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Captain Obvious

Southside True Mixed-Use Project

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Devlin Group plans retail-office-condo project

Developers at The Devlin Group Inc. are planning the first of three new mixed-use buildings in a Southside development that will combine retail, offices and condominiums. Work on the project will start in the next 60 days, pending city planning approval.

The final project will consist of three buildings, each with underground parking stalls. The first floor of each building will be retail, the second floor offices and the third condos.

Ed McCue, senior vice president of The Devlin Group, said he believes the projects to be the first of their kind in Jacksonville.

Having retail, offices and condos in one building is "a built-in convenience for people who live in the area," McCue said.

The first of the projects, on 2.25 acres at 8575 Wallace Devlin Blvd., will house The Devlin Group's corporate offices and the condos in that building will be kept for in-house use as well.

The type of retail in each building has not yet been determined, but McCue said negotiations are under way with some local dentists.

"We're in negotiations [with various retailers]," he said. "It is all depending on who wants to lease."

McCue was unsure about how much the development would cost.

From the jax Bizjournal

http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jackso.../02/daily1.html

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I was excited to hear about this development, as it would indeed be the first true mixed-use project on Jax's Southside. However, the article immediately raised a lot of questions in my mind.

- Where the heck is Wallace Devlin Blvd? I can't find it on any maps. The company's current headquarters is in Jax Beach, but the article clearly said Southside. Since they are primarily a Beach condo builder, I suspect this project is in the middle-of-nowhere, probably off JTB or 9a.

- Underground parking would certainly be a first for suburban Jacksonville, but with a 2.25 acre site per building, I suspect that they mean underground parking in addition to parking lots. Either way, I'm glad that someone is making the leap with underground parking.

- If construction is scheduled to start in October, as the article implies, it means that there are already renderings, site plans, detailed elevations, etc. for these buildings. I wonder if there is anyway to find out what these things will actually look like.

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I'll see if I can find out. There is another mixed use development going on across the street from Tinseltown on Southside Blvd. I also noticed that Gate Parkway in in the process of being extended from Southside Blvd to Belford, so I wouldn't be suprised if this development is being planned for land along that stretch.

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To the best of my knowledge, the sites bordering the belfort/gate parkway extension will become suburban-style, yet relatively high density apartment complexes. While I generally lament the lack of true urbanism in the tinseltown area, the general density of the projects tend to keep me from complaining too much.

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I agree, Urban Legend. TWO Words... Go downtown!!! There is no better place than building more downtown. After all, that is where development should be, not out in the suburbs.

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