Multifamily recommended for approval at San Marco East Plaza

Future plans for the center at Philips Highway and Emerson Street include a parking garage, attorney says.

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The Jacksonville Planning Commission recommended approval Sept. 3 of a large-scale land use amendment request by Dallas-based Prescott Group Inc. to allow multifamily and additional uses in the San Marco East Plaza office and commercial park at northeast Philips Highway and Emerson Street off Interstate 95.

Prescott, through PSF I Jax Metro, LLC, bought the 38-acre former Metro Square office park Feb. 28, 2019, in a foreclosure auction for $5,800. Prescott purchased the park’s $58 million debt in January 2019.

The development comprises 470,000 square feet of office and retail space among eight buildings at 3563 and 3605 Philips Highway.

The current layout of San Marco East Plaza.
The current layout of San Marco East Plaza.

Attorney Cyndy Trimmer of Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow, who represents the Prescott Group, said the development will include a parking garage to reduce the existing surface parking area and increase development space.

The land-use request is for 27.71 acres to be changed from business park to community/general commercial. If approved, the application will be heard again in the adoption round with a companion rezoning request for change from planned unit development to PUD with greater detail of the proposed uses and development.

No members of the public attended a citizen information meeting Aug. 17 addressing the proposed land use amendment.

San Marco East Plaza tenants including Baptist Health, First American Title, Wells Fargo, The Edge Rock Gym, Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex, Excel Church and RF-Smart.

San Marco East originally opened in 1960 as the Philips Highway Plaza shopping mall.

A private commercial real estate investment and management company, Prescott specializes in acquiring devalued properties for development and redevelopment. 

Zoning exception

The Planning Commission approved a zoning exceptions for 7211 LHM LLC, at 7211 103rd St., northwest of Firestone Road and 103rd Street, to allow the retail sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption. The liquor store will operate on 0.46 acres in a vacant 5,632-square-foot convenience store building. A companion waver of liquor distance allows for the reduction from 500 to 448 feet from the property to Westside High School at 5530 Firestone Road.

Land use amendments and rezoning recommendations

The Planning Commission recommended approval for land use and zoning changes for:

• Ordinance 2020-0469, which seeks a large-scale land use amendment on 21.61 acres, owned by Southbelt Park Ltd. of Texas, along the west side of Roosevelt Boulevard, between Fennell and Golden Wings roads, across from Naval Air Station Jacksonville. It would change from low density residential to business park to allow general business and professional uses. Companion Ordinance 2020-0470 would rezone the property from residential low density-60 to industrial business park.

• Ordinance 2020-0471, which seeks a large-scale land use amendment on 280 acres, owned by the Braddock and Blyler families, west of Braddock Road in Northwest Jacksonville. It would change from agriculture-III and IV and multiuse to low density residential to allow the 409-lot Braddock Lakes single-family residential development with 40-, 50- and 60-foot-wide lots. Companion Ordinance 2020-0472 would rezone the property from agriculture to PUD.

• Ordinance 2020-0473, which seeks a small-scale land use amendment on 8.98 acres along the east side of San Jose Boulevard at 12375,12387 and 12421 San Jose Blvd., about a half-mile north of Julington Creek. It would change from community/general commercial and residential-professional-institutional to RPI with a site-specific land use policy to allow a 260-unit apartment. Companion Ordinance 2020-0474 would rezone the property from commercial office and previous PUD Ordinance 2005-0233-E to PUD. 

• Ordinance 2020-0477, which seeks a small-scale land use amendment on 0.95 acres at 6607 Old Kings Road, north of Soutel Drive. It would change from low density residential to light industrial to allow truck and trailer storage for the expansion of the adjacent trucking business to the north and east, owned by DGFL2 LLC of New Jersey. Companion Ordinance 2020-0478 would rezone the property from residential rural-acre to PUD, with uses permissible in industrial light and commercial community/general-1 zoning districts.

• Ordinance 2020-0479, which seeks a small-scale land use amendment on 0.26 acres at 5583 Plymouth St., along the north side of Plymouth Street, between Orton Street and Ellis Road South. The property owner and applicant, Plank Parkland LLC and RMS Trans Inc., own adjacent property at 1179 Ellis Road S., with a land use designation of light industrial. It would change from low density residential to light industrial to allow the expansion of truck and trailer storage. Companion Ordinance 2020-0480 would rezone the 0.26 acres along with an additional 0.69 acres from residential low density-60 and industrial business park to industrial light.

• Ordinance 2020-0481, which seeks to rezone 3.87 acres along the south side of 103rd Street and east of Rockola Road. It would change from a 2005 PUD to PUD to allow up to 59,000 square feet of commercial uses allowed in the commercial neighborhood zoning district. Conditions of the 2005 PUD, requiring compliance to the Town Center Vision Plan for 103rd Street and the restriction prohibiting parking in front of the building, would be removed.

• Ordinance 2020-0482, which seeks to rezone 1.95 acres at 465 Starratt Road, between New Berlin Road and Airport Center Drive East. It would change from a 2007 PUD to commercial community/general-1 to allow off-street commercial parking for the Church of Eleven22 across Starratt Road.

To take effect, land use amendments and rezonings require approval by the City Council Land Use and Zoning Committee and then full Council approval.