This week: a massive redevelopment project encompassing four historic downtown buildings is moving closer toward construction, and Trader Joe’s is expanding its Jax presence.
Downtown project inches closer to reality
The big news this week was the announcement that the Downtown Investment Authority approved over $5 million in incentives for the redevelopment of the old Barnett Bank building and the Laura Street Trio.
An additional $4 million will soon be voted on by city council. Assuming they vote in favor of the ordinance, the project will move forward.
The Barnett Bank building would feature Chase Bank as a ground-floor tenant in addition to other retail and office space, with around 100 apartment units on the floors above the office space.
The Laura Street Trio would be redeveloped to feature a Courtyard Marriott, office space, a restaurant, a bodega, and a rooftop bar.
A parking garage would be constructed on nearby land to accommodate the project.
The plans were developed by SouthEast Development Group and The Molasky Group. In total, the project will cost around $90 million to complete.
Obviously, this is fantastic news for downtown Jax. The historic buildings featured in this project have sat vacant for many years in the heart of downtown. The addition of apartments and a hotel will bring more people downtown, which will then encourage redevelopment of other similarly vacant properties.
Trader Joe’s to Mandarin
Trader Joe’s is coming to Mandarin later this year.
The grocery chain will open its second Jacksonville-area location in Claire Lane Shopping Center, in the spot formerly occupied by World Market.
The chain first came to Jax in 2014 when it opened in Jax Beach. At the time it was speculated that they intended to eventually open more than one location.
The addition of Trader Joe’s bolsters an already impressive lineup of health-conscious grocery stores along San Jose Blvd. It joins Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, Native Sun, and the Earth Fare coming soon at Mandarin South.
- The Copper Closet will open its second location soon in The Avenues Mall, according to the Florida Times-Union.
- After a lengthy approval process, Barrique Kitchen and Wine Bar will open soon at 3563 St. Johns Ave.
- Social Grounds Coffee Company will open this spring at 1712 N. Main St. in Springfield. The veteran-owned company plans to work with the city to hire homeless veterans and help them transition back into the working world.
- Publix is opening a pharmacy in Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, according to Jax Daily Record. The hospital’s pharmacy was previously operated by Baptist Health, who recently ended their pharmacy services as a result of a partnership with Walgreens.