Updated concept planned at new Earth Fare in Mandarin

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Earth Fare Inc. wants to develop its Mandarin South store as a “modern and more updated operation” of its organic and natural foods grocery chain.

That description was included in a request for a zoning exception to sell beer and wine for off-premises consumption or by the glass in the store.

Earth Fare did not respond to questions Monday about the elements of the updated operation or whether it is one of the company’s new designs.

The Shelby Report trade publication reported last year the 24,000-square-foot Emory Point store in Atlanta was the first of the grocery chain’s locations to use the urban concept design.

It said the layout places a greater emphasis on freshly prepared food items, including sandwiches and wraps, juices, smoothies and coffees, plus made-in-house sushi, salads and other entrees and sides.

That store also features a 50-seat, indoor/outdoor cafe with free Wi-Fi.

The company announced then that the Emory Point store was the first of its locations to use the new design and wanted to encourage residents to make Earth Fare a preferred location for a coffee break or study session.

Preferred Growth Properties, through PGP Jacksonville LLC, is redeveloping the Mandarin South shopping center at 11700 San Jose Blvd. The proposed 27,550-square-foot Earth Fare location formerly was used as a Winn-Dixie, Wood You Furniture and Ollie Koala’s BackYard, an indoor playground.

Plans show the store will  have an indoor 62-seat cafe and outdoor cafe seating for 16.

Earth Fare opened its first Jacksonville store in August 2014 in the Atlantic North shopping center at Kernan and Atlantic boulevards.

Earth Fare’s chief financial officer said then it wanted to open two to three more area stores, including in Mandarin.

The company was founded in 1975 and has expanded to 37 locations across the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Earth Fare will be joined at Mandarin South by new junior anchor PetSmart, which said previously it planned to open there in fall 2017.

Ash Properties seeks permit at Flagler Center

Jacksonville-based Ash Properties seeks a permit to develop The Offices at Flagler Center, a three-story, 50,000-square-foot multitenant building in one of the area’s busiest submarkets.

The professional office building is planned at 12574 Flagler Center Blvd. within the 1,022-acre Flagler Center.

Ash Properties said the area population is projected to grow by more than 10 percent over the next five years.

Ash Construction LLC is the contractor for the $549,832 project. Rolland, DelValle & Bradley Inc. is the architect.

Ash Properties, a commercial real estate developer, said The Offices at Flagler Center is planned south of Old St. Augustine Road between Flagler Center Boulevard and Kenan Drive.

From 1,000 to almost 16,000 square feet of contiguous space is available.

The Class A building will be near the company’s 50,000-square-foot Shoppes at Flagler Center, whose tenants include Planet Fitness.

Flagler Center has attracted major institutions that include Baptist Medical Center South, which is undergoing significant expansion. Companies there include Web.com and Citibank.

Gatlin Development to break ground at Collins

Gatlin Development expects to break ground this week on 20,600 square feet of retail space of the 36,000 square feet it plans to develop at Collins Plaza in Southwest Jacksonville.

Developer Frank Gatlin III said it should be completed within 180 days. He said about 60 percent is leased “with interest to fill it quickly.”

That phase comprises two buildings of 11,000 and 9,600 square feet of space at 7083 and 7091 Collins Road.

Tenants include China Kitchen, Coco’s Beauty Supply, Great Clips, Fancy Sushi, Metro PCS and Le Nails & Spa.

He said more than 10,000 square feet of leased space for other tenants is in the works.

The city approved permits last week for the $1.3 million project.

Gatlin said he plans to break ground on the remaining almost 16,000 square feet early next year.

Collins Plaza is at Collins Road and I-295.

Gatlin Development bought the almost 44-acre Collins Plaza site in December 2014 and immediately sold about 16 acres to Walmart, which developed a Supercenter.

Gatlin also sold about 2 acres to Gate Petroleum Co. for a convenience store and gas station.

5Loaves 2Fish Cafe in for permitting

The 5Loaves 2Fish Café is in city review for a $225,000 build-out on the ground floor of Riverplace Tower on the Southbank.

River City Contractors Inc. is the contractor for the project, which covers nearly 5,400 square feet of the almost 9,300-square-foot space that has a river view.

Plans show renovations for the café, office and main dining area.

Owner chef Toben Stubee said Monday the kitchen’s open front service line will be remodeled and the back kitchen prep area will undergo cosmetic work and cleanup.

He said 5Loaves 2Fish Café will seat 174 customers and should open in four to five weeks, depending on the furniture delivery.

Hota Design Studio is the architect.

Preliminary work began in September. Stubee said then he anticipated a $310,000 investment.

He also intends to continue to operate his 5Loaves 2Fish Mobile Kitchen food truck, but trim the schedule. The restaurant should start with 12-14 employees and could double when it begins to offer dinner.

Hours will start with breakfast and lunch 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Stubee said he will add a weekend brunch, probably on Sunday, after a few months and offer dinner starting in the second year.

There also is catering space on the plaza level directly above the café that can accommodate 250 people. That should be available as soon as the café opens at the tower at 1301 Riverplace Blvd.

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