Northeast Florida Roundup
The teledoctor is in at Crowley Maritime
Crowley Maritime became the first company in north Florida to make a telemedicine kiosk available to its employees. The 8-by-7- foot enclosure has a two-way, high-definition video screen, a stethoscope, scale, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter and thermometer that stream medical information from the patient to the care provider. The $10 copay is cheaper than a trip to urgent care, the company points out. Prescriptions can be sent directly to the pharmacy so employees can pick them up on the way home.
JACKSONVILLE — Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is making a $300-million investment in its Jacksonville facility, where it manufactures disposable contact lenses. It is the second expansion in the region in three years. The facility employs more than 3,400. > Australian finance and investment company Macquarie Group expects to begin operations in Jacksonville with 85 employees and have more than 120 by late 2017. The local jobs will pay an average of $64,000. The company plans to spend about $3 million to renovate a downtown location. > Jacksonville Jaguars fans have a new arcade website that includes contests, games and polls. Jaguarsarcade.Com is part of the team’s social engagement effort. The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Stein Mart $800,000 for improperly valuing some merchandise. When the Jacksonville-based retailer permanently reduced prices on some items in 2012, it did not devalue those same items in its inventory reports, the SEC said. The company blamed “internal accounting controls” for the problem. Southeastern Grocers, Winn-Dixie’s parent company, laid off 250 workers. A store support center in Jacksonville was among the locations in seven states the company targeted for cutbacks. > Porsche Cars North America is the latest manufacturer to select JaxPort as its primary port of entry in the southeastern United States. Porsche joins Audi, Bentley and Volkswagen. Also, JaxPort is now processing “cold-treated produce” from South American markets as part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program to improve produce freshness. > Looking to generate interest in science and technology careers, Florida Power & Light’s foundation gave a $25,000 matching grant to create 15 robotics programs in four northeast Florida school districts. > Ameris Bancorp plans to complete its acquisition of Jacksonville Bancorp, the parent company of Jacksonville Bank, in early 2016. If finalized, the new company will have $5.7 billion in assets.
ST. AUGUSTINE — Boyd’s Landing recently received county planning and zoning approval for a 140-acre development along the St. Johns River. > St. Johns County voters will consider raising the county’s current sales tax a half-cent next year to fund more schools. The county, one of the fastest growing in the nation, is running out of classroom space, school officials say.
GAINESVILLE — A fall 2016 grand opening is scheduled for a 32-acre downtown park, complete with football fieldsized children’s play area and picnic pavilions. Named Depot Park for an 1860s-era train depot, the $5.9-million park is being built on a brownfield site.
OCALA — The Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership has a new website that offers the latest information about the Ocala-area horse industry. Thehorsecapital.Com includes a list of horse farms, equine-related venues and tours as well as upcoming events. > Twenty-five jobs will be created at a new production facility coming to Ocala. Just In Time Machining plans an initial capital investment of $3.2 million.
NASSAU COUNTY — Some Fernandina Beach residents want state legislators to review the Port of Fernandina’s five-year master plan. Residents are concerned about the facility’s increasing heavy truck traffic. Port executives say they have been transparent about the port’s plans.
Thomas Garrigan has joined GreenPointe Holdings in Jacksonville as manager of all portfolio finance and accounting functions. He previously worked for Southeast Real Estate Investments of Charleston, S.C.
Christian Harden was named senior vice president at NAI Hallmark Partners, a Jacksonvillebased commercial property development firm.
Naturally Smart Foods
Jacksonville’s popular crowdfunding festival One Spark is getting credit for introducing a small commercial kitchen in Jacksonville Beach to a worldwide audience. While the 2-year-old One Spark itself is going through major staffing changes for 2016, Naturally Smart Foods is beginning to reap the benefits of its participation in the 2014 event, when it caught the attention of several large food chains. This fall, the company that specializes in frozen desserts sent a shipment to Bahrain. “I never dreamed when I began distributing Naturally Smart out of a freezer in the back of my Mini Cooper, that one day the product I created would become a treat enjoyed around the world,” says company President Mark Patterson.