Communities in southern Duval County and northern St. Johns County, such as Nocatee, Bartram Park, and Julington Creek, struggle to attract young people due to the lack of a retail and lifestyle hub nearby. St. Johns Town Center is a long trek, and there’s nothing similar anywhere nearby.
That’s all about to change in just a couple of years. In January, GATE Petroleum and Gatlin Development Co. announced plans for a massive $125 million retail and residential development project in St. Johns County, to be called Durbin Park. It would be adjacent to, and provide a connection between, the areas of Nocatee, Bartram Park, and Julington Creek.
This past week, more details about Durbin Park were released by GATE and Gatlin. The project will be completed in four phases, with the first being composed of 700,000 square feet of retail space and expected to be completed by the start of 2018.
According to site plans, the first phase will include a membership club (i.e. Costco, BJ’s Wholesale, etc.), a home-improvement store, a department store, and a GATE station, among other small shops.
The second and third phases will be massive, and will resemble the layout of the St. Johns Town Center. Bass Pro Shops has already been signed on as a major tenant for the development, which will include retail, restaurants, and apartment complexes. Site plans show three signature restaurants, three major anchors, at least two hotels, and a movie theater. Bass Pro Shops will be visible from I-95.
In total, the project will include 2.4 million square feet of retail space, 2.8 million square feet of office space, 999 multi-family units, and 350 hotel rooms. It will be the largest retail center in northeastern Florida, easily surpassing both St. Johns Town Center and River City Marketplace.
It will be a huge boost to the nearby communities, who will be able to draw the interest of younger residents and couples without children.
The full potential of Durbin Park will take at least three to five years to be realized. When completed, though, it will completely change the dynamic of that area.