Understanding the St. Johns Town Center

June 16, 2011 66 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Anchoring the Southside with an open-air, lifestyle-center design, the St. Johns Town Center offers innovative new retail and dining choices for Jacksonville shoppers who can shop, dine, and be entertained in one location. Of the more than 150 retailers at St. Johns Town Center, over 50 are exclusive to the market.

About The St. Johns Town Center

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St. Johns Town Center is Jacksonville’s premier shopping destination with over 10 million visitors each year. Shop, dine, live and entertain in a beautifully designed lifestyle center that offers 1.1 million square feet of unique shopping and dining including many new stores you won’t find anywhere else in Jacksonville.

The St. Johns Town Center features 11 anchor stores such as Dillard’s, Target, Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods, DSW, Ashley Furniture, plus more than 150 brand name specialty stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie , Apple, Banana Republic, Bare Escentuals, Brooks Brothers, Buckle, Coach, Coldwater Creek, Express, Gap, Guess, J. Crew, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, lululemon athletica, Mayors, MetroPark, OMEGA Boutique, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Tiffany & Co., White House Black Market, Williams-Sonoma, and XXI Forever.

Relax and enjoy the Park Green and Town Square, attend community events, or dine at one of our fine restaurants such as Cantina Laredo, The Capital Grille, Mitchell’s Fish Market, J. Alexander’s, P.F. Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Ted's Montana Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and much more.

What Is A Lifestyle Center?

Many local residents confuse the St. Johns Town Center as something replacing the role of a traditional downtown.  This is not the case.  The St. Johns Town Center is the latest reincarnation of a shopping mall, a "lifestyle center."

A lifestyle center is a shopping center or mixed-used commercial development that combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall but with leisure amenities oriented towards upscale consumers. Lifestyle centers, which were first labeled as such by Memphis developers Poag and McEwen in the late 1980s and emerged as a retailing trend in the late 1990s, are sometimes labeled "boutique malls". They are often located in affluent suburban areas. While modern day lifestyle centers are fairly new, open-air malls have been around for decades. One such mall is Friendly Shopping Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The open-air mall opened in 1957 and has adapted to the look and layout of today's modern day lifestyle centers. An expanded section of Friendly Shopping Center called "The Shops at Friendly Center" includes upscale retail and restaurant establishments such as Brooks Brothers and PF Chang's.

Lifestyle Centers vs. Traditional Malls

The proliferation of lifestyle centers in the United States accelerated in the 2000s, with number going from 30 in 2002 to 120 at the end of 2004. Lifestyle centers are sometimes depicted as occupying the upscale end of the spectrum of commercial development, at the opposite end of the outlet mall, which typically caters to a wider range of income with bargain prices. The growth of lifestyle centers has occurred concurrently with an acceleration of the shutting down of traditional shopping malls, which typically require large sites over 70 acres at a time when land prices are escalating. Lifestyle centers usually require less land and generate higher revenue margins, often generating close to 500 dollars per square foot, compared to an average of 330 dollars per square foot for a traditional mall, according to the president of Poag and McEwen. Other advantages lifestyle centers have over traditional enclosed malls are savings on heating and cooling and quicker access for busy customers. Typical amenities at lifestyle centers include plush chairs instead of traditional plastic seating in common areas.

Part Of A Nationwide Trend

Although St. Johns Town Center is the first major lifestyle center in Jacksonville's market, the concept is not an unique one.  Lifestyle centers have become so popular that they now exist in most major metropolitan across the state and country.  Here is a brief list of popular lifestyle centers that can be found throughout the State of Florida.

Avenue Viera - Viera

Bell Tower Shops - Fort Myers

Coconut Point - Estero

Colonial Towne Park - Heathrow

Destin Commons - Destin

Gulf Coast Town Center - Fort Myers

Lake Sumter Landing - The Villages

Lakeside Village - Lakeland

Market Street at Heath Brook - Ocala

Mary Brickell Village - Miami

Main Street At Lakewood Ranch - Sarasota/Bradenton

Mercato - Naples

Mizner Park - Boca Raton

Old Hyde Park Village - Tampa

Palladium at City Place - West Palm Beach

Pier Park - Panama City Beach

Port Orange Pavilion - Port Orange

St. Johns Town Center - Jacksonville

Waterford Lakes Town Center - Orlando

Winter Garden Village - Winter Garden

Winter Park Village - Winter Park

Waterside Shops At Pelican Bay - Naples

Locator Map

The St. Johns Town Center is located on the northwest corner of the JTB/SR 9A interchange off Jacksonville's Southside.

Article by Ennis Davis.