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The metamorphosis of Avondale's St. Johns Village

September 27, 2016

The redevelopment of Avondale's Commander Apartments and St. Johns Village shopping center appears to be finally moving forward after a decade of starts and stops. Here's a brief summary the project's eleven year metamorphosis and a collection of the latest renderings. Take a look and let us know what you think.

1960



The 15-story, 90-unit Commander Apartments tower is built along Fishweir Creek.





1987



According to the Duval County Property Appraiser, the St. Johns Village shopping center is built at 4000 St. Johns Avenue. Overlooking Fishweir Creek, the two-story center contains a total of 51,455 square feet of retail and office space.




Existing Site Plan







2005



The initial proposal to redevelop the St. Johns Village shopping center and adjacent 16-story Commander Apartments tower originated in 2005. That proposal called for the demolition of both properties for the infill development of a 21-story, 216 unit condominium tower and 20,000 square feet of retail.



July 2013




After the real estate bust of the late 00s, plans to kick the dust off the property's old proposal resurfaced. By July 2013, Chase Properties, a local development company owned by Michael Balanky proposed replacing the buildings with a 14-story, 300 unit condominium tower, a 525-space parking garage and 12,000 square feet of retail shops.




August 2013




After community concerns about the project being out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood, a new plan emerged that reduced the size of Chase's redevelopment plans. The August 2013 plan included a 7-story, 208-unit condominium building, two four story buildings with a combined 72 residential units, structured parking and 11,000 square feet of retail.




Spring 2016




In early 2016, Chase Properties sold the property to Chance Partners. Specializing in residential and mixed-use projects in walkable neighborhoods across the south, Chance plans straight out eliminated the project's retail component altogether. Chance has proposed replacing the St. Johns Village shopping center with a 224-unit apartment complex, revamping and updating the existing Commander building as opposed to demolishing and replacing it.

By eliminating all retail, long time tenants such as the Loop Pizza Grill have been forced to find new locations in a neighborhood where debate has heated up over whether the proliferation of new restaurant openings should be significantly slowed within its boundaries.

Unlike the higher density proposals of the past, Chance's initial plans included a surface parking lot between the apartment building and St. Johns Avenue. The gated community's site plan also included a parking garage, two isolated carriage house buildigns and perimeter fencing for its frontage along St. Johns Avenue.





August 2016




Working with the community to improve how their proposed project would integrate with St. Johns Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood, the latest plans for Chance's project have added four townhomes to the development mix. The buildings are intended to help hide the development's proposed parking garage from the view of the street.

Chance anticipates their $40 million project's rezoning application to the city to be approved in October 2016. If approved, construction on the now 228-unit development is anticipated to begin in February 2017 and take 16 months to complete.

Here's a look at the project's latest renderings.

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