Planning Commission recommends zoning approval for Springfield food venue

The open-air site with retail is planned at North Main and East Eighth streets.

  • By Dan Macdonald
  • | 3:19 p.m. December 8, 2023
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
An outdoor food and entertainment venue is seeking rezoning for this site at 1839 N. Main St. in Springfield across the street from Strings Sports Brewery.
An outdoor food and entertainment venue is seeking rezoning for this site at 1839 N. Main St. in Springfield across the street from Strings Sports Brewery.
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The Jacksonville Planning Commission voted unanimously Dec. 7 to recommend rezoning approval for a proposed outdoor food venue in Springfield.

Up-Side Management Co., also known as Up-Side Management Construction Co., is requesting a zoning change from Commercial Community/General-Springfield to a Planned Unit Development for the 1.19-acre property at 1839 N. Main St. at East Eighth Street. City property records also list the address as 1819 N. Main St.

Entrepreneur Evan Metz previously planned to open the Alberi outdoor entertainment venue at the site, but he is no longer involved in the project, according to Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow attorney Cyndy Trimmer, who represents the property owner.

A plan for the Springfield outdoor food venue shows a central bar, covered dining entertainment area, food truck area and more.

Up-Side Management Co. is owned by Victor Letourneaut and is based in Hubert, North Carolina, with principal offices in Jacksonville. 

The rezoning will now go before the City Council’s Land Use and Zoning Committee for its recommendation before it is heard by the full Council.

The zoning change would allow for the sale and service of all alcoholic beverages for on-premise and off-premise consumption. The bill would waive the 1,500-foot distance requirement from churches and schools.

The bill states that the rezoning is consistent with the 2045 Comprehensive Plan and furthers its goals, objectives and policies.

When in operation, the venue will have room for food trucks, mini kitchens, retail and recreational facilities. The facility will operate under a restaurant license.

Trimmer told the commission that the property owners want the site to look like a park with grass and mature shade trees.

The ownership has agreed to make efforts to reduce noise, stage light and other illumination that could affect neighboring residents.

A plan of the venue submitted with the rezoning applications shows multiple areas on the site with a covered dining and entertainment area and bar at the center.

There are tiki, kids, picnic, games and wine areas along with a food truck zone, restrooms and storage.

Starfield Yard at 2411 De Soto Ave. in Savannah, Georgia, offers food trucks, events and live music.
Starfield Yard

The project is modeled after the Starland Yard in Savannah, Georgia. Starland says on its website it offers rotating food trucks, has a bar, and curates events featuring local music, art and culture.

While not part of the Springfield Historic District, Trimmer said plans are to make it architecturally similar to structures in the neighborhood. Owners have spoken with Springfield Preservation and Revitalization representatives.

“We actually brought in architectural elevations to go through with (SPAR) so that we can get them comfortable that we were going to meld with the Springfield historic neighborhood,” Trimmer told the commissioners.

There was no debate on the rezoning request. Commission Chair Charles Garrison did say he would vote in favor of the project because it is three blocks from his home.



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