Kings Avenue Station construction to start in June

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  • | 12:00 p.m. April 4, 2007
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by Natasha Khairullah

Staff Writer

In less than two months, Jacksonville will officially be one step closer to becoming a Bold New City of the South.

The groundbreaking on the Kings Avenue Station retail and hotel project, known by some since its conception as the Southbank’s – and the city’s – next major urban revitalization project, has been confirmed for early June and all signs say go, according to Mike Balanky, president of the project’s chief developer, Chase Properties, Inc.

“Everything is looking good right now and we’re absolutely excited to get things started,” he said.

Balanky says while the group is still in negotiations on some of the center’s contents, construction is still scheduled to start this summer.

“We know the mix is going to be of restaurants, hotels, retail and a little bit of residential,” said Balanky.

Located South of I-95 and directly in front of the Kings Avenue Garage and skyway station, Kings Avenue Station retail hub will consist of two 8-story adjoining hotels — a Hilton Garden Inn and a Homewood Suites by Hilton which would combine to provide 230 new hotel rooms – facing Kings Avenue, along with a mid-rise apartment building between the hotels and I-95. 

Balanky also expects up to six national restaurant chains, unnamed as of right now, as well as some office space to occupy the $60 million dollar development.

Spanning roughly two blocks, Balanky says the project will hopefully create an energized living and shopping experience that, coupled with other Southbank tenants like The Strand and The Peninsula, will boost development in the Hendricks Avenue corridor between San Marco Square and the Southbank.

According to Phil Tufano, president of the Jacksonville Hotel and Motel Association, the two hotel additions will do just that.

“If we can create more of a village destination for San Marco and visitors to enjoy in that area, then more power to us,” said Tufano. “I think the additions will show off all the attributes of our city even more.”

The station will be JTA’s first planned transit oriented development, bringing in an additional readership base for the Skyway Express.

Chase Properties is also taking steps towards making their proposal of using elevated cable cars to connect the Southbank project to other Downtown destinations. According to Balanky, the company is in negotiations with Doppelmayr CTEC Inc., the American branch of an Austrian group that specializes in ropeway transportation systems.

The proposed aerial transit system would carry passengers in gondola cars on 150-foot-high cables over the St. Johns river.

Based on previous estimates the transit project would cost only one-tenth of the funds required to extend the Skyway to the Sports Complex.



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