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bobliocatt

West Jacksonville Thread

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I can't wait until this project is finished. This building is huge, and it kinda anchors one end of the 5 Points area. I think 5 Points will eventually move upscale, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think that as the 5P/Riverside/Avondale area becomes increasingly more upscale and expensive, the less-than-rich artists will move to Springfield, maybe even Murray Hill.

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I agree. The Five Points area will probably become more ritzy and will probably become a lot like San Marco. As you said, if this happens it will benefit other areas of town as well.

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St. Vincent's plans to build more offices

By ALISON TRINIDAD

The Times-Union

St. Vincent's Medical Center has submitted plans to the city to build more doctor's offices and overnight suites for its out-of-town patients, a separate project from the hospital's overall $70 million expansion.

The plans propose to build a three-story medical office building at the corner of King Street and St. Johns Avenue, a two-story building on the river and a three-level parking garage between the two.

The extra office space ought help accommodate area doctors who are growing their practices as well as attract new doctors, said Ken Perry, vice president of support services for the hospital. He said the hospital's overnight facilities also need refreshing.

"They're quite old and not the kind of accommodations we want to provide," Perry said. "Any out-of-town folks will have a much upgraded facility [in which] to spend the night here. Not only will they be new and nicer, we'll actually have a few more rooms."

The two-story "River House" will house 20 hotel-like rooms, new residence areas for the Catholic nuns of the Daughters of Charity order who serve the hospital and a larger spirituality center for hospital employees, Perry said.

As designed, the buildings will total 78,320 square feet. The garage will have 168 parking spaces.

Perry said it is still too early to estimate the construction cost of the project, which is pending city approval. Construction is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of this year, Perry said.

Two structures on the proposed site, including the hospital's former family-medicine center, will need to be demolished. Perry said the Daughters of Charity house, which dates back to the 1920s, will be moved by barge down the river to private property near the end of March. The sisters, who helped establish St. Vincent's in Jacksonville in the early 1900s, will live in a hospital-owned house on Oak Street in the interim, Perry said.

Hospital spokeswoman Pamela Rittenhouse said the hospital is undergoing a $70 million expansion. In October, the hospital opened a new Family Medicine Center, a three-story, 45,000 square-foot building off Riverside Avenue. Construction is already under way for new cancer and heart treatment facilities.

alison.trinidadjacksonville.com, (904) 359-4268

This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._17635435.shtml.

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^Yes, it would be nice if the hospital's new buildings could have some street interaction, with retail or something on the ground floor. Rather than just being a self-contained block of hospital building.

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services.jpg

I'm posting this information on both this thread and the downtown thread, since the property is pretty much on the border of riverside and downtown. Anyway, work has begun on 1661 Riverside. If you'll recall it is the developement just south of five points intended to be a mixed-use developement. Right now the hideous building that used to occupy the site is being demolished. This is very good news for riverside. The area is taking off i tell you.

I'm going to try and get out my camera either today or monday and create an Ortega/avondale/riverside/fivepoints/downtown/san marco photo tour. Wish me luck.

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^I love photo tours! Good luck!

I really like 1661, it'll create a nice cluster of urbanity, with the Publix shopping center, those apartments (can't remember the name) and Memorial Park.

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from the Business Journal...

Site clearing starts on Riverside condos

Site clearing has begun on the 1661 Riverside townhouse project. Midland Development said it has contracts for about 65 percent of the project's 90 units, which are priced from $270,000 to more than $600,000.

Plans for 1661 Riverside call for adjoining retail shops at the project, which will face Memorial Park and be just a block from the St. Johns River.

Site clearing is expected to take about a month, said Midland Vice President Tripp Gulliford. It involves the demolition of a vacant medical building that had occupied the site since 1957.

Gulliford said groundbreaking is expected early this year and the first townhouse should be ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2006.

The two-story townhouses will range in size from 1,200 square feet to 1,800 square feet and face Oak and Mary streets. Above the townhouses will be lofts ranging in size from 673 square feet to 1,929 square feet.

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I'm shocked to hear that prices start at $270k. At roughly $450 per sqft (for the one bedrooms) that's more expensive per sqft than the berkman townhomes!

You can check out all the floor plans here... http://www.1661riverside.com/lofts.html

They are actually very nice, even the smaller units. However my insticts would tell me that such a price is too high considering the proximity to some sketchy areas. If they are sucessfull with those prices, I really screwed up by starting law school. I should drop out and start to build build build!!!

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I too was surprised at the $ per foot. It is amazing what has happened to Riverside prices in the last few years. I personally don't consider the area sketchy though. Not to mention the area has changed significantly for the better, and that trend will no doubt continue.

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Cummer Museum to buy Women's Club

Facility to become state's second largest after Ringling

By ALISON TRINIDAD

The Times-Union

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announced Friday that it plans to buy the historic Woman's Club of Jacksonville, making it the state's second largest museum campus in area after the The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.

The $1.38 million purchase is expected to close later this month, increasing the riverfront property from six to seven acres, museum spokeswoman Maria Haynes said. The museum will take possession of the Woman's Club property in November.

Representatives of the Woman's Club of Jacksonville could not be immediately reached for comment, but Haynes said the club will remain intact and is looking for a new meeting place.

The acquisition, an offer that the Woman's Club general membership voted to accept in December, is part of an overall expansion of the museum that includes a new 2,100 square-foot American art gallery and new 16,000 square-foot building. The gallery is scheduled to open Tuesday, Nov. 15. Construction of the new building, planned for the north side of the campus, is set to finish in January. Rink Design Partnership Inc., is designing the addition, which is tentatively called the Central Building.

"To become a destination, we have to grow," museum Director Maarten van de Guchte said Friday. "We see ourselves as an important economic factor not just in Riverside and in Five Points but within the larger city of Jacksonville."

Van de Guchte said the museum needs more gallery and storage space if it hopes to attract more art donors and collectors to use their facility. Construction of the new gallery and building -- projected to cost $5 million combined -- and the acquisition of the Woman's Club building will increase the museum's space by 42 percent, from 69,000 square feet to 98,000 square feet.

"Our collection has grown in 40 years from 60 pieces of art to 6,000 works of art, and the storage space is still the same as in 1961 [when the museum opened]. There was an urgent need for more storage area," van de Guchte said.

And with a $3.4 million operating budget and more than 125,000 visitors a year, the museum needs to address growth sooner than later, van de Guchte said. He said the trustees' intention is to create a cultural destination for art, film and performing arts in a riverfront garden setting.

The museum acquired the Woman's Club half-acre riverfront gardens in 2000. Plans to restore and open the garden area on the north side of the property, which have been inaccessible for about 12 years, also are in the works, van de Guchte said.

Van de Guchte said the acquisition of the Woman's Club property seemed a natural progression. Ninah Cummer, the inspiration for the museum, was a founding member of the club, he said.

"So our friendship goes way back to 1928, and we've always had a very productive, very courteous and neighborly friendship," he said.

The Woman's Club 1-acre property is adjacent to that of the museum on Riverside Avenue. Architect Mellon Creeley designed the Tudor-style building there in 1928, and the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Although the museum does not yet have definite plans for the building, spokeswoman Haynes said it will be restored and renovated. Gifts from trustees, including a $2 million donation from the family of the late Edward W. Lane Jr., have made the purchase and renovation possible, Haynes said. The building will be named after Lane, a founding trustee of the Cummer Board.

The museum's Board of Trustees has hired Ann Beha Architects of Boston to develop a master plan for the museum by May. According to a press release, that plan will address the use of the Woman's Club, the visibility of the museum on Riverside Avenue, preservation and renovation issues, visitor amenities, traffic flow, parking and growth.

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^That's big news. Is the Women's Club the same thing as The Garden Club? I forgot who, but some famous person was having a Super Bowl party in the Garden Club building. I like how their goal is to create a destination for art, film and performing arts. Rather than just a gallery.

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Great news. The city will definately will benefit from an expanded Cummer Museum. I would love to see the new riverwalk, expanded right past Cummer and terminate at Riverside Memorial Park in Five Points.

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Just wanted to say hello and ask a quick question. Im new to the board and to Jacksonville (riverside).

Just curious what was there before Villa Riva, Villas of St. Johns, Publix, etc.

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Riverside circa 2000:

Villa Riva was an empty lot at the foot of Stockton Street overgrown with weeds.

Riverside Publix was the old Riverside Hospital.

Villas of St. Johns was a parking lot for the Hospital.

Riverside is MUCH better than it was just 5 years ago despite the people complaining about "gentrification".

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^It is much better than what it was 5 years ago, I don't anyone has claimed otherwise. Its just unfortunate that many of the popular places that made Five Points what it is today will end up getting run off in the process.

Nevertheless, they'll land on their feet in another area of town with cheaper rent, like Main Street in Springfield. So in the end, everything will naturally work itself out. Riverside will continue to build with a new upscale atmosphere, like San Marco or Avondale, and another spot in town, will rise take the place, culturally, of what Five Points is today and was yesterday.

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