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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Nov. 7, 201710:12 AM EST

Apartments, retail proposed for Neptune Beach Kmart site

Mixed-use project would comprise 313 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail space.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

A mix of apartments and retail could replace an aging, vacant Neptune Beach strip mall formerly anchored by Kmart.

Neptune Beach FL Realty LLC and Jarrold Dwaine Dixon Trust et al., owners of a trio of properties at 436, 500 and 572 Atlantic Blvd., want to replace the existing development with a mixed-use project comprising 313 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail space.  

Future expansion could bring the retail space to 98,000 square feet.

The design would reshape the 18.25-acre site, dominated by a large parking lot in front of the 92,693-square-foot former Kmart.

According to a master site plan for “Neptune Beach Apartments,” submitted to Neptune Beach in October, the existing buildings would be torn down and eight single- and multistory buildings would be built with a “pedestrian-friendly” layout.

Site plans for Phase 1 show four residential buildings, two retail buildings and two smaller structures for carriage-style homes in the existing parking lot space.

Retail and residential components would be separated, according to the project description.

Amenities could include a pool, courtyard, park, business lounge, fitness center and a “focal iconic tower.”

Plans for the proposed Neptune Beach Apartments.

Subsequent phases could add 4,000 square feet of retail space near Lucky’s Market, 7,000 square feet of retail fronting Atlantic Boulevard, and another 20,000 square feet of commercial space or multifamily housing on the property occupied by the Belmarmi marble showroom, just east of the former Kmart.

Neptune Beach Mayor Elaine Brown said Monday she has just begun reviewing the plans.

“I’m really just getting my hands on these plans, but I can say I’m a little concerned about the density being proposed,” Brown said.

Brown said the proposal was more than she anticipated.

“They’re asking for a lot of zoning variances, which we need to review,” she said.  

According to the written description, developers are asking Neptune Beach to approve five zoning variances dealing with parking space width, building configuration and adjustments to three landscape requirements.  

Neptune Beach Mayor Elaine Brown

Brown said she would have further comment as the proposal makes its way through the vetting process.

The first step is a review by the Community Development Board at a special meeting, which has not been scheduled.

The board would need to approve any plans, followed by the full Neptune Beach City Council, a process that will likely take a few months.

“I’m sure there’s going to be some changes when it’s all said and done,” Brown said.

Built in the 1970s, the shopping center, near Atlantic Boulevard and Third Street North, was anchored by Kmart and A&P grocery. The Kmart, one of the last in North Florida, closed in 2016. The A&P closed in 1984.

In 2016, Lucky’s Market opened in the former grocery space west of the Kmart, with a rotation of other tenants in the strip connected in-between.

The 57,000 square feet of neighboring existing retail, including Lucky’s Market, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Ameris Bank would remain under separate ownership.

TBR Neptune Ventures LLC and TLM Realty Corp. are acting on behalf of Neptune Beach FL Realty LLC and the Jarrold Dwaine Dixon Trust Et. Al.

Calls to TBR Neptune Ventures LLC were not returned.

Rogers Towers attorney Wyman Duggan, also unavailable Monday, is listed as the agent representing the development.


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