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Introducing River City Marketplace

Published July 15, 2006 in News      42 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Introducing River City Marketplace
 River City Marketplace

 Located at I-95 and Airport Rd, River City is within walking distance of a CSX  rail line that could be a logical terminal location for a starter commuter rail  line. An express bus (perhaps AirJTA) could serve the airport-to-rail corridor  with stops at hotels and the marketplace along the way.
 While not the mall that developers originally intended, River City Marketplace  is still the largest shopping center to be constructed on the Northside and will  introduce an array of retail destinations that previously only existed locally  across the river or in Orange Park.
 When completed, this 425 acre mixed use project, will include a 125 acre  shopping district, 900 residential units, 300 hotel rooms, and 133,000sf of  light industrial space. The shopping center, developed by Ramco Gershenson, will  bring 1.13 million square feet of retail space to the Northside and is expected  to attract residents as far north as Nassau County and Georgia.
 Announced tenants include Super Walmart, Lowes, Petsmart, Circuit City,  Michaels, Old Navy, Office Max, and Wallace Theaters (18 screen megaplex).



July 27, 2006, 04:11:11 PM
This will definately be a boon for the Northside. Its about time.

Brenda Miller

July 29, 2006, 04:28:12 PM
River City Marketplace is now open and already thriving. The Cracker Barrel is open for full-service dining. The landscape looks more mature too. Old Navy, OfficeMax, Petsmart, Walmart and others are open for business. The intersections and new connector roads give a high-five signal that North Jacksonville is about to bring new neighborhoods and big business to a much deserving public. I\'m excited that we have a beautiful shopping outlet in our neighborhood. \"Kudos\" to the developers!

Ron Johnson

August 05, 2006, 10:18:36 AM
PLEASE add a first-class Department Store like  BELkS
and a first-class Restaurant like CARRABBAS or OUTBACK!!


August 05, 2006, 07:18:44 PM
I love this new shopping center , and it would be perfect if it had some more stores such as American Eagle or Gap. And an Outback would be nice as well!


August 06, 2006, 09:27:39 PM
Please add Carrabbas, Outback, Harry\'s Bar & Grill, Cheescake Factory.  Please add a Stein Mart and JC Penney.  Think \"INTERNATIONAL\" visitors... This mall is at the Airport and the 1st beautifal mall that our visitors will see.  I am from Los Angeles and shocked to see Jacksonville do not even have a Mc Donalds or an International House of Pancakes near the Jacksonville Airport. Please add upscale hotels to the area such as Hilton, Westen Suites with finer dining... Is Jacksonville \"AMERICAN?\"  Start to think UPSCALE, GROWTH, LOTS OF VISITORS AND NEW RESIDENTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.  JACKSONVILLE IS THE BEST KEPT SECRET!


January 20, 2007, 08:20:54 PM
Outback, Carrabas, et al. are first class? Really? Since when. They are chains serving the same ol' same ol'.


January 25, 2007, 06:49:15 PM
It is unfortunate that the developers did not hold fast with their original idea of completing a full mall.  I agree whole heartedly with the other commenter, that Jacksonville developers as well as city planners need to re-evaluate their development ideas concerning growth in our city.  Jacksonville is trying to be known as an "International" city, however they lack a fully functioning mall complete with upscale stores in the immediate area.  I think the reason for this is faulty rationale and inadequate reasoning on the undeserved stigma that some may have with the northside.  In that faulty reasoning these individuals may feel that the northside's residents would not be able to support the economic patronage needed to sustain the new complex.  The problem with that rationale is that not only will the mall draw all of the northsides underserved residents for retail, it will draw the underserved areas of neighboring south Georgia, as well as the 24 hour needs of the internationl airport travellers.  I think they made a mistake  not following their original formula of an upscale full scale mall.  Hopefully the developers make an improvement by bringing in more upscale restaurants, retailers, and hotels.
This of course could have been intentional as a direct attempt to draw all visitors to the new town center on the southside, instead of having a place to service their needs nearby, which of course is unfortunate, because to truly be an international city, Jacksonville must make a better effort of providing upscale retail and entertainment in all areas to encourage diversity as well as a rich balanced economy.  This is an action that truly helps to evolve Jacksonville into an International city.


February 16, 2007, 07:14:31 AM
Stop all the complaining.  What people now need to do is to make sure that they shop at the stores that are now in the new mall and more will come.  I grew up in Jacksonville on the Norhtside and recently purchased a house on the Northside.  

Jacksonville is a world class city, I've lived in the Metro DC area for eleven years and believe me there are no malls in areas that are mostly black their either.  jacksonville is no different from anywhere else.

The important thing is to spend your money where you live and you will see things change.  If you want to shop at Dillards and Belks just shop online, it may take a while but it will make a diference.

When you are flying you don't have time for major shopping. Malls are not very close to airports for safety reasons.  You don't know the meaning to international.  Do your research first.

Jon D

February 25, 2007, 12:43:33 AM
I've lived on the northside for a few years now. I think its about time we got some kind of entertainment going on. You've always had to drive to the southside, or orange park to do anything exciting. Slowly but surely the northside will attract middle class residents, and then some upper class residence.
Not to mention it's helping the people on the northside with jobs. We wouldnt have to drive as far with gas prices the way they are now-a-days.
I work there now at the panera bread, and I'm soon to get a second job over there.

Melody Dyal

March 02, 2007, 05:11:54 PM
I have lived in the "Northwest Quadrant" for twenty years now and  am very happy to have somewhere to shop that bespeaks of middle-class residents.  Does anyone know if they plan on having a bookstore at The Marketplace?  I wish there were more department stores, but I plan on supporting those stores that are there and continue to drive to Orange Park for the others.  Perhaps they'll come at later date.

William Russ

March 05, 2007, 10:55:31 AM
I just read that "Duval County issued building permits in November 2006 and January to build a 81,500-square-foot store at River City Marketplace."  Now THAT's a big time draw!!  Jacksonville has TONS of hunting and fishing enthusiasts and this is like mecca for  

For anyone not familiar with the chain, it's similar to Bass Pro Shops, or Cabella's.  There's only one other GM in Florida right now, down in Lake Mary (near Orlando), but they're supposedly opening another one soon near the St. Augustine Outlet Mall.

Considering all of the "bubbas" in this town, it's sorely lacking in shops catering to outdoorsmen.  I live near the beach, but I'll definitely drive to the RCM to shop at Gander Mountain.


April 27, 2007, 10:52:53 AM
It sure would be nice to have a Cheesecake Factory on the Northside of Jacksonville.

Jeff in Yulee

May 03, 2007, 11:25:39 AM
I read in a article a while back that the developer was having a hard time attracting a department store like Belks or Kohls because of the Walmart anchor.
They just didn't want to associate or try to compete.
Another reason why I don't shop at Walmart. They cheapen and ruin communities.
Hope you w/t Walmart shoppers enjoy! Like you don't enough Walmarts in Jacksonville already.
I do like to go to Rivercity for Panera, Office Max,  and Old Navy though.


May 03, 2007, 11:59:10 AM
Kohls built a store right next to Wal Mart on Atlantic Blvd, so I see no reason why that would stop them. Look for Bealls and Stein Marts at this development. Belks is another story.

T watley

May 11, 2007, 11:51:28 PM
I believe that the River City Marketplace is just the catalist needed to draw skeptical companies to the Northside of Jacksonville. I support Wal-Mart because they value me and my hard earned money. Don't degrade Wal-mart because they are an aggressive company that researches their market and know the value of every consumer. Fault those corporations that don't see the value in your "green" because the northside is "black" (although the Northside is one of the more diverse communities in the city)I would love to see a department store such as Macy's make that leap of faith and move into RCMP instead of SJTC. We drive cars Northside residents had to commute previously  to the other sides of town to shop ..let's make the residents of the other sides of jacksonville have to discover what the "New Northside" has to offer. Jacksonville is on its way to out shining Atlanta...lets do it right and do it BIG!


June 04, 2007, 07:27:54 AM
I really enjoy the new RCMP, I too would love to see a nice Bookstore, and a couple of the Upscale eateries, but I'm very happy with the progress made thusfar.  GM will be a welcome addition to the area and should draw other big names too.


June 11, 2007, 01:00:03 AM
Live in southern GA.  Shopped the RCMP for the first time with my husband.  Went to Kirkland's (my favorite store) and one of the shoe stores (can't recall the name) At both stores the sales people were the nicest, most helpful and most pleasant people that we've ever encountered while shopping.  Hope all the shops have similiar employees.
Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Changs would be great restaurants to have at RCMP!!


June 14, 2007, 02:26:27 AM
After 22 years of being away from Jacksonville, I am looking forward to coming back home to the Oceanway community and all of it's growth. I have recently been checking up with the "What's New To Me" development and I am very excited for those in the Northside communities, as well as for those of us returning after so many years. I know that there has been a lot of changes over the years, but it is still Oceanway   ;)

I have no way of knowing at this time what is in the new RCMP, not moving back home (from Alabama) untill early July, but from what I have read it seems like it is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Country Girl

June 18, 2007, 03:07:29 PM
Stop building.  Stop building up the Oceanway community.  I've lived in Oceanway my entire life.  My family has resided on Starratt Road for 60+ years.  We once had a little quaint community- everyone literally knew everyone.  It was safe to walk to your neighbors and ask to borrow a stick of butter; about 7 years ago it all came to a screetching hault.  This new shopping center along with all of the new subdivisions has turned our little quiet country community into the next closest thing to the GHETTO.  It is not safe to walk to your neighbors, you can't even cross the street because of all the heavy, speeding traffic.  You cannot even go to the grocery store without having a rude run in with someone new to our community--having lived hear close to 30 years it is apparent who is new to the community and who is not.  This was not the case in Oceanway, home I grew up in.  An elderly friend of my family (who has resided in Oceanway for 55 years), went to the "NEW HOLLYWOOD theatre" and had her car stolen- absolute shame.    What a crime this new creation has caused to our family-friendly community- it's not a safe area.  The new building in Oceanway is an absolute disgrace to our Oceanway Community and the City of Jacksonville;  It has absolutely brought the rudest, crudest, cruelest and most arrogant individuals to our quiet, peaceful community  of Oceanway and ruined the best thing Jacksonville EVER had.  


June 19, 2007, 11:03:56 AM
I know what would be a perfect fit for the River City Marketplace: Steve & Barry's.


June 19, 2007, 03:15:42 PM
Does anyone know the exact name of the Day Spa located next door to Panera's in RCMP?  I wanted to get a phone number for them.

Jane Dough

June 20, 2007, 10:26:46 AM
I'd like to see a new Publix and a Crispers.

briitany joy

June 20, 2007, 05:53:06 PM
it would be great to see a footlocker or Dora's shoe shop. I would love to see a Rainbow or Dots shop. This would be great for the younger crowd :)

Hard Working middle class

June 23, 2007, 06:35:40 AM
Thanks for finally bringing this great place to shop to the North Side.... it was long over-due. I'd love to see a Best Buy, a good bookstore such as Barnes & Noble, an Apple Store, Stein Mart or Kohls, and more stores that cater to the working middle class which is predominantly in that area. Good job so far.  


August 02, 2007, 03:24:15 PM
Id doubt Publix will open up at RCM since there is a new Publix only 3 miles away. Best Buy is building a new store now and its set to open in November. I personally think RCM is a good first step but could have been done better. It really doesn't seem like tenants are too eager to sign contracts. Im hoping that the new anchors of GM, Best Buy, and Ashley furniture will help bring others to RCM. Mcdonalds, Florida Telco,Sticky fingers and Orange hotdog(I think thats what its called) are all coming soon, and possibly Red lobster.


September 17, 2007, 02:42:06 PM
i am about to move to the oceanway area and have looked around.  i am so glad that the river city marketplac is there.  however, it does disappoint me that there is no TARGET anywhere close.  i am an avid targer shopper and would love to see target in the northside area.


November 13, 2007, 02:46:42 PM
 :) i am very pleased with our town shopping center!! my daughter and me have a lot of fun going there eating lunch, i just would love to have an olive garden and some store like belks or bell's not the outlet..and maybe even a cheese cake factory.. ::)


November 13, 2007, 08:20:17 PM
Man, it's really amazing to see how ungrateful people are; To think that not too long ago, the Northside didn't even have a movie theater, and peeps are already expecting freakin' Beverly Hills there so suddenly.


November 13, 2007, 08:34:52 PM
:) i am very pleased with our town shopping center!! my daughter and me have a lot of fun going there eating lunch, i just would love to have an olive garden and some store like belks or bell's not the outlet..and maybe even a cheese cake factory.. ::)

Welcome to the forum.  River City Marketplace is a great for all of the residents in that area that didn't have good access to these stores before.  However, given the tenant base, it will most likely never have a Cheesecake Factory or Belk's.  Now, as the Northside continues to grow, given the large number of outparcels and the airport right down the street, there's a good chance that a chain like Olive Garden could expand up there in the near future.


November 13, 2007, 09:51:57 PM
new olive gardens are much more upscale than the ones jacksonville currently has. 

the tuscan farmhouses, as they call them, are modeled after the culinary institute in italy.  they feature large open kitchens and wood burning fire places.  they also have larger bar areas featuring a variety of wines from around the world.  they also offer the option of indoor and outdoor seating.

they tend to be opening new locations adjacent to brand new malls, more so than big box strip centers.  in fact i believe you will struggle to locate an olive garden that isn't within a 1 mile radius of a major mall or open-air type "town center".

it's a much fresher and cleaner family concept than the aging and outdated versions we have in jax.


December 30, 2007, 12:24:04 AM
As I said in a previous post, I did move back to Oceanway and yes, I am in total surprise at how large the community has grown over the past 20+ years. I will however, that I am very pleased with the RCMP addition. It makes it convenient in so many ways for the lot of us in this particular area.

Although it would be nice if a few other places were added. I'd like to see:

Books A Million
Taco Bell
Olive Garden
Baskin Robbins
Toys R Us
Pearl Vision

I am really looking forward to the Panda Express and Rooms 2 Go that will be opening soon.

April 26, 2008, 02:49:26 PM
I would like to see such upscale restrants and stores as these but this area has been deemed "low income" and American eagle, A&F, Barnes and Noble, booksamillion, and even platos closet wont be comming to the center. this upsets me. because we need such stores but since we have been labled...


April 26, 2008, 04:33:41 PM
Once the new Port Terminals crank up, the new rail line is in and SHANDS NORTHSIDE breaks ground, I doubt ANY one label will ever again fit the Northside. Y'all are on the cusp of greatness and that tidal-wave is just about to sweep you off your feet. I'd wager in 5-10 years we'll ALL be posting, "Not another Books-a-Million on the Northside"... "Won't they EVER quit adding to that damn Marketplace?" etc...

In "Tiger Hole Swamp" near GATE PKWY! Amazing what a few dump trucks can do!

If I might draw your attention to the left, this is where the new Costco stands, and over
there is a Babies R Us going in, then there's the... yadda yadda

Heaven Bound

July 05, 2008, 02:25:33 PM
While Jacksonville is becoming a large city, it is in no way an international city.  I have travelled this country and visited nearly every large, metrolpolitan city in each state, as well as many international cities. I have lived in 5 major cities in the U.S.  Jacksonville in no way compares to any of the cities we consider "on the map."  Over the past 10 years we have experienced growth and are working toward becoming a metropolitan community.  There is a long way to go, but I believe it is happening.  One thing that Jacksonville suffers from is "short man's syndrome" - we strut our stuff, but there's not much to strut.  Yet.  Or, as we discussed in the office the other day, "Jacksonville is trying to be a big boy, but it's still wearing pull-ups." 


August 12, 2008, 08:31:33 AM
what is oceanay coming to? what ever did happen to the woods i snuck out to as a teenager?
really, all this building and reconstruction of the roads is bad enough and now with more people coming to the area were losing our morals and our sense of self. the northside has never been so crazy.


August 12, 2008, 08:53:14 AM
what is oceanay coming to? what ever did happen to the woods i snuck out to as a teenager?
really, all this building and reconstruction of the roads is bad enough and now with more people coming to the area were losing our morals and our sense of self. the northside has never been so crazy.

I feel your pain. I used to play in the woods as a kid. The woods I played in are now called Oakleaf.


August 12, 2008, 11:13:00 AM
I used to go muddin' and target practicing in what is now called Tinseltown.

Captain Zissou

August 12, 2008, 11:46:33 AM
I used to go on long runs from UNF across SJB to Black Creek Outfitters without ever leaving gold old dirt.  My teammates and I would spend 90 minutes running around that forest, up hills, around the lake.  Hard to believe this was in '03-'04.


December 21, 2008, 03:59:03 PM
Let's see,can anyone remember that "Great" little shopping center right off Golfair blvd.The place use to be a nice shopping center,"ABOUT 40 YEARS AGO!"Everyone knows what happened to it,but all are afraid to say it.It was taken over by thugs,Ho's,no rent paying,low life scum!That's right I said it!Cower behind your P/C,and I don't mean your computer either.Regency Sq. is already down that path also,I stopped going there 10 years ago.Got tired of the"hey big man,gimme a dolla"That's why stores close,you have these thugs,hangin' out,not buying anything and scaring the people with money away,that would normally support these stores.Look if there's a bus line going through your 'hood then there's not much going to prop up the business's.Just look into the future for one moment of your self-righteous,P/C thinking "we all just need to get along"crap and see what the fate of this shiny new "strip-mall" is going to be.And you thought Oceanway would never look as dark as it does now.Wait 5-10 years,you will have "Icemans" urban fashions,Dollar General,Weaves R' us and the all important "We have garlic Blue crabs!"That's what we want people to see when they arrive at our"International" airport?It's like leaving a retard alone in a house with a box of matches,you know whats going to happen.Enjoy the mall now why you can...till my next little shit-fit,later.


December 21, 2008, 04:45:28 PM
Did the same thing happen to Grande Blvd Mall or Roosevelt Square Mall?  Mall decline is a little more complex than simply being taken over by thugs, ho's, no rent paying, low life scum.  Gateway's decline had more to do with age, size, retailing trends, changing regional demographics and a slow reaction by the mall's previous owners.  These are the same things that killed Normandy and Philips and hundreds of other shopping centers across the country as well.  The first phases are now affecting Regency.  Whether it dies or not will completely depend on how mall management handles the situation.  Ignore it and it will die.  Spend money on a makeover to take advantage of a retailing niche and it will survive.


December 21, 2008, 05:41:03 PM
You can develope any area or let any area slip into decline. It isn't as easy as once bad always bad.


December 21, 2008, 06:18:22 PM
I would see wildcats on the UNF trails.
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