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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jul. 10, 201711:44 AM EST

The Mathis Report: First Baptist applies for Nocatee campus permit

Church already owns land and wants to begin construction this fall.

First Baptist Church of Jacksonville submitted a permit application to build a $10 million church in Nocatee.

Perry-McCall Construction is the contractor for the almost 41,000-square-foot project at 1770 Valley Ridge Blvd.

CDH Partners of Marietta, Georgia, designed the project, shown on plans with a worship center, classrooms, pre-school, offices, catering kitchen, café and spaces for other functions.

Plans also indicate a playground and playing fields.

In February, First Baptist Church said it was awaiting the donations it needs to break ground on the satellite campus, which will be its South Campus.

Judson Leverette, director of business administration for Downtown-based First Baptist, said then that leaders continue to work on architectural plans for First Baptist Church Nocatee.

Communications Pastor Jeff Stoll said Friday the church was not ready to release more information.

He said the vision was presented to the First Baptist Church congregation over the past several weeks.

The site offers some details.

The church is seeking donations and says it wants to begin construction this fall.

A “vision brochure” lists the total cost at $11 million with $5.5 million needed to begin construction toward occupancy in fall 2018.

The “Arise and Build” brochure says Nocatee is the third fastest-growing master-planned community in the nation, and currently sells more than 1,000 homes a year.

“Our mission is not just to build a building or raise a lot of money. Our vision is to be a visible, permanent presence in this community to reach people for Christ — many of whom would never drive to our downtown campus,” the brochure says.

It indicates it also would establish a Christian school for children from infants to third grade.

Nocatee is about 26 miles from Downtown, where First Baptist has its large main campus at 124 W. Ashley St.

The Nocatee site straddles the Duval and St. Johns county line. The majority of the campus is in Duval County, with sports fields in St. Johns County.

The brochure says more than 23,000 residential units and 35 new communities are planned in St. Johns.

First Baptist already owns the South Campus land. In July 2013, it acquired almost 22 acres of Duval County property and 7.29 acres in St. Johns.

The South Campus members now meet in the Ponte Vedra High School auditorium.

It also has its Ortega Campus at the former Ortega Baptist Church and its Campus Church at the University of North Florida, where it meets Sunday at the UNF Brooks College of Health Building.

Argyle Circuit City could become bowling alley

A Gainesville investor plans a new use for a vacant building in the Argyle Village area.

Ley Burkett of Funworks Entertainment applied for a zoning exception and waiver to convert the closed and vacant Circuit City at 6155 Youngerman Circle into a bowling alley and restaurant.

The exception and waiver are needed to serve beer and liquor for on-site consumption.

Burkett intends to “completely renovate the interior to a bowling alley, which will assist with the economic improvement of the existing development,” says the application.

The property is owned by Circuitville LLC of Carle Place, New York. Circuit City closed there in late 2008.

Property records show the 36,112-square-foot building was developed in 1985.

“The Applicant fully expects league bowling, which is generally complemented with a sandwich shop and service of alcoholic beverages to patrons,” says the exception application.

Funworks operates Skate Stations in Mandarin, Orange Park and Gainesville and the Splitz Bowling Center in Gainesville, among other businesses, according to


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