Unemployment Dips in Northeast Florida

30 03 2007

Unemployment fell in four of the five counties in Northeast Florida in February compared to a year earlier.

In the five-county metropolitan area — Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns and Baker counties — the unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, down from 3.5 percent in February 2006 and the same as in January.

The statewide rate of 3.3 percent was down from 3.4 percent a year earlier, and unchanged from a month ago. The figures were released Friday by the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Duval County’s unemployment rate in February was 3.4 percent, down from 3.7 percent a year ago.

The rates in Clay (3 percent), Nassau (2.9 percent) and St. Johns (2.7 percent) counties were all down from a year ago. Baker County’s 3.1 percent rate was up from 3 percent a year ago.

The number of nonagricultural jobs in the Jacksonville metro area in January was 635,000, up by about 6,000 from a year ago.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Unemployment Dips in Northeast Florida

30 03 2007

Unemployment fell in four of the five counties in Northeast Florida in February compared to a year earlier.

In the five-county metropolitan area — Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns and Baker counties — the unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, down from 3.5 percent in February 2006 and the same as in January.

The statewide rate of 3.3 percent was down from 3.4 percent a year earlier, and unchanged from a month ago. The figures were released Friday by the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Duval County’s unemployment rate in February was 3.4 percent, down from 3.7 percent a year ago.

The rates in Clay (3 percent), Nassau (2.9 percent) and St. Johns (2.7 percent) counties were all down from a year ago. Baker County’s 3.1 percent rate was up from 3 percent a year ago.

The number of nonagricultural jobs in the Jacksonville metro area in January was 635,000, up by about 6,000 from a year ago.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





New Home Sales Fall in February

27 03 2007

The Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes in the United States fell sharply for a second consecutive month in February, dropping 3.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 848,000, a weaker-than-expected performance and the slowest sales pace in nearly seven years. All regions of the country except the West experienced weakness last month.

Last month existing home sales in Florida continued to show a more sustainable pace of sales in February while still-low mortgage rates sparked buyer interest, according to FAR. Statewide sales of single-family existing homes totaled 10,779 in February for a 23 percent decrease compared to February 2006. The statewide existing
home median sales price was $235,500.

The February decline followed an even larger 15.8 percent drop in sales in January, which had been the largest one-month plunge in 13 years. The back-to-back declines provided evidence that the housing market is continuing to struggle with lagging demand and a glut of unsold homes.

Source: The Associated Press





16:Flat Condominiums in Downtown

27 03 2007


Almost three years ago, a group of friends set out to offer an inside view of the design process that leads to engaging architecture.

The result was Gallery Thirteen, a conceptual building that would be nestled in a sliver of a space between the old Downtown library and the 11 East Forsyth apartment tower. Its unconventional size, emphasis on furthering the city’s cultural scene and rooftop amphitheater and gardens brought it public and professional acclaim among those interested in Downtown revitalization.

Though the group of friends, consisting of architects and designers at Rink Design Partnership Inc., never intended to build the art gallery they conceived, the project has led to something more tangible.

16:Flat is a 16-unit condominium building planned for 0.19 acres at the corner of Liberty and Duval streets in the Cathedral District of Downtown.

The same friends and coworkers from the gallery exercise have formed 13 Minute Productions LLC, an investment group that designed the $5 million project and has a contract to buy the property pending design approval from the city.

A spirited and creative group whose ages range from 26 to 44, the five partners live or work Downtown and want to see neighborhoods such as the one their project is slated for provide “diverse living opportunities.”

Their modern five-story building has its parking deck on the first floor and a rooftop garden and common area. Its perimeter is gated, and its urban design features include floor-to-ceiling glass windows, open floor plans and wood floors.

Unit prices will range from the mid $200,000s to the low $400,000s, with the most inexpensive condominiums intentionally filling a price niche that recent luxury developments have overlooked in part due to rising land prices.

Partner Logan Rink declined to reveal how much 13 Minute Productions will pay for the parcel, but said the group’s design skills allowed it to use every possible inch of land.

Partner Mike Kleinschmidt hopes potential buyers — probably young professionals or empty-nesters — will appreciate the use of interesting materials and the overall feel of the property.

“The challenge is to design with the materials that excite you, but that’s something the market will absorb,” Kleinschmidt said. “You want it to be a place you’d like to live.”

The likelihood that other urban dwellers will want to live there could be high, since there are only a handful of infill projects on the Northbank. Few, if any, are in new buildings whose design is expected to reach a broad group of potential homebuyers.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





New Home Sales Fall in February

26 03 2007

The Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes in the United States fell sharply for a second consecutive month in February, dropping 3.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 848,000, a weaker-than-expected performance and the slowest sales pace in nearly seven years. All regions of the country except the West experienced weakness last month.

Last month existing home sales in Florida continued to show a more sustainable pace of sales in February while still-low mortgage rates sparked buyer interest, according to FAR. Statewide sales of single-family existing homes totaled 10,779 in February for a 23 percent decrease compared to February 2006. The statewide existing
home median sales price was $235,500.

The February decline followed an even larger 15.8 percent drop in sales in January, which had been the largest one-month plunge in 13 years. The back-to-back declines provided evidence that the housing market is continuing to struggle with lagging demand and a glut of unsold homes.

Source: The Associated Press





16:Flat Condominiums in Downtown

26 03 2007


Almost three years ago, a group of friends set out to offer an inside view of the design process that leads to engaging architecture.

The result was Gallery Thirteen, a conceptual building that would be nestled in a sliver of a space between the old Downtown library and the 11 East Forsyth apartment tower. Its unconventional size, emphasis on furthering the city’s cultural scene and rooftop amphitheater and gardens brought it public and professional acclaim among those interested in Downtown revitalization.

Though the group of friends, consisting of architects and designers at Rink Design Partnership Inc., never intended to build the art gallery they conceived, the project has led to something more tangible.

16:Flat is a 16-unit condominium building planned for 0.19 acres at the corner of Liberty and Duval streets in the Cathedral District of Downtown.

The same friends and coworkers from the gallery exercise have formed 13 Minute Productions LLC, an investment group that designed the $5 million project and has a contract to buy the property pending design approval from the city.

A spirited and creative group whose ages range from 26 to 44, the five partners live or work Downtown and want to see neighborhoods such as the one their project is slated for provide “diverse living opportunities.”

Their modern five-story building has its parking deck on the first floor and a rooftop garden and common area. Its perimeter is gated, and its urban design features include floor-to-ceiling glass windows, open floor plans and wood floors.

Unit prices will range from the mid $200,000s to the low $400,000s, with the most inexpensive condominiums intentionally filling a price niche that recent luxury developments have overlooked in part due to rising land prices.

Partner Logan Rink declined to reveal how much 13 Minute Productions will pay for the parcel, but said the group’s design skills allowed it to use every possible inch of land.

Partner Mike Kleinschmidt hopes potential buyers — probably young professionals or empty-nesters — will appreciate the use of interesting materials and the overall feel of the property.

“The challenge is to design with the materials that excite you, but that’s something the market will absorb,” Kleinschmidt said. “You want it to be a place you’d like to live.”

The likelihood that other urban dwellers will want to live there could be high, since there are only a handful of infill projects on the Northbank. Few, if any, are in new buildings whose design is expected to reach a broad group of potential homebuyers.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





River Watch at City Centre to Light Up Downtown

22 03 2007


SunTrust Tower/River Watch at City Centre Commercial Condominiums is bringing bright lights to the big city.

As part of an ongoing effort to jump start Downtown development, Kuhn Cos. spent approximately $75,000 to install nine horizontal strands, each 60 feet long, on the side of the SunTrust tower that faces the St. Johns River. The colored lights will be used to celebrate national holidays, events like Jacksonville Jaguar games and other community causes, said Kuhn Cos. President David Dix.

“We want to set this block off as the beginning of the Jacksonville renaissance,” Dix said.

The infrastructure for the fiber optic lighting system was added while the 18-year-old building was still under construction, but it was never used by the former owners. It wasn’t until after Kuhn acquired the building for $37 million in 2005 that Dix discovered the lighting infrastructure along with space beneath the building that could be extended into an underground tunnel to the vacant lot next the building on Laura Street. That space was intended to be a tunnel to a twin building that was never built.

The space will come in handy, Dix said, as he hopes to begin construction in September on the SunTrust’s sister building on what is now a parking lot, but will become 33 stories with hotel condominiums, retail and commercial space.

Kim Ellis, director of sales and marketing at Kuhn, said the lighting system is modeled after the Empire State Building’s system in New York City. Like the system on the Empire State Building, the lights on the SunTrust building will also serve as community outreach with lighting partners. Organizations can become lighting partners by submitting an application to Kuhn to request specific colors. Applicants will not be charged a fee.

Ellis said she hopes to have two to three different lighting schemes each month.

The lights were scheduled to be lit for the first time March 21 to commemorate Kuhn’s relationship with Colliers Dickinson, which is the agent in charge of the sales and leases at River Watch at City Centre.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Florida Population Grew 15 Percent Over Last Six Years Despite Hurricanes

22 03 2007

Here’s the trend in Florida: growth, growth, growth. Between 2000 and 2006, the state grew 15 percent to more than 7 million residences apparently undaunted by the six hurricanes that hit the state in 2004 and 2005, a new University of Florida study shows.

“At this point we haven’t seen any real drop in growth from the hurricanes – the sky hasn’t fallen,” says Scott Cody, a demographer at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, who prepared the report with Stan Smith, an economics professor and the bureau’s director.

The number of housing units in Florida occupied by permanent residents increased by 952,938 in 2000 to an estimated 7,291,013 on April 1.

The 2006 household estimates were based on 2000 census data and changes in electric customer and building permit information since 2000. Households are defined as housing units occupied by permanent residents and do not include those for seasonal residents.

Flagler County had the largest growth rate, experiencing a whopping 76 percent increase in its number of households over the six-year period, from 21,294 to 37,522. It was followed by Sumter, Osceola, Walton, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Lee and Lake counties.

“These places have cheaper land and space to grow compared to larger counties like Broward, where it’s harder to build single-family homes because they’re running out of space,” Cody says. “And as the baby boomers get older, they’re not tied as much to commuting to work in metropolitan areas and can live in communities like the Villages in Central Florida that are farther away.”

In sheer numbers, Miami-Dade had the largest increase, growing by 69,844 households between 2000 and 2006. It was followed by Hillsborough, 65,800; Orange, 64,006; Palm Beach, 63,959; Lee, 61,751; and Broward, 43,694.

Some of the rural counties had the smallest increases. Fewer than 300 households were added in DeSoto, Hamilton, Lafayette, Liberty and Glades counties. Hardee actually experienced a net loss, losing 82 households between 2000 and 2006.

“These smaller counties, many of them in the Panhandle, do not have as many people and typically do not experience the kind of growth that some of the counties in coastal areas do,” Cody says.

The study also found that Florida’s average household size since the 1990s has remained steady at 2.46 people, after falling rapidly in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The average household size in the United States is slightly higher at 2.59, falling from 2.63 between 1990 and 2000 after several decades of substantial declines.

“It may be that Florida not mirroring the U.S. decline relates to more families moving here permanently with the availability of greater numbers of jobs in places like Tampa and Orlando,” Cody says. “We still have many retirees but they are balanced out by the large influx of Hispanics who tend to have bigger families.”

The study found that counties with the largest average household sizes tended to have low proportions of older residents and high proportions of black or Hispanic residents, Cody said. “Fertility rates are higher for these groups, which is one factor in household size,” he said.

Between 2000 and 2006, average household size declined slightly in 43 Florida counties, rose slightly in 10 counties and remained constant in 14 counties, the study found.

In 2006, average household size was largest in Hendry, Hardee, Baker, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Union and Clay counties. It was smallest in Sarasota, Charlotte, Pinellas, Monroe, Sumter and Citrus counties.

Estimates of average household size were based on each area’s average household size in 2000, the national change in average household size since 2000, the local change in the mix of housing units, and factors such as birth, school enrollment and Medicare. The Medicare data picks up changes in the older population, which tends to have fewer persons per household than younger populations.

Source: Florida Association of REALTORS





River Watch at City Centre to Light Up Downtown

22 03 2007


SunTrust Tower/River Watch at City Centre Commercial Condominiums is bringing bright lights to the big city.

As part of an ongoing effort to jump start Downtown development, Kuhn Cos. spent approximately $75,000 to install nine horizontal strands, each 60 feet long, on the side of the SunTrust tower that faces the St. Johns River. The colored lights will be used to celebrate national holidays, events like Jacksonville Jaguar games and other community causes, said Kuhn Cos. President David Dix.

“We want to set this block off as the beginning of the Jacksonville renaissance,” Dix said.

The infrastructure for the fiber optic lighting system was added while the 18-year-old building was still under construction, but it was never used by the former owners. It wasn’t until after Kuhn acquired the building for $37 million in 2005 that Dix discovered the lighting infrastructure along with space beneath the building that could be extended into an underground tunnel to the vacant lot next the building on Laura Street. That space was intended to be a tunnel to a twin building that was never built.

The space will come in handy, Dix said, as he hopes to begin construction in September on the SunTrust’s sister building on what is now a parking lot, but will become 33 stories with hotel condominiums, retail and commercial space.

Kim Ellis, director of sales and marketing at Kuhn, said the lighting system is modeled after the Empire State Building’s system in New York City. Like the system on the Empire State Building, the lights on the SunTrust building will also serve as community outreach with lighting partners. Organizations can become lighting partners by submitting an application to Kuhn to request specific colors. Applicants will not be charged a fee.

Ellis said she hopes to have two to three different lighting schemes each month.

The lights were scheduled to be lit for the first time March 21 to commemorate Kuhn’s relationship with Colliers Dickinson, which is the agent in charge of the sales and leases at River Watch at City Centre.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Florida Population Grew 15 Percent Over Last Six Years Despite Hurricanes

21 03 2007

Here’s the trend in Florida: growth, growth, growth. Between 2000 and 2006, the state grew 15 percent to more than 7 million residences apparently undaunted by the six hurricanes that hit the state in 2004 and 2005, a new University of Florida study shows.

“At this point we haven’t seen any real drop in growth from the hurricanes – the sky hasn’t fallen,” says Scott Cody, a demographer at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, who prepared the report with Stan Smith, an economics professor and the bureau’s director.

The number of housing units in Florida occupied by permanent residents increased by 952,938 in 2000 to an estimated 7,291,013 on April 1.

The 2006 household estimates were based on 2000 census data and changes in electric customer and building permit information since 2000. Households are defined as housing units occupied by permanent residents and do not include those for seasonal residents.

Flagler County had the largest growth rate, experiencing a whopping 76 percent increase in its number of households over the six-year period, from 21,294 to 37,522. It was followed by Sumter, Osceola, Walton, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Lee and Lake counties.

“These places have cheaper land and space to grow compared to larger counties like Broward, where it’s harder to build single-family homes because they’re running out of space,” Cody says. “And as the baby boomers get older, they’re not tied as much to commuting to work in metropolitan areas and can live in communities like the Villages in Central Florida that are farther away.”

In sheer numbers, Miami-Dade had the largest increase, growing by 69,844 households between 2000 and 2006. It was followed by Hillsborough, 65,800; Orange, 64,006; Palm Beach, 63,959; Lee, 61,751; and Broward, 43,694.

Some of the rural counties had the smallest increases. Fewer than 300 households were added in DeSoto, Hamilton, Lafayette, Liberty and Glades counties. Hardee actually experienced a net loss, losing 82 households between 2000 and 2006.

“These smaller counties, many of them in the Panhandle, do not have as many people and typically do not experience the kind of growth that some of the counties in coastal areas do,” Cody says.

The study also found that Florida’s average household size since the 1990s has remained steady at 2.46 people, after falling rapidly in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The average household size in the United States is slightly higher at 2.59, falling from 2.63 between 1990 and 2000 after several decades of substantial declines.

“It may be that Florida not mirroring the U.S. decline relates to more families moving here permanently with the availability of greater numbers of jobs in places like Tampa and Orlando,” Cody says. “We still have many retirees but they are balanced out by the large influx of Hispanics who tend to have bigger families.”

The study found that counties with the largest average household sizes tended to have low proportions of older residents and high proportions of black or Hispanic residents, Cody said. “Fertility rates are higher for these groups, which is one factor in household size,” he said.

Between 2000 and 2006, average household size declined slightly in 43 Florida counties, rose slightly in 10 counties and remained constant in 14 counties, the study found.

In 2006, average household size was largest in Hendry, Hardee, Baker, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Union and Clay counties. It was smallest in Sarasota, Charlotte, Pinellas, Monroe, Sumter and Citrus counties.

Estimates of average household size were based on each area’s average household size in 2000, the national change in average household size since 2000, the local change in the mix of housing units, and factors such as birth, school enrollment and Medicare. The Medicare data picks up changes in the older population, which tends to have fewer persons per household than younger populations.

Source: Florida Association of REALTORS





Florida Time-Share Impact $14.3 Billion

21 03 2007

The Florida time-share industry contributed $14.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2005, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the American Resort Development Association, found the Florida time-share industry supported 161,100 full- and part-time jobs that were worth $5.4 billion in salaries, wages and related income.

Florida leads the nation in the number of time-share resorts – 378 – and the number of time-share units – 47,400. More time-share owners take vacations in Florida than any other state, the study found.

The study found 7.9 million people took about 1.8 million vacations during 2005 and spent an average of $2,062 per trip for the traveling party. Those vacations resulted in an estimated spending of $3.7 billion, the study found.

Time-share resorts, corporate offices, call centers and off-site sales offices employed about 54,300 people with a payroll estimated at $1.8 billion. About 6,700 jobs, worth about $270 million, occur in time-share construction and support industries. The average time-share employee earned $33,000, according to the study.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Florida Time-Share Impact $14.3 Billion

21 03 2007

The Florida time-share industry contributed $14.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2005, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the American Resort Development Association, found the Florida time-share industry supported 161,100 full- and part-time jobs that were worth $5.4 billion in salaries, wages and related income.

Florida leads the nation in the number of time-share resorts – 378 – and the number of time-share units – 47,400. More time-share owners take vacations in Florida than any other state, the study found.

The study found 7.9 million people took about 1.8 million vacations during 2005 and spent an average of $2,062 per trip for the traveling party. Those vacations resulted in an estimated spending of $3.7 billion, the study found.

Time-share resorts, corporate offices, call centers and off-site sales offices employed about 54,300 people with a payroll estimated at $1.8 billion. About 6,700 jobs, worth about $270 million, occur in time-share construction and support industries. The average time-share employee earned $33,000, according to the study.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Dayco/Devlin to Team Up on Residential Projects

20 03 2007

Franco D’Agostino and Wallace Devlin have been development partners for years. Now they are partners in a new company – Dayco/Devlin – that already has $335 million worth of projects scheduled.

The two, who individually own Dayco Holding Corp. and The Devlin Group Inc., officially joined forces in December 2006 to concentrate on joint development projects in Jacksonville. Members of the Dayco company will be responsible for the development of projects while the Devlin employees will find development sites and manage sales.

“It works out really well,” Devlin said. “We’re there to help them, and likewise when we need it they’re there to help us.”

The company has acquired six properties and has started work on the first of the 900 residential units that will be constructed in the Gate Parkway and Town Center areas of the city.

Toscana at St. Johns Town Center is a 130-unit condominium project in a nine-and-eight-story tower. Presales and horizontal construction have already begun on Toscona. A second 220-unit condominium project that will also be in the town center will likely be called Toscona II. Construction on the second project is expected to begin in October 2007 and will be in seven-and-eight-story towers.

Both condo sites will overlook the second phase of the St. Johns Town Center, which is already under construction and is expected to include new and high-end retailers to the area like Louis Vuitton, Pottery Barn and Tommy Bahama as well as new restaurants like Capital Grille.

“We’ve been very fortunate to secure that property,” Devlin said of the town center sites.

The third project is a 95-unit townhome development called Bridges at Belfort.

Dayco/Devlin will split its project list between selling products and leasing products.

“We also see a need for high-end apartments,” Devlin said.

The company’s three apartment communities will lease for about $1.25 per square foot, Devlin said. Those projects will be similar in scope and will include the 180-unit Florida Club at Gate Parkway, the 130-unit Florida Club at East Lake and the 270-unit Florida Club at Belfort.

Dayco Holdings and The Devlin Group have partnered on several local projects during the last decade, including the Ocean Grand at Serenata Beach located between Ponte Vedra Beach and Vilano Beach in St. Johns County.

Devlin said construction should be complete on the first six projects in four to six years, but already the duo is searching for other development opportunities.

“We plan on doing even more,” Devlin said.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Dayco/Devlin to Team Up on Residential Projects

20 03 2007

Franco D’Agostino and Wallace Devlin have been development partners for years. Now they are partners in a new company – Dayco/Devlin – that already has $335 million worth of projects scheduled.

The two, who individually own Dayco Holding Corp. and The Devlin Group Inc., officially joined forces in December 2006 to concentrate on joint development projects in Jacksonville. Members of the Dayco company will be responsible for the development of projects while the Devlin employees will find development sites and manage sales.

“It works out really well,” Devlin said. “We’re there to help them, and likewise when we need it they’re there to help us.”

The company has acquired six properties and has started work on the first of the 900 residential units that will be constructed in the Gate Parkway and Town Center areas of the city.

Toscana at St. Johns Town Center is a 130-unit condominium project in a nine-and-eight-story tower. Presales and horizontal construction have already begun on Toscona. A second 220-unit condominium project that will also be in the town center will likely be called Toscona II. Construction on the second project is expected to begin in October 2007 and will be in seven-and-eight-story towers.

Both condo sites will overlook the second phase of the St. Johns Town Center, which is already under construction and is expected to include new and high-end retailers to the area like Louis Vuitton, Pottery Barn and Tommy Bahama as well as new restaurants like Capital Grille.

“We’ve been very fortunate to secure that property,” Devlin said of the town center sites.

The third project is a 95-unit townhome development called Bridges at Belfort.

Dayco/Devlin will split its project list between selling products and leasing products.

“We also see a need for high-end apartments,” Devlin said.

The company’s three apartment communities will lease for about $1.25 per square foot, Devlin said. Those projects will be similar in scope and will include the 180-unit Florida Club at Gate Parkway, the 130-unit Florida Club at East Lake and the 270-unit Florida Club at Belfort.

Dayco Holdings and The Devlin Group have partnered on several local projects during the last decade, including the Ocean Grand at Serenata Beach located between Ponte Vedra Beach and Vilano Beach in St. Johns County.

Devlin said construction should be complete on the first six projects in four to six years, but already the duo is searching for other development opportunities.

“We plan on doing even more,” Devlin said.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Selva Marina to Sell Portion of Property for New Residential Development

13 03 2007

Selva Marina Country Club Inc. has cleared the first hurdle toward selling the southern portion of its property for residential development.

After a lengthy debate the Atlantic Beach City Commission voted unanimously, with one commissioner absent, to submit to the state Department of Community Affairs a proposed amendment to the city’s Future Land Use Map changing the designation of the property from recreation/open space to residential, low density.

Club President Alan Ennis is analyzing four private developer proposals to buy the property and transform it into 80 to 108 single and multi-family units. The money the member-owned club earns from the sale will be used to fund the estimated $16 million worth of needed renovations that are necessary, he said, to help keep the club open for business.

Residents of Selva Linkside II directly south of the current boundaries of Selva Marina are not happy with the proposal. The homeowner’s association has hired attorneys and plans to appeal the property owners’ request to rezone the land to a planned unit development.

The commission’s recent decision does not include an action on the zoning change or a specific plan for the development.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Selva Marina to Sell Portion of Property for New Residential Development

13 03 2007

Selva Marina Country Club Inc. has cleared the first hurdle toward selling the southern portion of its property for residential development.

After a lengthy debate the Atlantic Beach City Commission voted unanimously, with one commissioner absent, to submit to the state Department of Community Affairs a proposed amendment to the city’s Future Land Use Map changing the designation of the property from recreation/open space to residential, low density.

Club President Alan Ennis is analyzing four private developer proposals to buy the property and transform it into 80 to 108 single and multi-family units. The money the member-owned club earns from the sale will be used to fund the estimated $16 million worth of needed renovations that are necessary, he said, to help keep the club open for business.

Residents of Selva Linkside II directly south of the current boundaries of Selva Marina are not happy with the proposal. The homeowner’s association has hired attorneys and plans to appeal the property owners’ request to rezone the land to a planned unit development.

The commission’s recent decision does not include an action on the zoning change or a specific plan for the development.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Ryland Homes Acquires Rolling Hills in Clay County

12 03 2007

Ryland Homes has acquired 190 home sites in the Lake Asbury section of Clay County. Construction on the development, called Rolling Hills, is scheduled to start in the spring.

Jeff Agar, president of Ryland Homes in the Jacksonville region, said East-West Partners is developing Rolling Hills, which will consist of three-, four-, and five-bedroom homes.

The single-family homes will start at more than $200,000.

California-based Ryland Homes (NYSE: RYL) operates in 27 markets across the country, including Northeast Florida.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Ryland Homes Acquires Rolling Hills in Clay County

12 03 2007

Ryland Homes has acquired 190 home sites in the Lake Asbury section of Clay County. Construction on the development, called Rolling Hills, is scheduled to start in the spring.

Jeff Agar, president of Ryland Homes in the Jacksonville region, said East-West Partners is developing Rolling Hills, which will consist of three-, four-, and five-bedroom homes.

The single-family homes will start at more than $200,000.

California-based Ryland Homes (NYSE: RYL) operates in 27 markets across the country, including Northeast Florida.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





The Beach House in Jacksonville Beach Ready to Go

9 03 2007


After years of planning and legal wrangling, The Beach House, one of Jacksonville Beach’s last approved high-rise projects, is preparing to start construction.

By the time voters approved a 35-foot height limit referendum in 2004, developer Martha Cesery Taylor had already received the development plan approval for the beachfront property at First Street and 14th Avenue S. But it took a circuit court ruling in January to allow her to apply for the building permit necessary to start construction.

“We’re very delighted to finally get some good press,” said Taylor, president of Southern Waterview Development Inc. “We’re locals, we want to hire locals. We’re not big, bad developers from South Florida.”

The Beach House is a 10-story, 37-unit condominium project with units ranging from 3,100 square feet to 6,000 square feet and priced at $1.6 million to $3 million.

Amenities include a lap pool and spa, a fitness center, a media/billiards room, a parlor with a fireplace and catering kitchen for entertaining and a greenhouse and herb garden maze.

All the units will have ocean views. Interior units are designed to have views of the ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west.

Taylor hopes the building will be one of the first green residential high-rises in Florida. She is trying for the designation, she said, because “I have asthma and I believe in living in a clean environment.”

Green buildings reduce their impact on health and the environment through siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance and removal that are environmentally conscious. The United States Green Building Council and the Florida Green Building Coalition set standards and certify green buildings in Florida.

Applicants for the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for green construction must meet minimum standards for water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design processes.

Two of the 12 Florida LEED-certified buildings are in Jacksonville, said Paki Taylor (no relation to the developer), the vice chairman of the North Florida division of the council. No condominium high-rises have met the criteria yet.

“It’s admirable, that’s for sure,” Paki Taylor said of the developer’s green goal, but the criteria are “very rigorous.”

“There’s a lot of people talking green, but what it boils down to is that you have to show it’s green,” she said.

Building a LEED-certified structure may add 4 percent to a project’s costs, she said, but most of the environmental upgrades pay for themselves relatively quickly.

This is Martha Cesery Taylor’s first development project, but not her first experience in the field. She is a licensed architect, a real estate broker and the daughter of the late William R. Cesery, a local developer for whom Cesery Boulevard is named.

Two other developers also had projects approved before the 2004 referendum, said Steve Lindorff, Jacksonville Beach’s director of planning and development. Five or six other developers are also moving through the judicial process.

Taylor has not applied for the building permit, but expects to start construction in June and to finish the project by 2009.

Source: Bizjournal.com





The Beach House in Jacksonville Beach Ready to Go

9 03 2007


After years of planning and legal wrangling, The Beach House, one of Jacksonville Beach’s last approved high-rise projects, is preparing to start construction.

By the time voters approved a 35-foot height limit referendum in 2004, developer Martha Cesery Taylor had already received the development plan approval for the beachfront property at First Street and 14th Avenue S. But it took a circuit court ruling in January to allow her to apply for the building permit necessary to start construction.

“We’re very delighted to finally get some good press,” said Taylor, president of Southern Waterview Development Inc. “We’re locals, we want to hire locals. We’re not big, bad developers from South Florida.”

The Beach House is a 10-story, 37-unit condominium project with units ranging from 3,100 square feet to 6,000 square feet and priced at $1.6 million to $3 million.

Amenities include a lap pool and spa, a fitness center, a media/billiards room, a parlor with a fireplace and catering kitchen for entertaining and a greenhouse and herb garden maze.

All the units will have ocean views. Interior units are designed to have views of the ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west.

Taylor hopes the building will be one of the first green residential high-rises in Florida. She is trying for the designation, she said, because “I have asthma and I believe in living in a clean environment.”

Green buildings reduce their impact on health and the environment through siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance and removal that are environmentally conscious. The United States Green Building Council and the Florida Green Building Coalition set standards and certify green buildings in Florida.

Applicants for the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for green construction must meet minimum standards for water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design processes.

Two of the 12 Florida LEED-certified buildings are in Jacksonville, said Paki Taylor (no relation to the developer), the vice chairman of the North Florida division of the council. No condominium high-rises have met the criteria yet.

“It’s admirable, that’s for sure,” Paki Taylor said of the developer’s green goal, but the criteria are “very rigorous.”

“There’s a lot of people talking green, but what it boils down to is that you have to show it’s green,” she said.

Building a LEED-certified structure may add 4 percent to a project’s costs, she said, but most of the environmental upgrades pay for themselves relatively quickly.

This is Martha Cesery Taylor’s first development project, but not her first experience in the field. She is a licensed architect, a real estate broker and the daughter of the late William R. Cesery, a local developer for whom Cesery Boulevard is named.

Two other developers also had projects approved before the 2004 referendum, said Steve Lindorff, Jacksonville Beach’s director of planning and development. Five or six other developers are also moving through the judicial process.

Taylor has not applied for the building permit, but expects to start construction in June and to finish the project by 2009.

Source: Bizjournal.com








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