Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Lease for Hotel Unusual Other Tenants in Annex Possible

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Lease for Hotel Unusual Other Tenants in Annex Possible

Article excerpt

After letting Adam's Mark Hotels & Resorts lease space in the

City Hall Annex, Jacksonville officials are leaving the door

open to others who might like an office with a view (for a

while) of the St. Johns River.

City officials aren't laying out the welcome mat, however, to

duplicate the unusual lease agreement with others in the private

sector.

City Council members approved a contract last week that will

charge HBE Corp., the parent company of Adam's Mark, $10 a

square foot at the City Hall Annex.

Adam's Mark will use the office as a base for booking advance

business at its 950-room hotel, which it will build on the

parking lot next to the annex and expects to open by early 2001.

If other businesses ask to lease space on empty floors in the

15-story annex, city officials said they will consider such

requests.

But it's not something the city is actively promoting or

guaranteeing.

"Each issue stands on its own," said Public Works Director Sam

Mousa, chairman of the city's Facilities Planning Committee.

For years, the city has been paying rent at privately owned

buildings to house government offices. But the contract with

Adam's Mark is a switch because the city is the landlord, not

the tenant, for a for-profit business. Mousa said it is the

first time the city has done that since he began serving on the

Facilities Planning Committee in 1991.

Adam's Mark will have some say about whether the city leases

any more space at the annex.

In June, the City Council phproved a development agreement

with Adam's Mark that includes a provision stating that for as

long as the city owns the annex, it will restrict the building

to "its current use or for other government offices."

The city put that restriction in the agreement at the request

of Adam's Mark. The hotel chain wanted assurances that it

"wouldn't end up being next to a building in disrepair or end up

with a neighbor that wouldn't help with the marketing of the

hotel," said Mike Weinstein, executive director of the

Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. …

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