Amazon center expected to open this fall at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport

The facility faces objections from residents while reaching a settlement with a car dealer affected by a proposed access road.

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  • | 3:20 p.m. March 28, 2024
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An aerial view of construction of the Amazon warehouse at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport.
An aerial view of construction of the Amazon warehouse at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport.
Jacksonville Aviation Authority
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Development of an last-mile distribution center at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport is “moving along quite rapidly,” Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Mark VanLoh told the JAA board March 25.

“A lot of people were questioning us why we would build a facility like this, nonaeronautical, at an airport,” he said.

VanLoh said the land the facility leases is not usable for aeronautical activity because of its proximity to roads and other issues.

Mark VanLoh

“It’s a perfect fit for us,” he said of the industrial use.

Occupancy is expected at the beginning of October.

The JAA board unanimously voted to approve a ground lease agreement with Amazon Services LLC in July 2023 to build a 181,000-square-foot warehouse on 79 acres.

VanLoh said Amazon is its highest paying tenant at Craig Airport, which is in East Arlington at northeast Atlantic Boulevard and St. Johns Bluff Road.

In October 2020, the JAA conducted a public solicitation through a request for interest to identify parties to lease and develop the available nonaeronautical property.

Seefried Development Properties Inc. was selected from three submissions received.

Seefried, on behalf of Amazon Services LLC, is developing the more than $40 million warehouse and distribution facility.

In January and February 2022, the city rezoned the property to industrial business park for the development.

On Dec. 12, 2023, the city issued a building permit for the Amazon delivery center at 450 General Doolittle Drive. The Conlan Co. is the contractor.

Blue Angel Road

Residents and landowners in the area objected to potential traffic congestion and questioned the property’s rezoning to planned unit development and construction of a roadway that required traffic intersection improvements.

Those issues are resolved or still in review.

JAA intends to build Blue Angel Road to connect the Amazon facility to Atlantic Boulevard. The authority owns the land that is next to Duval Acura, which is owned by Regency Motor Co. Inc.

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 current access to the Amazon site is via General Doolittle Road, which connects to Atlantic Boulevard near St. Johns Bluff Road.

Regency Motor Co. challenged the Florida Department of Transportation’s driveway connection permit for Blue Angel Road at Atlantic Boulevard. 

JAA, the department and Regency Motor Co. settled the issue in December. A state administrative law judge signed the order Dec. 22.

The amended permit provides for two dedicated east-bound left-turn lanes from Atlantic Boulevard onto Blue Angel Road, one east-bound left-turn lane into the Duval Acura property, one west-bound deceleration and U-turn lane within the Atlantic Boulevard median for travel back to the east, the installation of two additional traffic signals and the unchanged location of the Sutton Road-Atlantic Boulevard traffic signal serving the Duval Acura property.

The site of the proposed Amazon facility at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport in East Arlington.

Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Hampton Ray said FDOT has approved a permit for development at the intersection.

“The permitted access modification was granted after a public hearing and public comment. The FDOT permit is limited in scope only to the ingress and egress from Atlantic Boulevard to allow property access,” Ray said in a statement.

Michael Stewart, JAA director of external affairs, said plans to develop Blue Angel Road are in design and will be submitted to the city for approval.

JAA proposes to rezone the site to update the vehicular access to include the future Blue Angel Road as a primary access point.

While the site was rezoned in 2022 for the warehouse development, it now is in review for rezoning to a new Planned Unit Development for Blue Angel Road as a primary access point.

Jacksonville City Council is reviewing Ordinance 2024-0153, which was introduced Feb. 27.

Neighborhood opposition

 At a March 26 Council public hearing, four residents opposed the rezoning.

The Greater Arlington/Beaches Citizens Planning Advisory Committee notified Council, the Land Use and Zoning Committee and the Jacksonville Planning Commission on March 20 that it voted to recommend denial of the rezoning application.

The walls are up at the 181,000-square-foot warehouse Amazon warehouse at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport.
Jacksonville Aviation Authority

The CPAC said the proposed access to the development will significantly affect the community to the south of the intersection, which is Sutton Lakes.

It also said the addition of “100’s of semi-tractor trailer traffic, plus a fleet of smaller delivery trucks and vans to the already heavy traffic load of Atlantic Boulevard will have a devastating effect on all the communities along the Atlantic Boulevard corridor from I-295 to the Intracoastal Waterway.”

The letter said the “at least 12 car dealerships” along the north side of Atlantic Boulevard in the area have “already adversely impacted local traffic, the access to and from local communities and serenity of these quiet communities.”

The rezoning now is at the Land Use and Zoning Committee, which meets April 2.



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