By: Karen Brune Mathis
Karis Cold paid $2.87 million for land in Westlake Industrial Park in West Jacksonville to develop a cold storage warehouse.
Through KCS Icebox Jax 1 LLC, Karis Cold bought the land June 29 from Westlake Land Management Inc.
The city and St. Johns River Water Management District have been reviewing plans for Karis to develop more than 24 acres in Westlake Industrial Park to develop a warehouse on a wooded and undeveloped site along Pritchard Road.
Senior Director Ken Verne said Oct. 7, 2022, that Karis Cold hoped to buy the land in the first quarter of 2023 and start construction soon after for completion in the first half of 2024.
“We are building the project on spec however we have several potential tenants that have already expressed interest,” he said by email.
Verne said Newmark Phoenix Realty Group President John Richardson and Senior Vice President Bryan Bartlett are the brokers who will be representing Karis.
“We have had our eyes on Jacksonville for over a year due to the proximity to the port and Jax being a gateway to the eastern coast of Florida along with great access heading north,” Verne said in October.
A summary included with civil engineering plans submitted April 21 describes the project as 265,264 square feet of cold storage, loading dock and office space.
It says the proposed building will include two large convertible storage rooms, two loading docks with 40 dock doors and two sections of office space areas, indicating the project could serve two tenants.
An apron will be constructed on the eastern side of the building for tractor-trailer access to the loading dock doors.
The trailer drop-off/staging area on the east side will have capacity for about 62 trailers.
There will be a combined capacity of 156 parking spaces on the north and south sides of the proposed building.
The plans also show a Norfolk Southern rail spur on the west side of the building serving two rail docks. There are docks for trucks on the east side.
Norfolk Southern owns the property through Westlake Land Management Inc.
The Norfolk, Virginia-based transportation company owns the Westlake park and has been selling land there for development.
The site is referred to as Parcel 38, which is near Suddath, Southeast Toyota Distributors and BJ’s Wholesale Club centers. The property is along Pritchard Road about 4.5 miles west of Interstate 295
Colliers International Northeast Florida Executive Vice President Guy Preston and Associate Director Seda Preston represent Westlake Land Management.
Prosser Inc. is the civil engineer. DSI South LLC, part of Chicago-based Development Solutions Inc., is shown as the general contractor.
Karis Cold is based in Naples with satellite offices in suburban Chicago and Denver. KCS Icebox Jax 1 is based in a Chicago suburb, Schaumburg, Illinois.
Kariscold.com describes Karis as a private investment and development company with expertise in the cold storage industry.