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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jan. 24, 201805:53 AM EST

A makeover for Westside Plaza

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Demolition work to begin on shopping center along Ramona Boulevard near Lane Avenue that once held Home Depot, then a flea market.

An almost 50-year-old Westside shopping center is the latest aging retail plaza slated for redevelopment.

The city granted a Mobility Fee Calculation Certificate to property owner Westside Plaza of Jacksonville LLC on Monday to demolish and redevelop much of the shopping center off Interstate 10 and Lane Avenue.

Westside Plaza’s manager is Grace & Co. Inc., whose president is Anne G. Lee. 

Westside Plaza, on 12.66 acres at 5800 Ramona Blvd., is anchored by Office Depot. The property formerly included Home Depot and a Piccadilly cafeteria.

Mobility documents show owners propose to demolish 126,660 square feet of the center that was constructed in 1970 and redevelop it with shopping center uses.

About 36,000 square feet will remain for Office Depot.

The application states that Westside Plaza will redevelop the demolished area with 126,600 square feet of shopping center use, the same amount of space as that demolished.

Because of that, no mobility fee was assessed. The fee is designed to mitigate traffic impact from a development.

Demolition work already has been permitted. 

The city issued a permit in November for R. Hartwig Construction LLC to demolish 95,000 square feet of space at the plaza at a cost of $250,000.

Plans show six units in the redeveloped center, with a 25,628-square-foot, two-unit building at the western end and a three- to four-unit 136,879-square-foot building next to it on the eastern part of the site. There also is a small storage area.

Office Depot will occupy about 30,000 square feet, plans show.

The two largest units could be combined for 101,032 square feet, plans show. That’s the size of the former Home Depot, whose vacated space was used for a while as Johnson’s Family Flea and Farmers Market. 

A new Home Depot was built nearby in 2000 on Grace-owned land at 855 Lane Ave. S.

Rogers Towers lawyer Wyman Duggan, the agent for the owners, said Tuesday the Office Depot was not included in the mobility fee application.

“The balance of the site will be torn down but redeveloped,” he said.

The time frame and the new tenants will be determined, he said.

Duggan said the owners wanted to emphasize they are not demolishing the site just to leave one tenant there. Instead, they will redevelop the entire property.

Shopping centers citywide are under renovation or slated for redevelopment, including Regency Court, Regency Pointe, Roosevelt Square, Boulevard Crossing and Southgate Plaza.

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