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On the Move

Northeast

At 875 square miles, Jacksonville is the largest city by land area in the continental U.S. and the fifth fastest-growing, according to a 2017 list compiled by Forbes.

Business Insider ranks Jacksonville No. 2 on its list of “10 U.S. cities where everyone wants to live right now” based on migration and population data from realtor.com.

24 Jacksonville-area firms made the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing U.S. companies. Ponte Vedra Beach-based E-file.com grew by 4,000% in three years.

  • Population / 1,658,799
  • Labor Force / 806,615
  • Households / 680,130
  • Total Earnings / $44.03 bil.
  • Median Per Capita Income / $39,855
  • Total Retail Sales / $23.89 bil.
  • Universities/Colleges / 9
  • Commercial Airports / 2
  • Seaports / 2
  • Spaceport / 1

Offering direct trade with Asian ports through both the Panama and Suez Canals, JAXPORT has recorded an average of 21% annual growth in Asian container volumes since 2013.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Logistics / Transportation

JACKSONVILLE UPS will invest $196 million to expand its ground package hub with the addition of advanced technology and operations automation. Scheduled for completion in fall 2019, the expansion will allow for a 33% increase in processing to more than 80,000 packages per hour.

JACKSONVILLE 2016 was a banner year for JAXPORT, which moved a record 968,270 TEUs and saw 19% growth in its container trade with Asia. Since entering this sector in 2009, Asian trade accounts for 36% of JAXPORT’s total cargo business. Also recorded in 2016: double-digit growth in automobile imports. State-of-the-art, 100-gauge cranes, capable of lifting up to 65 tons, began operation in December 2016.

JACKSONVILLE In November 2016, Crowley Maritime was awarded a contract to provide transportation and related services supporting Department of Defense activities in the U.S. and Canada. The contract could be worth up to $2.3 billion over seven years and is expected to create 70 jobs.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY Burkhardt Distribution is constructing a 113,000-sq.-ft. office/warehouse to serve as company headquarters and distribution center; completion is set for late 2017.

Key Players

Crowley Maritime Corp | Jacksonville
Landstar System | Jacksonville
Volkswagen Group of America | Jacksonville

While construction continues toward a fall 2017 opening of its new 800,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center near Jacksonville International Airport, Amazon announced plans to build a 1-million-sq.ft. fulfillment center on Jacksonville’s west side. Total employment: 2,500.

Northeast

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY (continued)

Life Sciences/Health Care

JACKSONVILLE With the opening of its administrative and operations center in April 2017, Formativ Health is on track to bring 500 jobs to northeast Florida. Providing insurance verification, scheduling and billing, the firm helps patients navigate large health care systems and allows doctors to focus on patient care.

JACKSONVILLE As construction continues on a $100-million building for oncology, hematology and neurologic/neurosurgical care, Mayo Clinic has announced two more projects that willl provide space for cardiovascular and cardio-thoracic surgery, laboratories, the spine center and pain rehabilitation programs. Since 2015, Mayo has committed to spending more than $300 million on construction that will double its square footage and the number of patients that can be treated.

Key Players

Baptist Health | Jacksonville
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care | Jacksonville
Mayo Clinic | Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s Baptist Health continues to strengthen its partnership with Houston-based MD Anderson Cancer Center with construction of the 330,000-sq.-ft. Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center directly across the street from a Baptist MD Anderson facility opened in 2015. Anticipated completion: June 2018.

 

Aviation/Defense

JACKSONVILLE GRACE Aerospace is expanding its product manufacturing operations at Cecil Commerce Center and adding 25 jobs. The firm makes wire harnesses and other electronic equipment for military aircraft suppliers, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

JACKSONVILLE BAE Systems has begun modernization of the U.S. Navy’s USS Roosevelt guided missile destroyer at its Jacksonville shipyard. Anticipated completion: April 2018.

JACKSONVILLE Mayport Naval Station became homeport for a squadron of U.S. Navy littoral combat ships in December 2016 as base officials welcomed the USS Milwaukee and USS Detroit. Three more ships are expected within a year. Smaller and faster than aircraft carriers, LCS vessels are designed to operate close to shore using steerable jet propulsion rather than propellers.

CLAY COUNTY Fleet Readiness Center Southeast is consolidating offices on and near NAS Jacksonville to an 18,000-sq.ft. building in Orange Park. The firm currently employs 3,000 military and 1,000 civilian personnel; the move is expected to create 70 jobs.

Key Players

Embraer Defense & Security | Jacksonville
FlightStar Aircraft Services | Jacksonville
Kaman Aircraft | Jacksonville
Northrop Grumman | Jacksonville

 

Corporate Headquarters

YULEE Timber giant Rayonier will move its headquarters to a site in Nassau County that will bring three offices and 145 employees under one roof. Economic development officials hope the move will be a catalyst for growth in the community of Wildlight, a 2,900-acre mixed-use development that offers highway access, links to three deep water ports and 131 acres adjacent to rail lines.

Key Players

CSX | Jacksonville
Fidelity National Information Services | Jacksonville
Southeastern Grocers | Jacksonville
Stein Mart | Jacksonville

 

Northeast

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY (continued)

Manufacturing

JACKSONVILLE A new aluminum bottle line was officially opened in May 2017 at Anheuser-Busch’s Metal Container Corporation facility representing a $175-million investment and the creation of 75 jobs.

FERNANDINA BEACH LignoTech, a joint venture of Rayonier Advanced Materials and Borregaard, will build a $135-million plant to manufacture lignin, an environmentally friendly alternative to many of the oil-based products used in construction and agriculture. The facility is expected to open in 2018 and create 50 jobs.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS Forterra Building Products expects to create up to 150 jobs by 2019 as it ramps up production at the former Hanson Building Products plant in Clay County. Forterra specializes in the production of precast concrete piping for infrastructure projects.

JACKSONVILLE German surgical technology company KLS Martin will open its first U.S. manufacturing plant with a focus on 3-D printing and milling of products for reconstructive surgery; 25 jobs are expected.

PALM COAST Boat upholstery manufacturer Gioia Sales South will double in size and add 10 jobs to its staff of 43 as it constructs a 25,000-sq.-ft. facility on Commerce Boulevard.

Key Players

Georgia Pacific | Palatka
Maxwell House | Jacksonville
Swisher International Group | Jacksonville

 

Business/Financial Services

JACKSONVILLE Global professional services provider Genpact is expanding its U.S. presence with the opening of a delivery center on the city’s southside. The firm employs 77,000 worldwide; plans call for adding 200 at the Jacksonville site within its first year of operation.

JACKSONVILLE Deutsche Bank’s largest U.S. office outside of Wall Street continues to grow, adding 150,000 square feet and 350 jobs; the German-based bank employs 1,800+ in the region.

JACKSONVILLE Citi has brought another 800 jobs to its credit care operations center, which already employs about 4,000.

Key Players

Citi | Jacksonville
Deutsche Bank | Jacksonville
Fidelity National Financial | Jacksonville

Northeast

LIFE & LEISURE

Plenty to see and do
Stretch out on 90 miles of sand along the Atlantic, including TripAdvisor’s No. 8 top U.S. beach, St. Augustine. Browse the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville. Step back in time at the Civil War Battlefield in Olustee or the Victorian seaport village of Fernandina Beach. And explore the quaint narrow streets and historic sites of St. Augustine to find out firsthand why Condé Nast Traveler named this small city one of America’s 10 best.

Evening sidewalk dining in St. Augustine

Stellar schools
Seven of this region’s high schools earned gold medals in U.S. News & World Report’s “2017 Best High Schools” rankings; University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business was named one of the nation’s best business schools by The Princeton Review for the 10th consecutive year; and coming soon: a downtown satellite campus of Jacksonville University offering health care and business courses to about 100 students and a north Florida division of Florida State University’s Jim Moran Institute of Global Entrepreneurship.

UNF’s Coggin College of Business

Sports and recreation
Reasons to cheer in Florida’s Northeast include: the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars, the AFL Jacksonville Sharks, the North American Soccer League’s Jacksonville Armada FC, AA baseball’s Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and one of college sports’ biggest rivalries, the Florida-Georgia Football Classic. Golf is always in season here at more than 80 courses, including TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra where The Players PGA Tournament is held in May.