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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Apr. 23, 201905:10 AM EST

Work begins on Boulevard Crossing in front of closed Kmart on Beach Boulevard

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Jacksonville-based Hallmark Partners is developing 8 acres of the parking lot into retail, restaurant and professional offices.

Fencing is up at the former Kmart store at northwest Beach and University boulevards, signaling that site work has begun toward development of Boulevard Crossing.

Jacksonville-based Hallmark Partners is developing 8 acres of the parking lot at 5700 Beach Blvd. into retail and restaurant use and professional offices.

“It’s a great infill site,” said Jeff Conn, co-founder and principal of the Hallmark Partners commercial real estate firm and is actively involved in NAI Hallmark Partners.

Conn estimates the completed project at $10 million to $12 million.

Hallmark Partners is developing Boulevard Crossing on the parking lot in front of the closed Kmart at Beach and University boulevards. The Kmart is not part of the project.

The Kmart building is separately owned and not part of the project, although its owner is marketing the property for redevelopment.

The property is near Memorial Hospital and Brooks Rehabilitation, Brooks’ University Crossing for skilled nursing care and the Helen’s House temporary lodging for Brooks patients.

It is less than a mile east of the 31-building, 874,000-square-foot Midtown Centre office park.

Conn said the area’s employers and neighborhoods provide a good customer base and that the traffic flow west into Downtown in the morning and east in the afternoon also offers a stream of consumers.

“This is the going-to-work side,” he said, suggesting that breakfast is a good service to provide.

At Boulevard Crossing, Tropical Smoothie Café has a signed lease, Starbucks has a letter of intent and McDonald’s has a ground lease, according to Conn.

McDonald’s already is on the property but will rebuild within the center.

Boulevard Crossing is designed as four buildings along with the new McDonald’s, a bank ATM and the outparcel created by the McDonald’s move.

Among the four buildings:

The 6,790-square-foot Building B will be a multitenant structure that includes Starbucks on an end unit.

The 10,100-square-foot multitenant Building D includes Tropical Smoothie Café in an end unit.

Toward the back of the property will be two office buildings that Conn said are positioned as professional and medical use. Those are shown on site plans as two-story, 8,000-square-foot structures.

Conn said Hallmark could sell that property for development, ground-lease the sites or build the structures and lease them to tenants.

Drainage work is underway in a fenced area at Beach and University boulevards for development of Boulevard Crossing.

The project is being developed by Hallmark Partners and is being marketed by NAI Hallmark and retail specialists Austin Kay and Eric Yi.

Synovus Bank provided financing and England-Thims & Miller Inc. is the civil engineer.

Miranda Contracting is providing site work. The contractor for the buildings will be negotiated. Basham & Lucas Design Group Inc. is the architect.

Conn said site work should be completed by year-end and construction on a building could start by late fall for completion in the spring.

The fenced work involves drainage improvements. Conn said his group reached an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to relocate the system. His group will do the work and the department will pay for it.

Conn is president of Boulevard Crossing LLC, which paid almost $1.9 million in October 2014 for about 8 acres at 5751 Beach Blvd.

Boulevard Crossing LLC is led by Conn and Vice President Alex Coley, also a co-founder and principal of NAI Hallmark.

Conn also is the agent for Boulevard Investors LLC, which bought more property at the site fronting Beach Boulevard, including the McDonald’s, for $365,000.

The 108,341-square-foot store has been vacant since Kmart closed it in 2012.

Conn’s group doesn’t own it but had a contract to buy it because Walmart Inc. wanted to develop a Walmart Neighborhood Market there and had a letter of intent with Conn’s group to do the deal, he said.

“We had closed and owned the parking lot with the idea we were going to buy the building,” he said. Plans were to tear it down and put up a Walmart market and more shops.

The parking lot was leased to the Kmart owner and that lease expired in March 2018, he said.

But Walmart changed its mind. “Once the Walmart deal ceased, we moved to a different strategy,” he said, and canceled the contract to buy the Kmart.

That building also is on an 8-acre site. Conn expects it will be redeveloped.

“There’s been plenty of interest in the building,” he said. “There are ways to make it work.”

 

 

 

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