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Three model homes are being built in Southside Oaks by developer JWB Real Estate Capital. Homebuyers can choose from six floorplans, ranging from 1,200 to 1,900 square feet.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 15, 201612:00 PM EST

Developer trying to boost affordable housing inventory with new Southside neighborhood

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by: Jamie Swann

Alex Sifakis has spent a majority of his adult life in rough neighborhoods.

He is no stranger to the areas of Jacksonville that most people only hear about on the news.

Sifakis also knows what it’s like to turn those rough neighborhoods around.

“The more money invested into an area, by both homeowners and developers, the better it will become,” said Sifakis, chief financial officer of JWB Real Estate Capital. “We want Jacksonville to reach its full potential. That’s why we’re so invested in this city.”

After spending the first several years of his career rehabbing houses, Sifakis and his team refocused.

Adding a construction division to the fast-growing business, JWB turned its attention to buying vacant land or demolishing unfixable homes, then building single-family houses ranging from $125,000-$500,000.

JWB owns nearly 680 homes and lots in Duval and St. Johns counties. The newest development is Southside Oaks, just off Atlantic Boulevard.

“We’re reinvesting in these older neighborhoods to make sure they don’t decline,” said Sifakis. “We want to make sure they continue to increase and grow with the rest of Jacksonville just like the new developments.”

Like many of the city’s older neighborhoods, the area has seen an influx of developers looking to aid in cleanup.

With the addition of Southside Oaks, the area will be home to one of Duval County’s few new affordable single-family home communities.

The 101-lot Southside neighborhood is JWB’s answer to the lack of inventory in Duval County of homes under $175,000.

The community will feature six floor plans, ranging from about 1,200 to 1,900 square feet, which will sell from $150,000-$200,000.

“Right now, in the $175,000 and below market, there is two-and-a-half months’ inventory,” said Sifakis. “In a balanced market, we would have six months of inventory. It’s very important to have homes added to that market.”

Three model homes are under construction, showcasing available upgrades and options.

Each floorplan features an open concept, two-car garage and has energy-saving and energy-efficient features.

The community, located on Highfield Avenue, is nestled among towering southern pines that surround the large community recreation area.

The company intends to build about 30 homes in the subdivision before year-end.

As a privately owned infill residential builder, JWB is not just developing land and cleaning up the city. The company will be generating taxable value for the city by reinvesting in older neighborhoods in Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville is our home,” said Sifakis. “We are in this for the long haul. We intend on improving the city one home at a time.”

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