Northeast Florida Roundup
A Florida lottery winner sues
In 2013, Gloria Mackenzie, then 84, became the single largest Powerball winner in U.S. history when she claimed a $590.5-million jackpot. Mackenzie, a widow, took a lump sum payment of $371 million ($278 million after taxes), split the fortune with her son, Jacksonville resident Scott Mackenzie, and gave him power of attorney over her finances.
Now 90, Mackenzie has sued her son for allegedly mismanaging her money.
The lawsuit, filed in state court in Jacksonville, maintains that Scott Mackenzie and his Jacksonville investment adviser, Harry “Hank” Madden, co-host of a financial talk radio show, invested her money in low-return CDs and money market accounts, costing her tens of millions of dollars in gains.
Her lawyers say that in the nearly four years Madden managed her money, she saw a return of less than 1% and was charged $2 million in fees. Several years ago, when family members came to her with information about Madden’s record as a financial planner, including three settled complaints, Scott Mackenzie threatened to disinherit them, the suit alleges.
His lawyers have sought to dismiss the suit, saying his mother’s money was invested conservatively according to her wishes, and the fact that she didn’t earn more isn’t a basis for a lawsuit.
A judge previously threw out a similar suit but allowed Gloria Mackenzie to file an amended complaint in March.
In 2013, Madden told Florida Trend that rather than growing the Mackenzies’ wealth, he hoped to preserve it so that it could be passed to future generations (“A-Lotto Money,” FloridaTrend. com). Their decision to trust him with such a large sum of money, he said, was “one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly.”
Jacksonville-based JWB Real Estate Capital unveiled plans for a new downtown apartment complex made of shipping containers. The investment and property management firm says it will convert the containers into 18 housing units and place them on a 0.13-acre lot in the city’s Cathedral District. The apartments will measure about 320 square feet and rent for $550, according to JWB. There are no plans to provide parking for residents. In May, JWB received conceptual approval for the $1.2-million project from Jacksonville’s Downtown Development Review Board.
- Anna Lebesch joined JAXUSA Partnership as vice president of talent development, a new position. She’ll focus on connecting people to career opportunities, developing local talent and attracting skilled workers to Northeast Florida. Lebesch previously was vice president of work force development at St. Johns River State College and executive director of the Orange Park campus.
- Jacksonville-based Haskell, an architecture, engineering, construction and consulting firm, sold its energy business to Colorado-based Merrick & Co. Terms were not disclosed.
- Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jacksonville plans a $1.2-million renovation.
- A Hilton Garden Inn is being built in downtown Ocala. The 107-room, five-story hotel is to open later this year or early next year.
- Sleiman Enterprises bought the 200,000-sq.-ft. Lakewood Promenade shopping center in Jacksonville from Indianapolis-based Kite Realty Group Trust.
- SS&C Technologies expanded to 107,000 square feet at the Gramercy Woods office park in Jacksonville, where it previously leased 73,000 square feet.