The Skinner family intends to market about 1,000 acres it owns south of Butler Boulevard where Kernan Boulevard dead-ends.

The Mathis Report: Skinners want to extend Kernan, market property

Family intends to sell the 1,000 acres of timberland for development of housing, offices, retail and other uses.
Aug. 13, 2018

In a step toward selling about 1,000 acres, Sawmill Timber LLC wants to extend Kernan Boulevard into the property south of Butler Boulevard.

Sawmill Timber, owned by members of the Skinner family, applied to the St. Johns River Water Management District to extend the four-lane road about 120 feet on the south end.

That takes it to the last large undeveloped Duval County property site that remains of the Skinner family’s original 50,000 acres from the early 1900s. The rest has been sold and developed.

 Family member A. Chester “Chip” Skinner III said the road extension will get Kernan Boulevard out of the Department of Transportation right of way and onto the property.

“This allows any buyer to have one less agency to work through,” he said.

 The Skinner family intends to sell the 1,000 acres of timberland for development of housing, offices, retail and other uses.

Skinner said in May the ownership group is optimistic the plan “will create something in Jacksonville that it hasn’t really experienced yet, something that is a little more urban in a suburban area.”

“This is our last large holding in the area. We are trying to cast a vision and hopefully get some parties that buy into that vision that we can bring into the property to develop it,” Skinner said.

He said the process continues for permitting and there are no sales or contracts for the property.

A conceptual site plan by the England-Thims & Miller Inc. civil engineering firm shows an employment center, retail and mixed-use, a mixed-use village and residential. The firm is the consultant and agent on the water management district application.

Plans show Kernan Boulevard will be extended to connect to Gate Parkway to the south.

Skinner said previously the family’s Transportation Management Area agreement with the city requires it to connect Kernan Boulevard and Gate Parkway by 2023, which is in five years.

The road system opens the property for development.

“We created what we think may be a potential site plan for the property,” Skinner said, but emphasized in May the family has no development partners or schedules.

The development is not a surprise.

City Council enacted an ordinance in 2005 to rezone 1,068 acres there for uses including office, commercial single-family and multifamily homes.

The Skinners can develop half of the property before completing the road, Skinner said.

He can’t quote a time frame for development, previously leaving that to “interested parties” who are talking with the Skinners about possibly developing there. He declined to identify them.

Access to the site will be via Kernan Boulevard and Gate Parkway. Skinner said the Florida Department of Transportation plans to improve the Kernan interchange as part of the Interstate 295 work program.