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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Aug. 30, 201612:00 PM EST

First Watch open Southside restaurant at new Village Commons


First Watch is adding a Southside Boulevard location that should open in May, which will boost its area presence to five restaurants.

While the Florida-based company did not have an address for the location, Rimrock Development said First Watch will open at Village Commons, the shopping center it will build at 4490-4492 Southside Blvd.

Rurmell Mcgee, Rimrock director of retail development, said Tuesday construction should start on the center with 60 days.

First Watch spokeswoman Eleni Kouvatsos said Tuesday the company has signed a lease for the location, where it will hire about 25 people.  She said hiring begins next year.

The 3,400-square-foot restaurant will occupy one end of the center, allowing for patio seating.

Kouvatsos could not confirm an executed lease for a store at Shoppes at Bartram Park. An application filed with the city shows First Watch at the shopping center along Bartram Park Boulevard.

The Southside and Bartram Park locations join restaurants already open in Mandarin, at Beach and Hodges boulevards and in Jacksonville Beach.

First Watch, The Daytime Café, serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. The Jacksonville-area locations are company-owned.

First Watch says it is the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with more than 280 restaurants in 26 states.

Rimrock Development, based in Lake City, said Tuesday that First Watch and an AT&T Wireless retail store will lease space at the 12,000-square-foot shopping center. Rimrock bought the land last week.

In addition to First Watch, AT&T will lease 1,700 square feet. Mcgee said Rimrock is working on a lease of the remaining 6,900 square feet to a national brand retailer that he declined to identify.

Tenant work should be completed by late 2017, he said.

Rimrock paid $1.7 million for the site and applied for a building permit that shows a $1.5 million construction cost for the center on just over an acre. Ameris Bank issued a $3.41 million mortgage to Rimrock on the property.

Mcgee said Rimrock has several other projects pending in the area.

To date, Rimrock’s projects include developing and selling a retail center in The Markets at Town Center, a student residential hall for Jacksonville University and Southpoint property for development of the Portiva apartments.



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