Construction of a 40,000 square foot commercial building in downtown Pensacola could be back on track, with the City of Pensacola’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) set to discuss the issue next week.
The $8.8 million project — a new headquarters for Pensacola-based IT company Hixardt Technologies — would be located on the site of a CRA-owned parking lot on West Government Street. In addition to housing Hixardt’s operations and data center, the five-story building would also feature a government contract incubator with an emphasis on minority-owned businesses, operated in partnership with the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency.
The Hixardt project has been in the works for at least six years. The CRA — which is comprised of all Pensacola City Council members — first voted to move forward with the development, then called “Project Press,” in October 2009. In 2011, the CRA approved an incentive agreement which included the transfer of the 0.66-acre parcel to Hixardt based on the project’s investment and creation of an estimated 100 jobs. However, the project stalled, and after the CRA extended deadlines three times in 2012 and 2013, many considered the project dead.
However, Hixardt CEO Mike Hicks says the financing and state incentives necessary to move forward with the project are in place, and he’s asked the CRA to consider either reviving the 2011 agreement or facilitating a straight purchase of the land. In a letter to CRA members, Hicks said he hopes to break ground before the end of the year. “Overall, I am hoping that this project and the investment team has positive impact for local companies in Pensacola looking to expand their businesses,” said Hicks.
Hicks, a retired U.S. Navy aviator, established Hixardt in 2001. The company focuses on information technology and telecommunications consulting and over the past 15 years has won a number of contracts with federal agencies, including the General Services Administration, the U.S. Navy, and Air Force.
The CRA is set to discuss the Hixardt proposal at its meeting on Monday, November 9. The meeting will follow the City Council’s Agenda Conference meeting, which begins at 3:30 p.m.
|WHAT:||City of Pensacola Community Redevelopment Agency Meeting|
|WHEN:||Monday, November 9|
Immediately following the City Council Agenda Conference meeting (3:30 p.m.)
|WHERE:||Pensacola City Hall|
Hagler/Mason Room, Second Floor
222 West Main Street
Pensacola, FL 32502