What Is An Edge City?
The term, Edge City, was popularized in the 1991 book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier by Joel Garreau,</b> who established its current meaning while working as a reporter for the Washington Post. Garreau argues that the edge city has become the standard form of urban growth worldwide, representing a 20th-century urban form unlike that of the 19th-century central downtown.
According to Garreau, Edge Cities typically consist of mid-rise office towers surrounded by massive surface parking lots and manicured lawns. Instead of a traditional street grid, their infrastructure networks consist of winding parkways (often lacking sidewalks) that feed into arterial roads and freeway ramps. They develop at or near freeway intersections and airports and they rarely include heavy industry. They are large geographically because they are built at automobile scale.
Edge Cities are impossible without the automobile. This is fitting because the first Edge City was Detroit’s New Center, which was developed in the 1920’s, three miles north of that city’s downtown. As streetcar systems were shut down, expressways expanded and automobile ownership surged, these secondary downtowns exploded with growth during the mid to late 20th century. Today, Washington, D.C’s Tysons Corner is the classic example of an Edge City containing more office space than downtown Atlanta, GA.
In Jacksonville, the Southside, specially the JTB corridor, has developed into our first true Edge City. According to Garreau, there are five rules for a place to be considered an Edge City:
1. It must have more than five million square feet of office space. This is enough to house between 20,000 and 50,000 office workers, as many as some traditional downtowns. As of 2006, over 7 million square feet of office space was located within a three mile radius of Deerwood Park North.
2. It must have more than 600,000 square feet of retail space, the size of a medium shopping mall. This ensures that the edge city is a center of recreation and commerce as well as office work. St. Johns Town Center alone contains over 1 million square feet of retail space.
3. It must be characterized by more jobs than bedrooms. Despite the resident boom in condominium development along Gate Parkway, the JTB corridor is still known for its proliferation of office complexes.
4. It must be perceived by the population as one place. When it comes to the urban core, many consider Riverside and San Marco to be different neighborhoods from downtown. Despite, engulfing a land area larger than many major cities like San Francisco and Miami, most of the JTB corridor is identified as being in the Southside.
5. It must have been nothing like a city 30 years earlier. In 1983, most of the JTB corridor was primarily rural and undeveloped.
Because the Southside is our only emerging Edge City and in the midst of a development boom, we have decided to expand our monthly construction updates to include this area of Jacksonville.
Next Page: January 2013 Construction Update
January 2013 Construction Update
Perimeter Realty’s The Hacienda, on Baymeadows Road East will bring 300 multifamily units to the area. Perimeter recently completed the 252-unit Cabana Club multifamily development on a site across the street.
Mayo Primary Care at Hampton Village
The $7.56 million Mayo Primary Care at Hampton Village will contain 40,424-square-feet of space at 7826 Ozark Drive.
The Terrace at Town Center
The Houston-based The Morgan Group Inc. is partnering with Prudential Financial Inc. in the development of the Terrace at Town Center. When complete, the $26 million development will feature 240 units on Gate Parkway.
Vistakon Inc. Expansion
Vistakon Inc., the largest manufacturer of Acuvue brand contact lenses, is in the process of expanding its Southside distribution center from 661,175-square-feet to 765,401-square-feet.
Lost Lake Apartments
P.A.C. Land Development Corporation of Winter Park’s $14.5 million, three story apartment complex at 8681 A.C. Skinner Parkway will include 280 garden-style units when complete.
Southpoint Cancer Center
Cancer Specialist of North Florida is building a new $3.3 million, 18,000-square-foot facility at 7015 A.C. Skinner Parkway.
Concorde Career Institute
Concorde Career Institute’s new 45,000-square-foot facility is nearing completion. When complete, Concorde will abandon the Oaks office park in Arlington.
Canopy at Belfort Park
Birmingham-based Arlington Properties’ latest Southside project, the Canopy at Belfort Park at 7750 Belfort Parkway. Nearing completion, the $11 million apartment project will contain 192 units. A few years ago, Arlington Properties developed the Tattersall at Tapestry Park.
Deerwood Lake Lofts
Deerwood Lake Lofts will add 130 apartment units on an infill site adjacent to Deerwood Lake. Developed by Inland Diversified Real Estate Services, LLC. of Oak Brook, IL, the four story project will include a five story parking garage.
Aloft Hotel Tapestry Park
Aloft Hotel Tapestry Park has been temporarily closed while the 137-room hotel undergoes $4 million in repairs.
Deerwood Park Apartments
Lennar Multifamily Investments’ $23 million, 316 unit Deerwood Park Apartments is under construction next to Tattersall at Tapestry Park.
Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
Outdoor gear and clothing retailer REI is constructing a 23,400-square-foot store at the Markets at Town Center. REI operates 122 stores in 29 states but the Jacksonville store will be their first Florida location.
The City of Jacksonville is currently reviewing the building permit for a Nordstrom Rack at this Markets at Town Center site. The $1.5 million, 34,934-square-foot store could be completed by the end of 2013. In addition, Nordstrom’s proposed two-level, 124,000-square-foot full line store at St. Johns Town Center is anticipated to open in 2014. Bistro Aix’s former Chef Tom Gray’s proposed Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails restaurant will be located next door to Nordstrom Rack.
5000 Town is a 130-unit apartment community being developed by Bove LLC and Remi Properties, Inc. at the St. Johns Town Center. The $18 million project is anticipated to be completed in April 2013.
The Uptown at St. Johns
The Uptown at St. Johns is being developed in the parking lot of St. Johns Town Center. The $20 million Atlanta based TriBridge project will include 220 units and a $2 million parking garage when complete in Spring 2013.
Mayo Clinic Expansion
Two additional floors and 90 beds are being added to the Jacksonville campus of Mayo Clinic to meet growing demand. The $80 million expansion will result in 400 new jobs at Mayo.
Update by Ennis Davis