Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sites Narrow for Southeast BMW Center

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sites Narrow for Southeast BMW Center

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Brune Mathis, Times-Union senior business writer

BMW of North America LLC confirms that Jacksonville is among the North Florida and South Georgia sites under consideration for a parts- distribution center that would employ up to 60 people.

Spokeswoman Martha McKinley said BMW of North America intends to make its site decision in early spring. The center, which would be the company's fourth in the United States, would open in late 2002 and serve about 65 dealerships in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, she said.

She said yesterday that the company had no further comment.

We've reported that BMW of North America, based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., has been seeking a site. The other centers are in Ontario, Calif.; Mt. Olive, N.J.; and Senatobia, Miss. The Mississippi center, which opened last year, employs 65 people, she said. It is about 200,000 square feet.

BMW of North America is a car, motorcycle and light-truck manufacturer. BMW Group of Munich, Germany, started BMW of North America in 1975. BMW of North America sold 194,713 vehicles through November, up 15.4 percent from the first 11 months of 2000.

The BMW parts-center site search has been narrowing. We reported in October that the company was looking at Southeastern states, and last week said the search had been confined to Florida and Georgia. That scope now has been further defined as North Florida and South Georgia.

COMMONWEALTH BUSINESS PARK: While it might not be on the list for BMW, the proposed $25 million Commonwealth Business Park in Northwest Jacksonville is closer to taking shape. The city has issued its conditional concurrency approval for the center, which is proposed by FRP Development. FRP also is known as Florida Rock Properties Inc.

As we reported in February, Florida Rock Properties has been exploring plans for an industrial park along the south side of Commonwealth Avenue, between Imeson and Pickettville roads. …

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