City reviewing 16-story Beacon Riverside condos
Beacon Riverside, a 16-story riverfront condo development that continues Downtown's residential expansion, is under city review toward a 2015 completion.
England, Thims & Miller Inc., a Jacksonville-based engineering and planning firm, filed construction plans for preliminary review for Beacon Riverside.
Those plans show the condominium development on 1.34 acres at 500 Bishopgate Lane, the former site of The Robin Shepherd Group, an advertising, branding and marketing agency. The Robin Shepherd building will be demolished.
Construction on Beacon Riverside is scheduled to start the first quarter of 2014 and be completed the fourth quarter of 2015.
Jacksonville-based Hallmark Partners is developing the project, described as a luxury condominium tower on the St. Johns River in the historic Riverside neighborhood.
Plans show parking on the first two levels along with parking on a terrace and on the street.
Hallmark Partners reports the planning, design and construction teams for Beacon Riverside are the same as those that created the riverfront Villa Riva condominiums.
Villa Riva, at 2358 Riverside Ave., was built in 2005 and is home to many of Jacksonville's civic and business leaders, including former Jacksonville Jaguars owners Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver and philanthropist Bob Shircliff.
Hallmark also is developing the 220 Riverside residential project, another link in the redevelopment of Riverside Avenue from the historic area to the Acosta Bridge. The 220 Riverside/Unity Plaza project is under development by Hallmark and Princeton, N.J.-based NAI Global as NAI Hallmark Partners.
Hallmark's portfolio tops $400 million in property developments.
Developers say the Beacon Riverside building will feature 55 residences that will sell for $600,000 to $2 million and range from 2,100 to 4,000 square feet in size.
The units will offer 10-foot ceilings, terraces and views of the river, Downtown and Riverside. "Private elevators will access upper floor penthouses that will be designed with individual owner input," say developers.
"Our design concept for Villa Riva 10 years ago took some of its inspiration from the surrounding Riverside/Avondale neighborhoods with a distinctively residential character," said Mike Jordan, principal of Collaborative Design Group Inc., which is working with Studio9 Architecture LLC.
"Our inspiration for Beacon Riverside is rooted in Riverside's past splendor," said a statement by Craig Davisson, principal at Studio9.
Developers said that after the Great Fire of 1901, leading citizens of Jacksonville built a corridor of elegant homes along Riverside Avenue known as "The Row."
They said that after 1910, the Prairie School movement that rejected the historic revival trends and strove for a new American style influenced many Riverside homes. That Prairie style, as well as Chicago-based high-rise architecture, was introduced to Jacksonville.
Beacon Riverside developers said residents can use a clubroom and lounge, terrace and fitness center with water views next to a glass-enclosed guest lobby and gallery. Concierge and on-site property management services are planned.
A guest suite, under-building parking and private garages also are available. There's also a private pool and owner's pavilion.
The Beacon Riverside Sales Gallery is at 806 Riverside Ave., across from The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. For more information, visit beaconriverside.com.
Robin Shepherd Studios Inc. and RSPR Inc. sold the riverfront Bishopgate Lane property to HP500 LLC, a group comprising partners of the Hallmark Partners development group, for $2.1 million. The deed was signed Aug. 15.
The Robin Shepherd Group has moved to Riverplace Tower on the Downtown Southbank.
Amazon confirms 2 Florida centers
Amazon.com Inc. confirmed plans Tuesday to open two Florida fulfillment centers in Hillsborough County and Lakeland, with each topping 1 million square feet of space.
"We look forward to offering more than 1,000 full-time jobs with comprehensive benefits at our new fulfillment centers in Hillsborough County and Lakeland …," said Mike Roth, Amazon's vice president of North America operations. "We appreciate the state, city and county officials who have worked with us to bring these fulfillment centers to Florida."
Jacksonville did not officially bid for one of the centers.
WUSF News reported that Polk County commissioners approved a $4.5 million incentive package that requires Amazon create at least 100 high-paying jobs and make a minimum investment of $10 million at the Lakeland site.
Hillsborough County commissioners already had approved economic incentives worth more than $6 million over seven
The deals also mean that Florida residents will have to pay a 6 percent sales tax on all merchandise bought through the retailer, WUSF reported.
At the Lakeland facility, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship large items to customers, such as kayaks, televisions and more. At the Hillsborough location, employees will send smaller items to customers, such as books, electronics and consumer goods.
The Hillsborough County project will be developed by Seefried Development Management Inc. and the Lakeland site will be developed by Johnson Development Associates Inc. USAA Real Estate Co. is the landlord for both projects, according to a news release.
The release said Amazon fulfillment center jobs pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs, not counting the stock grants that full-time employees receive. Amazon benefits include health care, a 401(k) and company stock awards.
"I would like to thank Amazon for recognizing that Florida's business-friendly environment we've helped create is the perfect place for their latest expansion," said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement.