Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Short-Term Solution Southpoint Business Center Hoping to Expand Office-Rental Concept

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Short-Term Solution Southpoint Business Center Hoping to Expand Office-Rental Concept

Article excerpt

Joseph Blasko began his search for an office when it became too inconvenient for him to work from his Ponte Vedra Beach home.

"There is always a lot going on at the house," said Blasko, a financial investor.

Blasko chose the recently opened Office Suites Plus, a Southpoint business center that rents office space in various time intervals, including by the hour.

The 60-office center is a part of the company's plan to expand and brand the concept. Now, there are 14 centers in the United States, including Jacksonville, with plans for more centers in other cities.

The center, which is the first to open in Florida, will face local competition from existing business centers located within traditional office buildings.

The concept is based on offering companies office space with amenities, including a furnished office, a telephone, a receptionist, copy rooms, break rooms, conference rooms and a boardroom.

"It is not traditional office space in that you are not signing a long-term lease," said James Baughman, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

The two-story brick exterior building located at 4720 Salisbury Road is in a highly visible location along Interstate 95 with several hotels and office parks.

It offers different sized offices, including 130-, 150- and 225-square-foot spaces.

The center is offering a monthly lease rate of $395, based on a 12-month stay. An hourly rate is about $15.

The company's prices are undercutting prices at competing companies, which range from $500 to $1,700 a month, based on a 12-month contract.

Office Suites Plus tenants can use office space in other cities, which is standard in the industry.

So far, the business center has had a 30 percent occupancy rate. The goal is for the company to have a 90 percent occupancy rate by the end of the year. The average length of a stay for a client is about two years, according to Baughman.

Officials at the two competing companies, EBC Business Center, located on Belfort Road, and HQ Business Center, which is located at 10151 Deerwood Park Blvd., say Office Suites Plus is not impacting their business. …

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