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State’s search for new Revenue Department HQ narrows to 3 buildings

Office properties in Clinton, Ridgeland and downtown Jackson have made the short list among candidates to become the new home of the Mississippi Department of Finance.

The two leading candidates going into the whittling of the candidate list Tuesday were Jackson’s Landmark Center and South Point Business Park in Clinton. Ergon Properties’s Diversified Technologies complex in Ridgeland joined them on the short list.

Not making the cut were CHCS Investment’s Delphi building in Clinton and proposals by two developers to build new in Clinton and Madison, respectively.

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.

A final selection from the 3-candiate short list is to be made in early March.

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 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.

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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