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bobliocatt

Condos, retail part of Avondale plan

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bobliocatt    0

This must be the project that was mentioned as a rumor on here a couple of weeks ago. Michael Balanky and a New York developer are teaming together for a project called St. Johns Village Center. Estimated to cost $200 million the project will involve tearing down an existing 17 story tower and strip shopping center and replacing it with a new 17 story tower, 20,000sf of retail with lofts above, boat slips on Fishweir Creek and total of 216 condos. Construction is at least a year away.

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._20094517.shtml

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Florida    0

This is likely going to be a very nice facility with a $200 Million price tag. I can't wait to see the rendering of it. I'm assuming the demolition of the current building will add a great bit to the price. Its hard for me to believe 17 Levels could cost this much. But I'm excited non the less.

Good find Lakelander.

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Sounds like a nice project. My only question is why tear down a 17 story building and replace it with another 17 story? Why not build taller/larger or maybe several towers? I cant wait to see the renderings.

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wolfdawg54    0

The project is a very good example of proper development. I drove past it a while back and the building is starting to look run down. I am glad to see it getting fixed up.

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This sounds like an interesting project. If it's an urban-type design, it could do wonders for this area. Think about what that urban Riverside Publix did for the 5 Points area, back when it used to be an old dumpy hospital...

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DavePaulk    0

I too find it was odd that they are replacing a 17 story structure with a 17 story structure. Oh well, I won't complain. I can't access that article, is anyone else having problems?

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asonj23    0

The proposal would be one major project with a new 17-story condominium tower to replace the Commander building (also 17 stories) next to retail stores topped by loft apartments, according to the planned unit development application scheduled to be filed with the city.

I wonder if this means they will level the St. John's Village shopping center as well?

I've enjoyed eating at the Loop on the water. I would hate to see that go.

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While I also love the Loop in that shopping center, I'd rather see them close temporarily if it means they can reopen in a new, improved urban-oriented retail destination.

Imagine:

Your favorite waterfront dining location, with garage parking, mix-uses, brick pavers and historic lighting!

Mmmmmm...

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grimss    0

There's a meeting tomorrow (wednesday, Nov. 9) at Fishweir elementary at 6pm to discuss the commander redevelopment project. I have a pdf file of the PUD, and can email it to interested parties, although it's too big to post here. I couldn't get the post photo thing to work, so here's a link:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow.jsp?...re&conn_speed=1

There are many good things about this project, but I'm very concerned at the size of the building they want to put in to replace the Commander. The PUD specifies it will be the same size (17 stories), but it doesn't define a height restriction, and 17 stories today is, potentially, much higher than when the Commander went up. Also, the building is, in effect, 3 Commanders, because it's U-shaped; since it's moved closer to the water than the Commander sits presently, it really has the potential to loom over surrounding houses.

In case you can't see the picture well, the apartment lofts will be located above retail stores along Herschel. There will be a set of "marina" condos in the middle of the site, and then the "new" Commander building will go where the old one was, with parking underneath. A boardwalk will run along the water from Herschel to the new marina.

What do you all think?

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grimss    0

Sounds like a nice project. My only question is why tear down a 17 story building and replace it with another 17 story? Why not build taller/larger or maybe several towers? I cant wait to see the renderings.

Meant to add that the reason they're tearing down the old structure only to build one of the same height is that there's no way they'd get away with anything higher on that site. One of the (many) problems with the old Commander is that all the apartments are on the same HVAC system, so a condo conversion wasn't feasible. What troubles me, though, is that the Commander aparment ceilings are 8 feet, and modern condos will almost certainly feature 10 foot ceilings, if not higher. So that sneaky little "we'll just make it the same number of stories" is disingenuous; 17 new stories could be 50 feet higher, if not more. I think RAP is trying to restrict the overall height to 190 feet, but the whole complex sits just outside Avondale boundaries, so I don't know how much pull they have.

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To be honest, I don't understand why a taller building is problematic. Even at 300 or 400 feet there would only be a tiny handful of homes upon which it could even theoretically ever cast a shadow. I mean, maybe the people immediately next door have some standing to complain. But I just don't understand how anyone else would truly be negatively affected by a tall building.

I can at least sort of understand RAPs opposition, since as an historic preservation group, they want to avoid modern skyscrapers being visible from the historic district (though even that argument is flawed because Riverside contains an historic high-rise apartment).

But what's a justification for general opposition? The "looming" argument is kind of weak, no offense, because unless you can demonstrate an actual impact on your property (i.e. shadows perhaps) nobody's property rights have been violated. 99% of the neighborhood won't even be able to see it unless they drive past it on a public way!

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bobliocatt    0

The site plan looks pretty decent to me as well. Its definately an improvement from what's currently there. As far as the high-rise goes, until more information or a rendering comes out showing its design, I don't see it as a negative. The current tower is an eyesore, imo. Plus the current tower is already 17 stories. In the grand scheme of things, the new tower being 20 0r 30ft taller won't hurt the surrounding area. If anything, it will help raise surrounding property values more by adding more luxury housing, with modern retail to go along with it.

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grimss    0

To be honest, I don't understand why a taller building is problematic. Even at 300 or 400 feet there would only be a tiny handful of homes upon which it could even theoretically ever cast a shadow. I mean, maybe the people immediately next door have some standing to complain. But I just don't understand how anyone else would truly be negatively affected by a tall building.

But what's a justification for general opposition? The "looming" argument is kind of weak, no offense, because unless you can demonstrate an actual impact on your property (i.e. shadows perhaps) nobody's property rights have been violated. 99% of the neighborhood won't even be able to see it unless they drive past it on a public way!

Actually, the site the proposed "new" Commander will "loom" over is indeed my own backyard. We're immediately across it on (small) Little Fishweir creek--I could easily throw a baseball over there and have it land in their existing swimming pool. Please believe me, I'm not a NIMBY, and, on whole, I'm excited about a redevelopment on this site. No one thinks the existing Commander is more hideous than me, and in general I'm not at all opposed to high-rises since I lived in Manhattan for many years--we even bought the house thinking the height of the Commander added an "urban" touch to our view. That said . . . what is being proposed is essentially the Commander times three--a (likely) higher building with equally high wings that will be much closer to the water than the existing structure. Will it cut off light? After nine years on the property, I can tell you, yeah. But that's not my biggest beef--it's the property's bulk; not accomodating the neighborhood, but overwhelming it. Would something like this work on the river? Sure. There's miles of water between Villa Riva and the people looking at it. But Big Fishweir Creek (and ESPECIALLY) Little Fishweir aren't big bodies of water. We're talking maybe 150 feet between the back of my yard and the OLD Commander. The added density and height that's proposed will DEFINITELY impact the neighbors--not just me, but likely thirty other properties as well.

The roundabout does sound interesting--the one out at Amelia Island seems to have worked especially well. However, I'm not so sure about the apparent expectation that St. Johns will be widened to accomodate pretty little landscaped medians--that will impact several businesses that already have minimal parking.

Again, in principal, I'm pumped about the proposals; I love the notion of urban landscapes that vibrate life. I just want to be sure that the additional density is done in a positive manner, without too heavily altering traffic patterns, the general "feel" of the neighborhood, and, most particularly, the quite vulnerable wetlands and marsh area directly across from the Commander--something the Army Corps of Engineers (and the FED) allocated money to protect, but the funds for which likely went to Iraq. That said, opposing comments welcome.

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grimss    0

Has the developer provided any renderings or site sections of the proposed tower? Normally, the planning department asks for these types of things during the PUD process.

I'll let you know tomorrow. Again, the meeting is at 6 pm at Riverside Elementary and, supposedly, they'll give everyone more detailed elevations then. The only thing submitted on the PUD is the elevation posted here.

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The site plan looks good. I don't think it'll have as much retail as the shopping center has. I'd like to see more than just the smidgen on the west side of the property.

I really like the idea of that roundabout. It might demolish my dad's laundromat on the corner lol. Hopefully, this tower will be contagious, and lead to some other good mix-use stuff across the street. Nothing too dense though!

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