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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 23, 202004:50 PM EST

Changes made to Park Place at San Marco apartment project

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The number of units decreased, along with the height of the parking garage.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

In response to opposition from some members of the San Marco community, developers changed plans for the Park Place at San Marco apartment project on land owned by South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church.

At a Nov. 20 town hall meeting at the church, speakers said they were worried about the increased traffic the building would cause, the height and size of the construction, and the number of units in the complex.

Park Place at San Marco is planned on 2.09 acres at 2137 Hendricks Ave., bounded by Hendricks and Mitchell avenues and Alford and Mango places. It is across from the San Marco Square shopping district on property developers intend to buy from South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church. 

The Jacksonville Planning Commission recommended approval for the project Jan. 23.

Developers of Park Place at San Marco have made changes in response to community concerns.

In a revised site plan submitted to the city Jan. 15, the main changes to the plan included the decrease in residential units from 143 to 133. It still will be four stories tall. Developers lowered the height of the parking garage from three stories to two. It will have three levels of parking, including the roof, and 273 parking spaces, down from 302 spaces.

The height of the parking garage is planned at 26 feet, 10 inches, down from 40 feet.

Apartment units planned as a buffer between Mitchell Avenue and the parking garage were eliminated from the plans, and replaced with more landscaping and a sidewalk.

Developers also changed the architectural design, which can be seen in the latest project renderings. The increased property setbacks as well.

Project developer Andy Allen, CEO of Corner Lot Development Group, said his group made the changes in response to the Right Size San Marco group’s concerns. The group says it is dedicated to development in a responsible way.

Allen said he, along with Harbert Realty, EnVision Design + Engineering and Group 4 Design, met with Right Size San Marco members in late November. He said the changes address every one of the concerns the group had with the project, Allen said.

Park Place at San Marco is planned on 2.09 acres at 2137 Hendricks Ave., bounded by Hendricks and Mitchell avenues and Alford and Mango places. (Google)

“We’re here to listen,” Allen said. “We’re a local developer, we live here so we want this to be a long-standing, proud project. We’re trying to do what’s best. This is the right use, and this is the right play for the community,” he said.

Allen said the development group and the San Marco Preservation Society plan another town hall meeting for community feedback.

Allen said the San Marco Merchants Association issued a letter of support for the project. 

He said adding density near San Marco Square would benefit businesses, as would adding parking. Parking often is an issue in San Marco, and allowing the public to park in the Park Place garage when the church isn’t using it would help businesses in the square, he said. Eighty-seven ground-floor spaces are allocated for the church or the public’s use.

“This is the one time, in maybe the only place in and around our square, that we can fix the parking issue,” Allen said.

Allen said the project investment is around $30 million, but added there are only so many units developers can cut out before construction no longer makes financial sense.

Allen said if more unit cuts were proposed, the development group would have to find another use for the property which he, the church and the community wouldn’t want to happen.

“This has to be a win for the church, it has to be a win for the community and it has to be a win for the developer or else it doesn’t make sense,” he said. 

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