Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Citibank May Put Center on Southside

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Citibank May Put Center on Southside

Article excerpt

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

Citibank could announce within days where it will establish a potential 75-acre Jacksonville operations center, which we've reported could end up in one of several Southside locations, possibly Flagler Center.

Citibank, part of New York-based Citigroup, operates a 4,000-job credit-card center in Jacksonville and wants to add up to 700 jobs in the next several years.

To accommodate the growth, Citibank has indicated it needs a better office configuration than it now occupies. Citibank owns or leases 600,000 square feet in the Deerwood Center. It wants to build a campus that would start at 500,000 square feet and has been considering several locations, including sites along Florida 9A.

Deerwood Center is at Interstate 95 and Baymeadows Road, while Flagler Center is between I-95 and Philips Highway, along St. Augustine Road.

Citibank's leases expire in 2004 and 2005, so a decision about a new campus has been expected if the company intends to complete construction by then.

Citibank has been talking with the city about economic incentives, although Jacksonville's incentives policy generally bans assistance in Southside. However, there are exceptions.

There could be assistance for Citibank negotiated with the state.

Citing confidentiality agreements, city and company officials have declined comment about incentives negotiations.

"I can't comment yet," said Jacksonville Economic Development Commission Executive Director Kirk Wendland.

"They do have confidentiality agreements. Until there is an announcement and it becomes public, then I can comment," Wendland said.

Audrey Moran, chief of staff for Mayor John Delaney, also declined to discuss the situation. "Because they are covered by confidentiality, there's nothing that we can comment on at this time. …

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