City, JAA working to resolve issues over road for planned Amazon delivery station

Auto dealerships along Atlantic Boulevard and nearby homeowners say the road will lead to disruptive truck traffic.

  • By Ric Anderson
  • | 5:32 p.m. January 18, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
The site of the proposed Amazon facility at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport in East Arlington.
The site of the proposed Amazon facility at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport in East Arlington.
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The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is working with city planners to resolve issues that have impeded the JAA from building a road connecting the proposed delivery station at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport to Atlantic Boulevard, an attorney for the JAA told the city Planning Commission on Jan. 18.

JAA’s plans for Blue Angel Road have been the subject of a long-running dispute between the authority, nearby residents and automotive dealerships along Atlantic Boulevard, which say the truck traffic generated by the delivery facility would disrupt their businesses.

In June 2022, the city approved rezoning to Planned Unit Development for the site of the 180,000-square-foot Amazon center. 

The 100-foot strip of property where Blue Angel Road is planned is not part of that rezoned acreage and in August 2023 the JAA received a permit from the Florida Department of Transportation to connect the Amazon site to Atlantic Boulevard.

Atlantic Boulevard is another name for Florida 10, a state road overseen by FDOT. 

Blue Angel Road connecting the Amazon site with Atlantic Boulevard is planned for a strip of land between Duval Acura and Land Rover Jacksonville.

The parent company for one of the dealerships, Duval Acura, appealed FDOT’s permit and also sought an interpretation in August from the Planning Department on whether plans for the road conformed with the city’s land development regulations. 

That interpretation was favorable to the road’s opponents, with the Planning Department saying the plans would require a “major modification” of the PUD rezoning for the property. 

JAA appealed the interpretation in October 2023, saying Duval Acura’s request for an interpretation came more than a year after the appeal process for the rezoning expired and involved a matter that was not in the city’s jurisdiction.

After the appeal was deferred at least twice in the Planning Commission, it was added to its Jan. 18 regular meeting agenda.

It would be deferred again after attorney Erin Tilton, representing the JAA, told commission members that the JAA and city were “actively seeking a resolution” on the zoning and planning issues and “think we have a path forward” that would facilitate construction of the road. She sought time to allow the two parties to continue working on the issue.

The wooded site of the proposed Blue Angel Road where it meets Atlantic Boulevard. At right is the entrance to Duval Acura.

The Planning Commission granted the request and deferred the appeal to its May meeting. 

Construction of Blue Angel Road is an element of a ground lease the JAA board approved in July with Amazon Services LLC for the delivery station. Under terms of the agreement, Amazon will develop, design and build the road.

Amazon also would pay for intersection modifications and traffic light improvements at Atlantic Boulevard and Sutton Lakes Boulevard. 

The Amazon center would provide last-mile distribution for the Arlington, Beaches and east Jacksonville areas.

The site is already connected to Atlantic Boulevard by General Doolittle Drive, but JAA says that roadway is inadequate because it offers right-turn-only access in and out of the property. Under JAA’s plans, Blue Angel Road would be the primary access for the site, with General Doolittle Drive serving as a secondary road. 

JAA says it purchased the property in 1976 to allow for an access road facilitating better connectivity to Atlantic Boulevard. 

A rendering of the proposed delivery station at Craig Airport.

The JAA board’s vote on the lease came over the objections of both nearby business owners and residents of the nearby Sutton Lakes neighborhood, which is on the south side of Atlantic Boulevard. The neighborhood’s entrance would be part of the new Blue Angel Road intersection. 

Craig is the authority’s airport for corporate aviation and flight training. Within the airport’s footprint is acreage that can be developed and does not impede aviation activity.

Under Amazon’s lease agreement, annual rent for the 101-acre property is 30 cents per square foot with a 2.5% yearly increase. In return for the Amazon-funded road improvements, the JAA will provide $3 million in rent credit spread across the first six years of the agreement. The lease is for 20 years with three 10-year options.

Despite the questions about Blue Angel Road, the city issued a building permit Dec. 12 for the JAA to proceed with construction of the Amazon delivery station at the address of 450 General Doolittle Drive at JaxEx at Craig Airport at a construction cost of $40 million.

The Conlan Co. of Jacksonville is the contractor for the East Arlington project. It is a 180,865-square-foot center referred to as DJX4, Amazon’s term for the facility type and location.

Pond and Co. of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is the architect. It has a Jacksonville office.

Seefried Industrial Properties of Atlanta is the developer.

The authority board unanimously voted July 27 to approve a ground lease agreement with Amazon Services LLC at the site.



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