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Jax Daily Record Friday, Feb. 6, 201512:00 PM EST

Vestcor considers third senior complex


The Vestcor Companies is considering a senior housing development, along with a commercial center, north of Regency Square Mall.

Jacksonville-based Vestcor seeks rezoning of about 11.5 acres west of the Southside Connector for development of up to 150 residential units and four commercial structures. This would be its third new project within months.

The site is north of North Regency Square Boulevard and east of Mill Creek Road. The two parcels are separated by Kendall Drive.

“Right now we are just going through the process of getting the land rezoned so a multifamily community could be developed in the future,” said marketing manager Holly Rood.

Called Cassie Gardens in the zoning documents, the independent living development would consist of four buildings along with a clubhouse and maintenance building on 6.7 acres.

The commercial development, for uses such as banks, retail, restaurants, studios and similar stores, would consist of two larger buildings — up to 13,000 square feet each — and two smaller structures of 5,000 and 4,000 square feet. That site is about 2.8 acres.

Remaining acreage is open space.

The developer is listed as TVC Development Inc., led by officers of Vestcor. The architect is PQH Group Inc. The property is now owned by Regency Property Venture, a Tampa-based property investor.

Vestcor also is developing 205 affordable senior housing units elsewhere in the Regency area and north of Downtown.

The 123-unit Peyton Ridge is designed at 1800 Corporate Square Blvd. at southwest Atlantic and Southside boulevards. The 82-unit Caroline Oaks is planned at 5175 N. Main St.

Peyton Ridge and Caroline Oaks will serve seniors who make less than $30,000 per year and 10 percent of the units will be set aside for seniors who make less than $17,000 per year, according to Vestcor.

Those two projects are being funded from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program administrated by Florida Housing Finance Corp. as well as the State Apartment Incentive Loan program and local support from the Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority.

Vestcor, founded by John Rood, focuses on multifamily real estate and investment. It has developed more than 11,000 multifamily units. It now focuses much of its development on senior affordable housing and student housing projects.

It has developed 18 affordable communities, including two senior affordable communities.


Five Below chooses Town Center for store

Five Below, the Philadelphia-based retailer aimed at teens and pre-teens, plans a second Jacksonville store, this time at The Markets at Town Center, next to St. Johns Town Center. The first is planned in Argyle Village in Southwest Jacksonville.

Five Below representatives have not returned emails or calls for comment.

The company wants to build out 4,475 square feet of space at 4871 Town Center Parkway, according to a building-permit application. That comes after the December application for about 8,000 square feet at 6001 Argyle Forest Blvd., No. 60.

Five Below spokeswoman Liz Romaine said by email in December it is company policy not to comment about unsigned leases.

Five Below Inc. offers products priced at $5 or less in categories such as style, room, sports, tech, crafts, party, candy and “now.” says it targets teens and pre-teens because they are an attractive customer segment, with those ages 5-19 numbering 62 million as of 2013.

As of Jan. 8, Five Below operated 366 stores in 21 states across urban, suburban and semi-rural markets in the U.S. Its target store size is about 7,500 square feet.

In fall 2014, it broke ground in New Jersey on an East Coast distribution center “to support the considerable runway of growth that lies ahead,” said co-founder and CEO Thomas Vellios in a Dec. 4 report.

Vellios said while the Northeast was an “extremely important” market, he saw substantial opportunity on the East Coast.

The closest store to Jacksonville is in McDonough, Ga., near Atlanta.


Facelift coming to Baptist Medical Center

The Baptist Medical Center “main building” on the Downtown Southbank is slated for a facelift.

Built in 1955, the structure at 800 Prudential Drive will undergo a $5.68 million “reskin” of the exterior as well as remodeling its rooftop mechanical room.

Spokeswoman Cindy Hamilton said the work is to remediate problems associated with a 60-year-old building. It was the original Baptist hospital.

The project should take a year. Batson-Cook Co. is the contractor.

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