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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – JEA is still a few months away from moving into its new downtown headquarters but News4jax got a sneak peek inside and we are showing you how it’s coming along.

Sometime this fall – the utility will move to its new home, next to the courthouse. It’s a 100 million dollar project in all. JEA doesn’t own it – instead, it’s leasing the space – but it is making a substantial investment on the inside.

The entire concept of how JEA will operate at its headquarters is changing. On the first floor in the public space, there will be people to help you out if you need it, but much of it will be self-service.

Most of the major changes in this building will involve the JEA staff. Out of the 2,000 plus employees, maybe 740 will work in this building. Many will continue to work at home. The building space follows the concept known as “hoteling” – where workers come and go from one day to the next.

Doug Dieck of the Ryan Companies says this design is one employees have been excited about.

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“It brings JEA’s work environment from closed office in the 1980s kind of vintage to 21st century wide open very flexible Wi-Fi workspace. It is a great upgrade for the community and JEA,” Dieck said.

It’s costing Ryan Companies about $75 million to build and JEA is kicking in about $25 million for office and interior work. JEA has a lease agreement for 20 years with Ryan Companies.

“Yes they will be paying rent just like anybody else pays rent and any building in and around the downtown, they will be paying rent but it’s an investment in the future.” Dieck said

The building includes solar panels which will add to the some of the electrical power of the complex. There is also an emergency electrical back up system on the second floor in case the first floor floods during a hurricane or other storm

The original design was scaled back from nine floors to seven. There is a parking garage for employees but customers will have to find their own spots for now on the street.

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As for the current headquarters at Church and Main streets downtown, the old charter life building, JEA owns that building and has been looking for a buyer. So far no word if there are any takers.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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