6. Boulevard Crossing

After 43 years of operation, Kmart shut down its store at 5751 Beach Boulevard in 2012, leaving another largely vacant strip mall on an older Jacksonville commercial corridor. Now local developers Jeff Conn and Alex Coley into the transform the old 144,904 square foot shopping center’s parking lot into a new retail development called Boulevard Crossing. A preliminary plan for the 13.5-acre site indicates a project with 16,800 square feet of retail and outparcels for a high-turnover, sit-down restaurant and 1,800 square foot retail store.

5. Regency Point

Regency was the hottest suburban commercial area in Jacksonville during the early 1980s. In addition to the mall being expanded, a shopping center called Regency Point was built across the street from the mall in 1981 at 9402 Arlington Expressway. Regency Court was acquired by Thunder Phoenix LLC in 2016 for $6.7 million. Now the 52,147 square foot shopping center is in the process of undergoing a complete renovation the 52,147 square foot shopping center. As a result,the largest remaining vacant space on the 5.31 acre site was recently leased by ChenMed, a primary care center for seniors.

4. Regency Court

Regency Court was built as a 220,000 square foot retail center across the street from Regency Square Mall in 1973 at 9382 Arlington Expressway. The shopping center’s original tenants included J.M. Fields and Pantry Pride. Last renovated in 2011, the 16.82 acre shopping center was hit hard with the closure of long time tenants such as Sports Authority, Comp USA and Office Depot, sending its occupancy rate down to 34 percent. Regency Court was recent purchased by Virginia-based Mishorim USA for $5 million. Mishorim is in the midst of a $12 million renovation project with plans to fill vacant retail spaces with entertainment uses. Entertainment uses chould include a trampoline park, go-karts, bumper cars, an arcade, bowling, escape rooms and zip lines.

3. Roosevelt Square*

Roosevelt Mall opened in 1961 as an open air shopping center. The shopping center was converted into an enclosed mall in 1968. Anchors during this era included Ivey’s, Furchgott’s, Levy-Wolf, Purcell’s and F.W. Woolworth. Atlanta based Dewberry Capital Corporation purchased the 260,000 square foot mall in 1997. Since then Roosevelt has been converted back into its original use, an open air strip shopping center. Up until 2017, Roosevelt Square’s anchors included Stein Mart, Belk and Publix. With the recent closure of Belk, Dewberry Capital plans an extensive retrofit of the popular shopping center. The former Belk store will be demolished and several new infill retail buildings will be added throughout the property. Rumored new tenants include Petsmart and Ulta.

2. Westside Plaza

Westside Plaza was built near the interchange of Interstate 10 and Lane Avenue in 1970. Located on 12.66 acres at 5800 Ramona Boulevard, the 126,000 Square foot shopping center was once occupied by Home Depot and Piccadilly Cafeteria. Outside of an Office Depot, the shopping center has been largely vacant since the relocation of Home Depot and closure of Piccadilly. Westside Plaza is now the latest large aging shopping center in line for redevelopment. Westside Plaza of Jacksonville LLC plans to demolish and replace most of the center with 25,628 square foot retail building on the west end and a 136,879 square foot building on the east end of the property. The existing Office Depot will occupy about 30,000 Square feet.

1. Southgate Plaza*

Located just east of St. Nicholas Town Center, Southgate Plaza was one of the first strip shopping centers to open in Jacksonville’s Southside in 1957 at 3428 Beach Boulevard. Containing 140,000 square feet and ample parking, the shopping center’s original list of tenants included W.T. Grant, F.W. Woolworth Company, Toy Town, Lerner Shops, Thom McAnn Shoes, Western Auto and Winn-Dixie.

In the decades that would follow, the shopping center lost its luster as sprawl carried new growth and retail through the Southside and into Northern St. Johns County. Now largely vacant and owned by Jacksonville-based Demetree Brothers, Inc., Southgate’s location is on the verge of being highly desirable again. Anticipating the potential departure of its largest tenant Sav-A-Lot (lease runs to 2020), Demetree is considering repositioning the center to take advantage of the opening of a new I-95/Atlantic Boulevard interchange and the site being within a six minute location of downtown.

Marketing efforts currently underway illustrate a redevelopment with 90,000 square foot shopping center anchored with three big box stores and two outparcels along Beach Boulevard, potentially tying into and extending the length of the St. Nicholas Town Center corridor.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Davis is a certified senior planner and graduate of Florida A&M University. He is the author of the award winning books “Reclaiming Jacksonville,” “Cohen Brothers: The Big Store” and “Images of Modern America: Jacksonville.” Davis has served with various organizations committed to improving urban communities, including the American Planning Association and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. A 2013 Next City Vanguard, Davis is the co-founder of Metro Jacksonville.com and ModernCities.com — two websites dedicated to promoting fiscally sustainable communities — and Transform Jax, a tactical urbanist group. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com