garrison hopes to continue forming partnerships with stakeholders and commercial brokers to open new pathways to economic growth in Clay County. “It’s not an overnight process,” Harden said. “It takes slow growth, it takes building some momentum. I think what [The EDC] is doing is educating people on what a great climate [Clay County] is for development and how helpful they’ll be to try and relocate business here. But it’ll take time, it’ll take time.” Related JJ Harris to Lead Clay Economic Development Effort A national talent search has ended with the Clay County Economic Development Corp. hiring a new executive director and president. The agency’s board of directors announced March 27 it has hired J.J. Harris as its new president and executive director. Clay County Economic Development Workshop Cathy Chambers, left, and Jerry Mallot from JAXUSA Partnership and Bill Garrison, far right, from Clay County Economic Development Corporation presented information to the Clay County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday during an economic development workshop in the BCC chambers. Commercial Real Estate Brokers Win Award for Industrial Lease of the Year Which Facilitated the Expansion of Calavo Growers to Clay County. Calavo Growers in Green Cove Springs was the Industrial Lease of the Year for Nathan Rogers at CBRE and John Richardson and Bryan Bartlett at Newmark Grubb Phoenix Realty Group. Clay EDC Awarded $89K as Gov. Scott Announces More Than $2.2M for Florida Defense Communities The Clay County Economic Development Corporation received an $89,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant to aggressively strengthen and diversify the non-defense economy while promoting the area’s military training operations at the Camp Blanding JTC and NAS Jacksonville. Economic Development Plan Gets More Ironing Out Armed with a new strategic plan for economic development completed, Bill Garrison, president of the Clay County Economic Development Corp., recently met with county official to divvy up tasks involved with bringing the plan to fruition. Encouraging Local Businesses to Grow in Place is KEY to Economic Development Clay County, Florida is home to tremendous business assets. Clay features strong defense and aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and life sciences, logistics, information technology, and business support sectors. Clay Economic Development Corporation seeks to retain and strengthen existing businesses by working to eliminate growth obstacles. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.