For the second time in five years, a Pensacola-area technology company’s plans to build a multimillion-dollar headquarters on publicly-owned downtown property have fallen through.
Hixardt Technologies had proposed the construction of a five-story $10.7-million headquarters building on property located at 120 West Government Street, owned by the City of Pensacola’s Community Redevelopment Agency. Earlier this year, city council members approved a new proposal by the company’s owner, Mike Hicks, to purchase the property. At the time, Hicks told council members that financing and incentives needed for the purchase were in place, but six months later, that appears to have changed.
Council members this week agreed to end consideration of the deal, with CRA chairwoman Jewel Cannada-Wynn saying that she was only told that the “parties could not come to an agreement.”
“That was the crux of the information that we got,” said Cannada-Wynn. “Were there particulars? No one knows. It is just that they could not come to an agreement.”
Hixardt originally proposed an office building on the Government Street site — which adjoins the firm’s existing one-story building on Intendencia Street — back in 2009. In 2011, council members signed off on deal which would have transferred the 0.66-acre parcel to Hixardt based on the value of 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, the deal was considered dead until Hicks made a new proposal late last year.
The 40,000 square foot building would have housed Hixardt’s operations and data center as well as a “government contract incubator” with an emphasis on minority-owned businesses, Hicks said earlier this year.
In the wake of the latest deal’s failure, the council has opted to add the West Government Street parcel to a bundle of other CRA-owned properties which commercial real estate agency NAI Halford has been tasked with marketing. Appraisals are underway on the other properties, with the West Government Street property having been last appraised in 2015 at a value of $740,000.
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.