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Jax Daily Record Monday, Feb. 10, 202005:20 PM EST

City land swap with Chase Properties takes step forward

Chase would trade 52 acres of wetlands for a 2.3-acre city parcel along San Jose Boulevard.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

A proposed land swap deal between the city and Chase Properties Inc. would add 52 acres to Goodbys Creek Preserve and open a parcel for retail development along San Jose Boulevard.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee gave the Department of Public Works and the Real Estate Division the go-ahead Feb. 10 to file legislation with City Council authorizing the land deal.  

City officials would exchange 2.3 acres of preserve on San Jose Boulevard for two adjacent parcels to the east that Chase Properties CEO Mike Balanky said is undevelopable wetlands.

The swapped site in red would be added to Goodbys Creek Preserve. Chase would develop the site along San Jose Boulevard.

The city property is south of the Starling at San Jose assisted living facility and east of Beauclerc Road.

The Chase land would be incorporated into Goodbys Creek Preserve. 

City Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes said Feb. 10 that a small portion of the land near the creek would be used to add parking for the John T. Lowe Boat Ramp at Goodbys Lake. 

Daryl Joseph, director of the city Park, Recreation and Community Service Department, said the additional land would allow for a future trail system. 

“(The land) serves as a buffer for the boat ramp and potential trails within that area,” Joseph said. “With that buffer property, we won’t have to worry about that being developed right next to our boat ramp.” 

Goodbys Creek is a tributary to the St. Johns River.

Balanky said a rough plan for a parcel on San Jose Boulevard incorporates a “retail concept.” The developer said a detailed proposal should be ready in eight weeks.

According to a legislative fact sheet and Public Works memo, the city-owned property has an existing conservation easement and has been appraised at $470. The 52 acres is valued at $15,483, according to the Duval County Property Appraiser.

Hughes said Chase Properties has not asked for any additional city-backed incentives beyond the land swap. According to city documents, no money would change hands if the deal goes through.

Council will have to approve the land swap. Hughes said the bill will be filed by the next legislative cycle which would be Feb. 19.

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