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Jax Daily Record Monday, Mar. 12, 201803:17 PM EST

TriBridge resubmits plans for apartments at former Neptune Beach Kmart site

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Fewer apartments, community enhancements included in redesign after community meetings.
by: Andrew Warfield Staff Writer

TriBridge Residential on Tuesday resubmitted plans to the City of Neptune Beach for 500 Atlantic, a mixed-use pedestrian-oriented development near Atlantic Boulevard and Third Street.

The strip center has been 45 percent occupied since retail anchor Kmart closed in 2016.

In its place, the luxury rental community developer proposes to build a mix of high-end apartments, shops, a grocer and restaurants.

New streetscapes and trails will create walkable connections to the adjacent Beaches Town Center and the larger community.

The resubmission follows neighborhood meetings and public input that resulted in a redesign that reduced the project scope.

TriBridge is proposing 230 apartments, 25 percent fewer than its original plan.

“We have listened to the comments and concerns of the community and taken great care to design a neighborhood that will integrate with and enhance what is working so well already in Neptune Beach,” TriBridge Residential Managing Partner Steve Broome said

TriBridge plans to invest $2.3 million in largely off-site infrastructure improvements. Design changes were made to complement the nearby Neptune by the Sea neighborhood.

“One of the things we are proposing is significant community infrastructure that will benefit all of Neptune Beach that is not specific to the site,” said Katherine Mosley, vice president of development for TriBridge Residential.

“Neptune Beach is a small community that could not afford some of the things we are able to partner with them on for the benefit of the whole community,” she said.

Those infrastructure enhancements include:

  • Pedestrian crosswalk improvements and additions at Third Street at Atlantic Boulevard and Third Street at Lemon Street.
  • Full funding for a multipurpose trail connecting Lemon Street with Jarboe Park, the Beaches Branch Library and nearby neighborhoods.
  • One mile of sewer infrastructure along Forest Avenue will be replaced, addressing an existing overflow problem and rebuilding aging infrastructure that currently impacts Neptune Beach Elementary School, the Neptune Beach Senior Activity Center and surrounding areas.

In addition, a traffic light is proposed at the entrance to 500 Atlantic on Atlantic Boulevard. The reduction in impervious area and a stormwater pond on site will aid in the management and improve the quality of water flowing into nearby streams.

TriBridge specializes in redevelopment projects. Locally, the company built and operates BluWater Apartments on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach and Cottage at North Beach in Atlantic Beach. It also is developing The Jaxon at Town Center Promenade.

Mosley said the struggling strip center was a natural choice for TriBridge.

“Atlantic Boulevard is a primary thoroughfare in the Beaches community but also leading into Neptune Beach, and we felt like this was a great opportunity to revive what was a 60 percent occupied center and serve as an expansion of the Beaches Town Center,” Mosley said.

TriBridge Residential owns and manages about 7,000 multifamily units in the Southeast. Over the past 25 years, TriBridge and its affiliates have acquired and built more than $3 billion in real estate.

For more information about 500 Atlantic, visit 500atlantic.com.

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