The largest city in area in the continental United States at 875 square miles, Jacksonville is a rapidly growing metropolitan hub in Duval County in Northeast Florida. Jacksonville’s more than 850,000 residents form the city’s diverse talent pool and economic base.
Ideally positioned along the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville boasts more than 20 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, nearly 40 miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, and the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River. Dubbed the “River City by the Sea,” Jacksonville is equally appealing to residents as it is to businesses and Forbes has ranked the city of Jacksonville third in its ‘Top 10 Best U.S. Cities for Finding Employment’.
Northeast Florida comprises seven distinct counties – Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns – and is home to several leading firms, including Fortune 500 companies CSX, Fidelity National Financial, as well as 80 corporate, regional and divisional headquarters. Firms with headquarters in the region include Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, and Allstate. One of the most sought-after manufacturing regions in the U.S. Southeast, Jacksonville is a leading distribution center, with a transportation network embracing port and air cargo facilities, along with rail and trucking routes.
The Jacksonville office market consists of more than 24.2 million square feet (msf) of space. Known for its advanced transportation, financial services and health and life sciences sectors, Northeast Florida is also making inroads in the tech industry with Forbes ranking it as one of the fastest-growing sectors for high-tech jobs.
With more than 20 institutions of higher learning in the region, Northeast Florida has a talent pool that is growing rapidly.
Jacksonville’s port, JAXPORT is a full-service, international trade seaport that ranks as one of the fastest-growing ports in the nation. Following an 18-month, $12.4 million reconstruction project completed in 2014, the heavy lift cargo berth at JAXPORT's Blount Island Marine Terminal ranks as one of the country’s highest weight-bearing capacity docks.
Situated at the crossroads of rail, maritime, air and road routes, Jacksonville’s nearly 100-million-square-foot industrial property sector benefits from Jacksonville’s status as one of the best U.S. cities for logistics infrastructure. Continued improvements to the port and nearly 15 new industrial development projects planned at the close of 2015 aim to solidify Jacksonville’s place as a key industrial hub.
Supply side pressure should remain a trend in Jacksonville over the next few years as companies seeking to expand continue to consider acquisition opportunities in place of leasing space. Rising demand levels will eventually push rents to – and potentially above – pre-recession peaks, resulting in a tightened market. Investors continue to be attracted to the Jacksonville market and a healthy amount of capital is being invested with continued strong investment activity expected over the next few years. Private investors have been the primary source of capital since 2013, followed by REITs and institutional buyers. Cross-border capital has flowed primarily from Bahrain, Canada, Chile, United Arab Emirates, and Norway.
Avison Young opened its Jacksonville office in November 2015 as the city became the firm’s seventh Florida location. With Jacksonville having more than 1.6 msf of class A office and industrial agency leasing assignments, Avison Young retained Ross Carrier and Mark Montgomery as senior vice-presidents to spearhead commercial real estate services in Northeast Florida. The Jacksonville-based brokers work closely with colleagues in Avison Young’s other offices in Florida and throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada and overseas.