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CM Becton Provides Big Announcment for Commercial Development “Baymeadows Park”

In Baymeadows, on May 2, 2018, it will be a day to remember in Southside District 11’s short history whereby over 100+ residents, business owners and media turned out to witness an announcement that is sure to be transformational.

District 11, Council Member Danny Becton took center stage in announcing the project “Baymeadows Park”, a $15 million, 6-acre mixed-use urban village that will become the center piece of what CM Becton calls “a keystone to the revitalization of the Baymeadows area.”

Baymeadows Park will be the front door of the Baymeadows communities that will serve to inspire an economic renaissance and provide for an enhanced boom to the quality of life and for property values within the surrounding neighborhoods and area businesses. After 14 years of working to get to this outcome, I am beyond excited that we have finally accomplished what at times seemed to be beyond reach. I will now begin working with the surrounding stakeholders to imagine the possibilities and begin to build on what we have started here.” CM Becton added.

The developer on the project is Joyce Development Group whose past experience is the successful Tapestry Park development on Southside Boulevard at J. Turner Butler. This template for which we are using illustrates design concepts of outdoor seating, landscape, lighting and architecture which provides a small town feel that neighboring communities can tie into as illustrated and modeled after Tapestry Park. As a bonus, this game-changing project comes without any investment of city tax dollars.

This project would not be complete without a transportation solution for Baymeadows Road. Becton also announced that the Florida Department of Transportation will redesign that portion of Baymeadows road which begins at Baymeadows Circle East and going west to I-95. The approximately $1.5 million design will add a lane, expand turn lanes, will add a traffic light and provide sidewalks to the heart of the Baymeadows area were its needed. Also announced were upgrade requirements to Baymeadows Circle West to city standards that will include: sidewalks, curb/gutters and lighting. There is additionally a requirement to add a cross street in the back of Baymeadows Park that will connect Baymeadows Circle West with Baymeadows Circle East.

Council Member Becton’s comments are as follows:

“It is not every day that one gets to have a moment of accomplishment whereby your life’s work will have such an impact onto so many and onto a community that in years to come will be transformational.

In 2004, the Old Baymeadows Golf Course was purchased for infill development. 

On 170 acres of property, it was originally planned to have 1,400 homes, 150,000 sq. ft of office and 60,000 sq. ft of retail development in the center of one of the most recognized failing roadways within our city.

The initial plans for this development 14 years ago, inspired a whole group of citizens, residents, and business owners to get involved to protect their community in what could have been an economic and traffic tragedy.

One of those individuals was even inspired many years later to step into the role of Jacksonville politics representing new southside District 11 on City Council. 

But it was more importantly, the bold move, of then Mayor John Peyton with his first ever veto of legislation that became the catalyst for how we are here today to make this announcement.

In looking back, again 14 years ago, it was then that the Baymeadows Community Council was born. 

The BCC was a group of representatives from the surrounding golf course neighborhoods and businesses that came together to not to just say, “Not in our Backyard” but “What can we do to help protect our neighborhoods and improve a declining environment of economic activity and traffic for which was happening fast.

Let’s fast forward to 2010, the BCC with the help of the City of Jacksonville commission the “Baymeadows Community Plan”.

This Vision document was supported by current Planning Director Bill Killingsworth and upon completion was passed by City Council in 2011. This plan is a big part of what you will see and hear about today.

Also, to be recognized, is the work in 2014 of the BCC and the DR Horton Company who came together and agreed on this Planned Unit Development and passed by City Council in that year for this area.

So here we are today, on the heal of that 2014 agreement, whereby for the past 4 years, everyone has been working on two initiatives:

1) a transportation plan to support the PUD agreement and 

2) a commercial development that would inspire an economic revitalization for the neighborhood and for this area of Baymeadows.

So here we are today, to say Mission Accomplished!

Is everyone familiar with Tapestry Park at Southside and JTB? If so, I would like to introduce John Joyce, with Joyce Development Co who was the developer of that project. John and his company are now our partner in this project as well.

It is with great anticipation after 14 years, please let me introduce you to the centerpiece of our revitalization of Baymeadows: “Baymeadows Park”!

Baymeadows Park is a $15M, 6-acre mixed-use urban village designed development that will feature an approximately a 100-room hotel with surrounding 27,000 SF of retail and commercial space for restaurants, specialty stores and service retail. Also included will be a 2nd floor of 8,000 SF office space.

The development is scheduled to break ground in the Fall of 2018 with project Grand Opening estimated to occur in the Spring of 2020.

As for the bigger picture, this development here on the site for which we are standing is to be a neighborhood asset for which will inspire further revitalization of the surrounding neighborhoods. More on that to come.

Now some residents and onlookers will ask, “How about the traffic impact of this development and DR Horton’s project onto Baymeadows Road?

First, DR Horton thru their PUD requirements will be:

1) Upgrading Baymeadows Circle West to City Standards. (Curb, Gutters, Sidewalks and street lighting). 

2) For Baymeadows Park, the PUD requires the extension of BCW to BCE with a connecting roadway.

3) In conjunction with FDOT, we have crafted a major improvement project, passed by Council in 2016 whereby the traffic capacity of this area will be greatly improved.

Please let me introduce you to the improvements to Baymeadows Road as proposed by FDOT that will answer our traffic concerns and more!

It is with this plan that Baymeadows traffic will be greatly improved for years to come.

This plan introduces several major improvements for this area:

It adds a connecting 3rd through lane from BCE to the I-95.

It adds a traffic light at BCW, identifying this improved roadway as the major ingress and egress in and out of these communities.

This new traffic light and the Western Way light will be reduced to 3-Phases, cycling more through traffic.

As part of the PUD requirements of Baymeadows Park, a dedicated stacking lane to enter the Park, will be created between BCE and BCW having a total of 4 lanes within this corridor.

In planning for this transportation improvement, FDOT will be having PUBLIC MEETINGS to hear comments and suggestions in the very near future from area stakeholders.

As you can see, there are many moving parts that I am announcing today that have been on-going in development for many years. 

To that regard, there are many people to Thank who have been instrumental to making this all happen:

In recognition of those folks, this morning, I would like to take a moment and identify a few people that do represent many others who have worked to this end and to say “Thank You!”.

First, to the current administration of Mayor Lenny Curry

I would like to recognize the Mayor’s team as having been partners in helping me as the District Council member on this project. The Mayor’s team is outstanding and I could not have accomplished this without them, with that I would now like to recognize the Mayor of the City of Jacksonville, The Honorable Mayor Lenny Curry.

Second, a big appreciation goes out to Bob Porter, Vice President with the DR Horton Company for his years of negotiations and work to get us where we are today, I say Thank You.

And finally, the biggest “Thank You” goes out to all the members of the Baymeadows Community Council (too many to name them all) but in recognition of several who have been there from the beginning:

Mr. Frank Morgan, who was President and the founder of the BCC, who unfortunately could not be here today. His leadership was instrumental to say the least and we, say Thank you to him for all those many years guiding us.

With others notables including: Rick Butler, Cliff Johnson, Michael Glinski, Kay Stratton and so many others, too numerous to name who have been here from the beginning.

This was definitely a community effort!

So, in closing, I want to congratulate everyone here on this enormous, transformational accomplishment and To Say, Thank You again for all your efforts to making this day possible!

The history of this project began in 2004, 14-years ago as the D.R. Horton Company bought the property of the Old Baymeadows Golf course for an infill project. Originally, the plans called for constructing as many as 1,200 condominiums and 200 single-family homes. Even through it had agreed to pay for $7.1 million in traffic upgrades on Baymeadows Road, Mayor John Peyton vetoed the project citing the traffic congestion on Baymeadows Road and I-95 as an issue. At the time it was estimated that it would take $30 million to properly correct the roadway.

Today, plans call for D.R. Horton to construct 147 single family homes and 552 condominiums in two portions of the golf course.

Council Member Becton as a private citizen was there from the beginning. He helped form and lead the Baymeadows Community Council “BCC” which was comprised of all the home owner association’s surround the old golf course and their representatives. He said in announcing Baymeadows Park that this group worked tirelessly to create a vision of what should be built on the golf course and what should occupy the 5.8 acre empty field that fronted Baymeadows Road.

In 2014, the BCC in negations with D.R. Horton agreed to legislation of a Planned Unit Development that reduced the density and provided for major improvements in the area. Also, agreed to was the commercial property uses on this site that were limited.

The vision for this site came about through a 2011 “Baymeadows Community Plan” adopted by City Council that envisioned a manageable new neighborhood for that area that would seamlessly coexist with current subdivisions where walking, biking and an integrated community would benefit.

For Retail, Hotel and Office space opportunities contact Joyce Development Group at (904) 223-1650 or John@JoyceDevelopmentGroup.Com.

Baymeadows Park Concept Site Plan 04-13-18

Baymeadows Park Rendering 1

Baymeadows Park Rendering 2

Baymeadows Park Rendering 3

Baymeadows Park Rendering 4

Baymeadows FDOT SR-152 Capacity Improvements

Visit the Photo Galley for Pictures of the event.