Housing Slowdown Milder in Jacksonville

21 08 2006

The housing market continued its slowdown in Florida in the second quarter, according to figures from the Florida Association of Realtors. The 1 percent drop in sales of existing single-family homes in Jacksonville, in fact, made it the strongest (along with Tallahassee) of the 20 markets tracked by FAR.

Across the state, sales of existing single-family homes in the second quarter dropped 27 percent from the same period a year ago. Jacksonville and Tallahassee were the only markets without double-digit declines in sales, and 15 of the 20 markets had declines of more than 20 percent.

The median price of the homes sold, on the other hand, continued to rise, though not at the pace seen in previous years. In Jacksonville, the median price of $207,300 was up 12 percent from a year ago, and the statewide median price of $254,800 was up 9 percent from a year ago.

Local figures did not include data from the St. Augustine-St. Johns County Board of Realtors and the Amelia Island-Nassau County Association of Realtors.

Sales of existing condominiums were up 10 percent in Northeast Florida (not including data from St. Johns County) while the median price of $167,700 was down 1 percent from a year ago. Across the state, condo sales dropped 33 percent while the median price rose 1 percent to $219,100.

Source: Florida Association of Realtors

LandMar Unveils Shipyards Plans

21 08 2006

The latest plan for The Shipyards project Downtown includes a residential tower, a marina and public access to a 20-acre site on the Northbank parcel. An indefinite, 2007 date has been set for the start of construction.

LandMar Group LLC unveiled its plans at a news conference at the site last week. The initial components of the project will include a 38-story, 328-unit residential tower with a seven-story parking garage and a host of indoor and outdoor amenities as well as public access.

“This is a very important component in the growth of Downtown Jacksonville,” said Landmar Chief Operating Officer Roger Postlethwaite of the project. “We think it will change everything.”

The tower, the first of four planned for the East Bay Street parcel, will have a restaurant, swimming pool, fitness center, game room and movie room. Outside the tower will be an amphitheater, open recreational space, tennis courts, another swimming pool, a playground and an 80-slip marina with two private parks.

Public access points will include a pier stretching more than 700 feet into the St. Johns River and a landscaped connection to the Northbank Riverwalk.

Retail space, three more towers, single-family houses and townhouse units are also planned, but their construction will be determined by market demand, Postlethwaite said. The four towers, single-family houses and townhouses will total about 1,000 units.

Bernardo Fort-Brescia, of the Miami architectural firm Arquitectonica, said The Shipyards was designed to be an integrated part of the city.

“Our object was to create a real neighborhood,” Fort-Brescia said. “This master plan is a first of its kind in America.”

LandMar will begin construction on the riverwalk, pier, and other public improvements in the first quarter of next year, and depending on sales, the company hopes to begin construction of the private development by the fourth quarter. Construction of the first tower will take 24 to 30 months to complete. The condos, ranging from one bedrooms to penthouses, will range in price from $300,000 to more than $1 million.

A later phase of the project, on another 20-acre parcel, will also be determined by market demand. That phase may include retail, a 350-room hotel, residential space and up to 800,000 square feet of office space.

Jacksonville-based Landmar bought the 40-acre site in 2004 after the former developer, TriLegacy Group LLC, could not fulfill its development agreement with the city.

After spending about 18 months planning the project, LandMar President and CEO Ed Burr said he thinks it will create a new sense for Downtown Jacksonville.

“We have great hopes for the future of Downtown,” he said.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

Flagler Tops Country in Housing Growth

21 08 2006

For the second year in a row, Flagler County leads the nation in housing growth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

For the 12-month period that ended July 1, 2005, Flagler’s housing stock increased by more than 5,000 units, or 14.8 percent. The previous year Flagler added more than 4,000 housing units.

Three other Florida counties made the top 10: second-place Sumter County, fourth-place Osceola and ninth-place St. Lucie.

Nationally, the number of housing units increased 1.5 percent.

Florida was third in housing growth in the country, with a 3.1 percent increase, while the rest of the top five was in the West: Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Utah.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

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