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Proposals in for Revenue Department HQ; List to narrow Tuesday

Tuesday is short list day in the competition among metro Jackson office properties to become the new home of the Mississippi Department of Finance.

Meeting the early deadline for submitting Requests for Proposals for a long-term lease deal with the state were downtown Jackson’s Landmark Center and South Point Business Park in Clinton, both considered the leading candidates.

Joining the two properties in vying for the lease are have been joined by several Ergon Properties’s Diversified Technologies complex in Ridgeland, CHCS Investment’s Delphi building in Clinton and proposals by two developers to build new in Clinton and Madison, respectively.

Whether a new 175,000 square foot headquarters building could be built in time to meet the Mississippi Department of Finance has set an ambitious schedule for moving the Department of Revenue is uncertain. The state wants a building ready to move into by late spring 2014. The DOR lease on its metal warehouse headquarters in Raymond expires in July 2014.

If no single candidate is selected Tuesday, the DFA will wait until early March to make its final selection.

Here is the schedule the DFA has set for the project:

— Complete Test Fits with Landlord’s Architect: Jan. 18 ;

— Deliver Test Fits to Short-List: Jan. 31;;

— Request Best and Final Offers (optional): Feb. 8;

…Make Final Selection: March 8;

.. Lease Execution Date: March 15;

… Deadline to Complete Tenant Build-Out: May 1, 2014;

… Occupancy Date for Lease: July 1, 2014.

The building owner or developer who wins the upcoming competition to lease 175,000 square feet to the DOR must also be willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to ready the building.

A schedule released by the Department of Finance & Administration set Dec. 18 as the date to narrow the property candidates to a short list.

The DFA had said previously that if a clear choice emerged from the initial requests for proposals, the agency would begin lease negotiations exclusively with that building’s representatives.

South Pointe, the former WorldCom home now managed by Duckworth Realty, and the Landmark Center, formerly managed by Parkway Properties and now managed by Hertz Properties, had top rankings a year ago in a site-selection study by international commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. That made the two properties the leading candidates in this round of competition, though the Landmark won selection over South Pointe in the previous round.

Last legislative session lawmakers rejected a proposal to move the Revenue Department’s headquarters into the 353,898-square-foot Landmark Center at 175 East Capitol St. The state was to buy the building for $14.1 million and refit it over a three-year period at a cost of about $30 million to accommodate the 400 or so employees of the DOR.



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