Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Three Clay Sites Could House Potential BellSouth Service Center

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Three Clay Sites Could House Potential BellSouth Service Center

Article excerpt

Three Clay County sites for a potential 1,000-job BellSouth Corp. customer-service center appear to be at Eagle Harbor, Fleming Island Plantation and the 600 Wells Road center.

While BellSouth was not confirmed as the prospect, Clay County officials have been aware of a large prospect considering sites there.

Eagle Harbor and Fleming Island Plantation are residential, commercial and business projects along U.S. 17, south of Orange Park, and the Wells Road building is an existing structure that formerly housed the Sav-A-Stop distribution center.

"Those three have been looked at," said Orien Pass, executive director of the Clay County Development Authority, who could not confirm BellSouth was the client.

At the same time, BellSouth spokesman Rande LeFevre said this week that the company was planning to build a customer-service center and that Clay County has been under consideration.

Industry sources also identified potential sites in Duval County, including the Regency area and Southside.

As described, the project would grow in phases to 315,000 to 325,000 square feet of space on 30 to 40 acres, employ more than 500 people the first year and increase to 1,100 over several years and generally pay $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

"We hope to get them in Clay County," Pass said yesterday.

If the center lands in one of the three Clay County locations, it would be locating along or near U.S. 17. If so, it could draw commuters off the road to that site rather than continue the trek into Duval.

About 60 percent of Clay County's work force commutes into Jacksonville.

"We've got a young, trained, well-educated work force driving more than an hour a day," Pass said. "Sooner or later it's going to spill into here."

BellSouth executive Jim McCollum said yesterday there was no further information to report. We've heard a decision could come within a week or two.

THE DAILY SCOOP: Starbucks Coffee Co. is adding another Jacksonville location, this time at Windsor Commons. The Seattle-based chain will open at 4765 Hodges Blvd. pending renovations valued at a construction cost of $100,000. …

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