New Development in Southside

22 07 2006

I have heard of several new development coming to Jacksonville’s Southside area. It goes without saying that residential home vaule will continue to rise as we see more demand for prime real estate. Alison Trinidad wrote the following article in the Florida Times Union:

“New development on the Southside has been talked about for years. And, for the most part, it has come to fruition.

That’s why, after looking at the building plans turned in to the city over the past few weeks, I have no doubt the area is going to get even busier.

Yes, busier than the already long lunch lines at St. Johns Town Center, the seemingly endless traffic jams going both north and south on Southside Boulevard at quitting time and the weekly Friday-night hunt for parking spots at Tinseltown.

Some of the submitted proposals include two new condo complexes, an extended stay hotel, a small strip mall and more than 770,000 square feet of office space. That doesn’t include site clearing for a Sheraton hotel at Deerwood Park Boulevard or construction of a 474-unit residential project on Gate Parkway West, both of which were permitted this month.

Of course, proposals are just proposals – with issues like buying property, securing appropriate financing and determining whether the existing road and sewer systems can support the project still uncertain. Developers stress that the plans are in their “preliminary” stages, which means the structures might not be built for at least couple of years, if at all.

Sure, there still are many skeptics; I mean, I don’t see a Nordstrom or Macy’s anywhere, yet, do you? But, the reality is that Southside is booming, and when developers who have a proven track record of coming through on their proposals say they plan to build more, who can argue?

It’s the type of activity that ought be happening downtown, not Jacksonville suburbia.

Downtown advocates would argue that development there is beginning to stir, what with Club Paris making a splash at The Jacksonville Landing and a couple of condo towers nearing completion. But Southside has two things going for it that, at this point, downtown is lacking: a concentration of both retail spots and residents. The momentum on the Southside is there – and it’s building.

There’s Deerwood Lake LLC, the partnership that masterminded Deerwood Lake, a more than $200 million project west of Southside Boulevard at Touchton Road. Portions of the property were sold off a few years ago, which now are home to a Publix shopping center and Beazer Homes’ Deerwood Place condominiums. The Shoppes of Deerwood Lake boasts hot spots like Aromas Cigar & Wine Bar and Fuseboxx. The partnership has received initial approvals from the city to build 310 condos in two separate projects and a 120-room Staybridge Suites off Deerwood Lake Parkway, one block west of Southside Boulevard.

Then, G.L. National Inc. – the real estate development arm of Gate Petroleum that is also building Kendall Town Center near Regency – applied to put up five retail and restaurant buildings on the 7 acres it owns southeast of the Southside Boulevard and Gate Parkway intersection. No tenant names were specified.

Heading east on Gate Parkway toward St. Johns Town Center, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida has applied to build four more office buildings on its 137-acre campus. The Jacksonville-based health care company has five existing buildings there. Plans show that the additions would total more than 770,000 square feet.

It may be years before we see anything going up, but you can be sure the wheels are turning.”

Source: The Florida Times Union


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