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bobliocatt

Another proposed development for Riverside

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Proposed Riverside site would house shops, offices, apartments

Anticipating continued changes along Riverside Avenue near downtown, property owners at northeast Riverside and Barrs Street are considering a possible retail, apartment and medical office development called Prado Walk.

"The area is a very vibrant area," said representative Fernando Acosta-Rua. "Riverside is experiencing a renaissance."

Owners are asking the city for a concurrency review to determine traffic capacity and other considerations.

That application outlines the potential for an estimated $8 million project comprising about 18,600 square feet of retail space, 23,625 square feet of office space and 15 apartments.

The 1.07-acre site is across Riverside from St. Vincent's Medical Center.

Acosta-Rua, son of the late neurosurgeon Gaston Acosta-Rua, said existing medical buildings on the site would be removed and the new offices would be medically related and include the practices of the doctors now on the site.

He said the offices would not be limited to medical uses, though. And he said the apartments would be "high end."

The site is near the Villa Riva condo tower under construction and near the redeveloping Riverside Avenue and Five Points areas as well as the established Avondale shopping district.

Acosta-Rua, an owner and partner in the redevelopment effort, emphasized the plans are preliminary and will crystallize in the next few months.

He said that Prado Walk is named after the gardens that surround the famed art museum in Madrid. "My mother grew up in that area," he said. The concept "provides for a lively and a colorful atmosphere."

"While Riverside is not Madrid, it is a unique area in Jacksonville and Florida," Acosta-Rua said.

He said that his father had practiced medicine in the corner building, which his family owns.

Separate property owners are physicians Jeffrey Weitzner, Linda Trotter and a group called 2535 Riverside Avenue LLC headed by physician William Knauer III.

Acosta-Rua, known for his humanitarian work as a medical missionary in Central America and West Africa, died almost a year ago.

His son said that the proposed Prado Walk comprises "so many variables now."

"We are still working through the different processes," he said.

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I can't wait to see this. That's good news for Riverside. I only wish someone would develop the empty land near the Times-Union office. But, for now, the other portion of Riverside Ave. is looking up!

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I think the land in Brooklyn will get developed when ever they finish widening Riverside Drive. BTW, that has to the slowest road widening project I've ever seen.

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^last time I heard, the Wonderwood Bridge failed inspection because it was a couple of inches too short. Anyway, once the bridge is complete, they still have to finish four laning the road all the way to SR 9A. There's no telling how long that will take.

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"The area is a very vibrant area," said representative Fernando Acosta-Rua. "Riverside is experiencing a renaissance."

If Riverside continues to thrive and grow as it is, it could become another great community near the downtown area. I'm a big fan because it's one of the only places near my house that's worth going to.

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