Chalmers Property Co. plans 1.67 million square feet of industrial space at Imeson Port Center

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Chalmers Property Co. plans 1.67 million square feet of industrial space at Imeson Port Center

By: Karen Brune Mathis

From: Jaxdailyrecord

Virginia-based Chalmers Property Co. intends to invest a projected $200 million in Jacksonville to develop up to a 1.67 million-square-foot business park called Imeson Port Center in North Jacksonville. 

Fraser Chalmers“We are coming into your market,” said Fraser Chalmers, executive vice president. “We have had an excellent experience so far with our local team.”

Duval County property records show that through IPC Owner LLC, Chalmers Property paid $10.4 million on Dec. 14 for 106 acres. It bought the property from Bostwick Trust entities.

Chalmers Property is based in Fairfax, Virginia, with offices in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The Imeson Port Center site is north and south along Zoo Parkway east of Main Street. It is next to the intersection with Imeson Park Boulevard.

Chalmers Property intends to buy more property that will create a 121-acre park. 

Chalmers said the company will develop nine speculative multitenant buildings.

He said six buildings would be north of Zoo Parkway and three would be south.

Chalmers Property plans five 200,000-square-foot buildings, a 280,000-square-foot building and three 130,000-square-foot buildings.

A site plan for Imeson Port Center shows nine buildings north and south of Zoo Parkway in North Jacksonville.

The Conlan Co. is the contractor and BGE Inc. led by Jenny Urcan, director of land and site development, is the civil engineer.

August groundbreaking

Chalmers expects to break ground in August and deliver the first phase of two speculative 200,000-square-foot buildings and a pad for another of that size in the second quarter of 2024.

He said if leasing is strong on the first 400,000 square feet, Chalmers would build the additional building.

He said the second phase would be the remaining 680,000 square feet.

Chalmers said JLL Executive Managing Director Luke Pope and Senior Vice President Ross Crabtree were the primary brokers on the property transaction and will handle leasing.

Chalmers is targeting tenants who need 50,000 to 200,000 square feet of space.

That is between the needs of large tenants and smaller tenants.

“We’ve picked the smaller bay, 50,000 to 200,000 square feet, which the Jacksonville market is in need of,” Chalmers said.

Imeson Port Center is planned along Zoo Parkway in North Jacksonville.

“We are seeing opportunity in the size range of the builldings we are creating.”

He anticipates that local and regional tenants would lease the space.

More specifically, Chalmers expects that companies that sell and service the housing market would be prospective tenants.

That would be plumbers, electricians, contractors, roofers, “and anyone you need to service your household.”

Being several miles from the JaxPort Blount Island Marine Terminal also provides prospective port-oriented tenants.

The site also is close to Interstate 95 to the west.

Chalmers considers Jacksonville “a business-friendly environment and we look forward to contributing to the growth and success of Jacksonville.”

He said Chalmers Property is actively pursuing additional properties in the Jacksonville area.

Chalmers Property Co. says the company began in 1991 as a privately held and family-owned real estate investment and development firm delivering major land projects across the greater Washington, D.C., area. 

“More than three decades later, we continue our heritage in ground up development, leveraging full-service commercial real estate expertise to execute successful projects across the greater Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.”

Fraser Chalmers and his brother, Grant Chalmers, both executive vice presidents, handle the operations of Chalmers Property Co.

Chalmers said the company will develop nine speculative multitenant buildings.

Their father, David M. Chalmers, is the president and founder.

He began his career as a consultant to the U.S. State Department on embassies and facilities in the Middle East and Africa.

In 1982, a California development company approached him to build a presence in the rapidly growing Northern Virginia market.

Fraser Chalmers said that ignited his father’s career in commercial property development and earned the company continued success.

From 1985-91, David Chalmers developed commercial properties as president of Wills-Chalmers Inc. that included mid-rise offices in Northern Virginia, a research and development park in Reston, Virginia, and high-rises rental apartments in Tysons Corner.

In 1991, he formed Chalmers Property Co. and still owns it with his family.

His sons came into the business in 2008 and 2010.

Chalmers Property Co. has redirected its growth from the greater Washington, D.C., area with joint ventures and institutional partners in Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and now Jacksonville.

Grant Chalmers, 40, is operating the comapny’s South Carolina project. Fraser Chalmers, 38, is running Jacksonville and Georgia projects.

“With the dredging of the port and a solution in place for the JEA power lines, I expect Jacksonville will soon benefit from backlogs in Charleston and Savannah,” Fraser Chalmers said.

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