The Evolution Timeline of East San Marco
SouthTrust Corporation begins talking publicly about attracting a Publix Super Markets Inc. grocery store to the intersection of Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard.
St. Petersburg-based The Sembler Company signs a contract to acquire property for the Publix development. Sembler proposes a vertical project that would include 70,000 square feet of commercial space with multifamily residential above. At the time the company had just completed construction on a Publix-anchored shopping center in Riverside and had proposed what would become a Best Buy anchored shopping center near The Avenues Mall.
The project is shelved for the first time. The Sembler Company decides to walk away from the deal due to high land acquisition costs making the project economically infeasible.
After taking over the property from SouthTrust Corporation, Wachovia Corporation considers several from developers interested in the site. Wachovia ultimately announces that it will partner with Jacksonville-based St. Joe Company and Regency Centers Corporation to redevelop the property.
After receiving a zoning change for the property, plans for East San Marco are submitted to the Jacksonville Planning and Development Department for review. The 4.83 acre development includes 57,000 square feet of retail space, 125 residential condos in five levels above the retail, 35 townhomes and a 390 space, four level parking garage. To make way for the development, a new 8,000 square foot bank for Wachovia is proposed at the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and Mango Place. Construction is anticipated to start first quarter of 2007.
The City of Jacksonville issues a permit for the development to open a 1,344 square foot sales office. A new website, www.eastsanmarco.com goes live with floor plans and unit selection information.
Prematurely, Regency Centers receives the Florida Planning and Zoning Association’s Private Development Award of Distinction at its June convention in Sarasota.
Construction permits are issued for a new 4,492 square foot Wachovia Bank at 1562 Atlantic Boulevard. Considered the first phase of East San Marco, existing buildings on the property are razed in preparation for the $1.3 million bank and main building for East San Marco.
With the condominium market in decline, the developers announce that the much anticipated $86 million development of East San Marco will be delayed between 18 months and two years. Regency Centers and the St. Joe Company also consider replacing the project’s proposed condominiums with apartments or senior living facilities. However, the financial crisis that started that year and the Great Recession in 2008 halt any plans for development.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, a chain-link fence and a few trees are all that remain on the site where the old SouthTrust Bank and additional retail buildings had been razed years earlier. A Publix spokesman tells The Florida Times-Union that the grocery store would be a part of the project “if the market adjusts.”
East San Marco’s developers request that the City Council approve an agreement that would allow the project the right to reserve traffic capacity on the surrounding roadway network. The agreement provides East San Marco LLC seven years to get the project designed, permitted and ready for final development approval. Publix is still committed to opening a 30,000 square foot grocery store at East San Marco.
News materializes that Whitehall Realty Partners will buy into the project and develop the residential side. However, Whitehall plans to develop 280 apartments instead of the originally proposed 147 condominium units. It is anticipated that the $55 million project would break ground around June 2014, followed by 18 months of construction.
Unable to secure the capital to construct East San Marco’s 280 apartment units, Whitehall Realty abandons the project. With the project on hold again, Regency Centers buys out St. Joe’s interest and hopes to find another co-developer and break ground by the end of 2014. Construction is now estimated to take 24 to 30 months.
A new deal to construct East San Marco materializes. ArchCo Residential of Atlanta and Bluerock Residential Growth REIT Inc. of New York announce they will acquire the property and develop the project. Once complete, the commercial portion would then be leased to Regency Centers. Ground breaking is anticipated to take place by summer 2016 with the opening planned for late 2018. The long-stalled $58 million project will now include 239 wood-frame apartments and 45,000 square feet of retail space anchored by a Publix supermarket. In addition, up to 30 townhomes are planned adjacent to Fletcher Park.