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bobliocatt

Mixed-use project planned for the suburbs

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Devlin Group plans mixed- use project

A Jacksonville developer wants to combine parking, shopping, living and possibly working in the same building in the suburbs.

The Devlin Group Inc. proposes three retail-office-residential buildings at Deerwood Lake at southwest Southside Boulevard and Touchton Road, across from Tinseltown. Construction on the first building could start by August and be completed about a year from now.

Such mixed-use projects are on the rise downtown but are relatively new in the suburbs.

"We've been looking for a place to do a real town center-type project," said Ed McCue, senior vice president of The Devlin Group and a manager of Deerwood Lake LLC. "Deerwood Lake is kind of like a town center. We just thought that would be a good place to do it."

Wally Devlin Jr. is the director of The Devlin Group and the managing member of Deerwood Lake LLC, the developer of the 284-acre Deerwood Lake.

Deerwood Lake LLC bought the land in late 2001 and has sold pieces of it for retail and residential projects, including a Publix Super Market-anchored retail center.

McCue said The Devlin Group will develop the three mixed-use buildings. The first is going up at 4404 Deerwood Lake Parkway. The city is reviewing a building permit that shows a construction cost of $2.1 million.

McCue said the building is designed with underground parking topped by a ground-floor retail space, second-floor office space and a third floor of three residential condominiums. Each floor is about 6,700 square feet, taking the building to about 20,000 square feet of space.

While the project is called East Lake on building plans, McCue said a permanent name is pending.

McCue said that The Devlin Group, based in Jacksonville Beach, would move its corporate offices into the first building, taking the entire second floor. He said Devlin was negotiating with retail stores for the first floor.

Plans show that the third floor will comprise two larger condos and one small one. He said the smaller unit would be reserved as a guest unit for Devlin clients and the two large units would be sold.

McCue said the next two buildings are similarly designed except that the three condos are more evenly sized.

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Although the project sounds interesting, if these guys are looking for a place to do a real town center type development, they need to check out downtown. It doesn't get any better than that, an already built real city core.

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I have heard mixed reviews of these neo-urban development things. But its good that they are going for mixed development rather than solid residential, or commercial, or whatver

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Downtown could use all the help it can get. Jacksonville is already really spread out. The development of a larger town center would help.

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