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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jan. 29, 201312:00 PM EST

Plans indicate Nordstrom construction pending


It appears that fashion retailer Nordstrom is one of the three proposed buildings at the St. Johns Town Center shown on plans filed last week with the City and with the St. Johns River Water Management District.

A master site plan submitted to the district by the England, Thims & Miller engineering firm shows Phase 3 of St. Johns Town Center.

While Nordstrom is not identified on the plans, it fits the previously reported profile.

Plans show the third phase as containing 160,000 square feet of retail space among three buildings, the largest being a two-story retail store, on a 9.9-acre site.

Seattle-based Nordstrom announced in September that it would open a two-level, 124,000-square-foot store in the fall of 2014 at St. Johns Town Center.

It will anchor a new wing on the southwest side of the 1.1 million-square-foot, open-air center, the company said at the time.

Les Morris with Simon Property Group said the new wing would be between Brooks Brothers and Louis Vuitton.

That's what the plans indicate.

The plans also show that the Nordstrom wing would be developed not far from Ethan Allen.

Morris did not know the square footage of the new wing or how many stores it would accommodate. The plans do not indicate a specific number of shops.

If Nordstrom is 124,000 square feet, the additional new buildings would total 36,000 square feet of space based on the 160,000-square-foot estimate.

The Nordstrom announcement in September came eight years after the luxury retailer first confirmed it was seriously looking at Jacksonville.

Spokesman Colin Johnson said in September the store could hire about 400 people but that the actual number would be confirmed closer to opening.

The full-line Nordstrom also is separate from the Nordstrom Rack, its off-price division, planned close by in the Markets at Town Center. Contractor James C. Hudson Jr. Construction Co. of Chattanooga, Tenn., is shown on a building-permit application as the contractor for that 34,934-square-foot building at 4924 Big Island Drive.

That store is expected to open later this year or early in 2014. Pine Hill Markets Operating LLC of Atlanta owns the Markets at Town Center property.

St. Johns Town Center is co-owned by Ben Carter Properties and Simon Property Group, which also has ownership interests in The Avenues and Orange Park malls. Simon Property is based in Indianapolis, Ind., and Carter is based in Atlanta.

The Phase 3 plans show they were prepared for St. Johns Town Center LLC, in care of Simon Property Group of Indianapolis.

A paving and drainage plan filed with the water management district shows the larger two-story store along with a one-story building and a third structure that combines a single-story and two-story use.

The two smaller buildings connect with the existing town center with a courtyard between them that ends at what appears to be the Nordstrom store.

The site plans also show the parking configuration for the expansion.

In all, the plan shows the total of the first two phases of St. Johns Town Center is 1.25 million square feet of retail and restaurant space and the third phase will boost that to 1.41 million square feet.

The plans show:

• Phase 1 – 1,040,485 square feet, comprising 673,490 square feet of department store space and 366,995 square feet of small shops.

• Phase 2 — 183,600 square feet, comprising 152,100 square feet of small shops and 31,500 square feet of restaurants.

• Phase 2A — 27,626 square feet of additional shops.

• Phase 3 — 160,000 square feet of a department store and adjacent shops.

The space does not include outparcels.

Nordstrom said in September that it believes opening a Jacksonville store at St. Johns Town Center "will put it in an ideal position to serve customers throughout the Northeast Florida region."

"We've had our eye on Jacksonville for a long time, so it's gratifying for us to now have this opportunity to open our doors at St. Johns Town Center," said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores, in a statement.

"We're fortunate to have loyal customers in Jacksonville and excited to be able to serve them better with a store at the First Coast's top shopping destination," he said.

A statement from Nordstrom said St. Johns Town Center has 10 million visitors a year.

"We're excited to have Nordstrom join the terrific collection of retailers and restaurants operating at St. Johns Town Center," said Simon President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Sokolov in a statement.

"It will further broaden the appeal and market for this great property. We're also pleased to further expand our strong relationship with Nordstrom. This will be the 28th Nordstrom store in our regional mall portfolio," he said.

Nordstrom was founded in 1901 in Seattle as a shoe store and operates 240 stores in 31 states.

Those stores include 117 full-line stores, 119 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, one treasure&bond store and one clearance store. Nordstrom operates nine full-line and eight Rack stores in Florida.

Nordstrom also serves customers through and through its catalogs.

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