2017 was a busy year for development in Jacksonville, and things are showing no sign of slowing down in 2018. There will be hundreds of millions of dollars worth of development completed in Jax during this new year, with even more projects sure to be announced over the course of the next twelve months.
Of course, some of these developments are a bigger deal than others. Whether its due to location, demand, or just sheer magnitude, a handful of projects planned to begin, continue, or wrap up in 2018 stand out from the others.
We’ve highlighted some of these projects that we think you’ll want to keep an eye on this year below.
LAURA STREET TRIO
2018 will be a big year for the proposed revival of the long-vacant Laura Street Trio buildings in downtown Jax.
The Trio, along with the nearby Barnett Bank building, are being overhauled into office, retail, residential, and restaurant space, with initial construction having begun late last year. Once completed, the Trio will feature a new Courtyard Marriott hotel, an upscale restaurant and rooftop bar, and office and residential space. The Barnett Bank building, meanwhile, already has two confirmed tenants – Chase Bank and Vagabond Coffee – and UNF is in discussions to rent space there as well.
It promises to be a major boost to the downtown area, bringing activity to a key stretch of Art Walk and several other big downtown events.
The proposed Southbank “healthy-town” development has hit some snags recently, but is still likely to get underway shortly. The project involves the development of a health-centered community, complete with entertainment and lifestyle options, on a massive plot of river-adjacent land owned by JEA.
It’s been in the works for a few years now, but it’s finally about ready to come to fruition. Renderings show multiple apartment buildings, condos, a hotel, a movie theater, and healthy lifestyle amenities such as a bike path, kayak rental station, and beach volleyball courts.
It’ll add a jolt of activity to the Southbank, and to the nearby San Marco neighborhood.
We’re still waiting for more information on Durbin Park, the proposed outdoor mega-mall in St. Johns County – but what we know so far sounds pretty awesome.
The shopping center’s first phase is underway, and will feature Walmart, Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, GATE, and a host of other tenants that have yet to be named. (Based on renderings, we’ve managed to guess a few other possible tenants, including Sam’s Club, Pollo Tropical and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen – but take these with a grain of salt.) That stage should be finished around the end of the year.
The project will be completed in four phases, with plans for as much as 2.4 million square feet of retail space. To put it in perspective, that’s twice the size of St. Johns Town Center.
The Shipyards property along the river downtown has long been empty and without a plan for the future, but last year a winning plan finally emerged to develop the property.
Shad Khan’s development company submitted the winning bid chosen by the city to redevelop the land into a massive multi-use entertainment complex, to be integrated with the stadium and the newly-built Daily’s Place amphitheater. As part of the proposed plans, Met Park would also be redeveloped entirely.
There are questions remaining about the viability of the land, and the land has also technically been offered up by the city in an attempt to lure Amazon into building its second HQ here, so construction is unlikely in 2018. But it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on what’s going to happen to what is arguably downtown Jax’s most appealing piece of undeveloped land.
JACKSONVILLE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION CENTER
Construction began last year on the first phase of JTA’s massive Regional Transportation Center project, to be located near the Prime Osborn Convention Center in LaVilla.
Once completed, the $57 million project will act as the central hub for public transit in Jax. It’ll feature a Greyhound bus station, an operating hub for First Coast Flyer, a Skyway station, park and ride lots, and more. Its late-2019 opening is hoped to occur in conjunction with a revamp of the Skyway system that will incorporate autonomous vehicles.
The first phase, featuring the new Greyhound bus station, will be completed by the end of the year.