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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jun. 28, 201905:20 AM EST

$1.5 million LaVilla project wins Downtown Development Review Board approval

Developer plans to renovate and expand 530 W. Union St. building.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Downtown Development Review Board issued final design approval for the redevelopment of a vacant building at 530 W. Union St. in LaVilla as a three-unit commercial space.

The DDRB approved conceptual designs for the $1.5 million, 2,900-square-foot project in December.

Project co-developer and landscape architect Joe Loretta said the 1,656-square-foot structure on the property was built in 1963 as a fuel station and most recently a check-cashing business. 

Loretta plans to add 1,300 square feet to the building, modernize the structure with a white stucco design and repave the asphalt parking lot.

The DDRB approved conceptual designs for the $1.5 million, 2,900-square-foot project in December.

Loretta, also a DDRB member, requested setback, sign and landscape deviations from the board Thursday, all of which were approved unanimously.

He recused himself from any DDRB debate on the project.

He said he hopes the development will add to the revitalization of the neighborhood.

“The existing site, quite frankly, is currently a vagrant hot spot, which is not the best situation on the property and surrounding area,” Loretta said. “We’re working hard to try to redevelop it and clean that up.”

A timeline for construction and an estimated completion date is to be determined.

No tenants have been announced.

The developer will also rebuild the existing sidewalk and reduce the driveway entrance to 24 feet. A monument ground sign, one of the design standard deviations requested, will have display slots for three tenants. Landscaping will include a mix of shade and nonshade trees.

“It’s a good looking project, bringing life to an area of town that needs some life brought to it,” board member Brent Allan said.

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