Ponte Vedra Beach-based Ferber Company, a privately held real estate development and investment company, announced Aug. 9 that it bought a 1.54-acre parcel in OakLeaf Town Center in June for a free-standing Panera Bread.
The news release said the current Panera in Oakleaf has been in operation for 10 years at the end of a strip center,
The new cafe will feature a double-drive-thru, rapid pickup option, and improved parking.
“Covid accelerated the need for drive through options,” said Ferber Executive Vice President Tom Mundy said in the release.
“This is a growth market and while the strong majority of restaurants were already moving to drive through, Covid confirmed that customers feel much more comfortable using the drive through option.”
Mundy said by email that Ferber bought the site in June for $850,000.
The restaurant is under construction. Panera hopes to be open in spring 2023.
The Ferber Company is working with Prosser Inc, Cuhachi Peterson, Ladson Construction and Coastal Plain Construction on the project.
Kate Clifford, founder, broker and owner of Strategic Sites Clifford Commercial, represented Ferber and Panera in the transaction.
Ferber also announced that in St. Johns County, the Durbin Creek Crossing development off Race Track Road will gain more options.
An Aldi supermarket and Burger King are open. First Florida Credit Union, ABC Liquors and Peppers are scheduled to open in late summer.
A 7-Eleven and Scrubbles Car Wash are expected to open in the fourth quarter.
TD Bank and Ellianos Coffee have begun construction. Ferber also announced an agreement for a Starbucks and Taco Bell.
It said the first apartment units are scheduled to launch from DHI Communities, a DR Horton Company.