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Southside Construction Update - January 2013

A brief look at the status of various projects under construction in and around Jacksonville's Edge City, the Southside.

Published January 29, 2013 in Development      35 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

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What Is An Edge City?


Tinseltown, near the JTB/Southside Boulevard interchange

The term, Edge City, was popularized in the 1991 book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier by Joel Garreau, who established its current meaning while working as a reporter for the Washington Post. Garreau argues that the edge city has become the standard form of urban growth worldwide, representing a 20th-century urban form unlike that of the 19th-century central downtown.

According to Garreau, Edge Cities typically consist of mid-rise office towers surrounded by massive surface parking lots and manicured lawns.  Instead of a traditional street grid, their infrastructure networks consist of winding parkways (often lacking sidewalks) that feed into arterial roads and freeway ramps.  They develop at or near freeway intersections and airports and they rarely include heavy industry.  They are large geographically because they are built at automobile scale.

Edge Cities are impossible without the automobile.  This is fitting because the first Edge City was Detroit's New Center, which was developed in the 1920's, three miles north of that city's downtown.  As streetcar systems were shut down, expressways expanded and automobile ownership surged, these secondary downtowns exploded with growth during the mid to late 20th century.  Today, Washington, D.C's Tysons Corner is the classic example of an Edge City containing more office space than downtown Atlanta, GA.

In Jacksonville, the Southside, specially the JTB corridor, has developed into our first true Edge City.  According to Garreau, there are five rules for a place to be considered an Edge City:

1. It must have more than five million square feet of office space.  This is enough to house between 20,000 and 50,000 office workers, as many as some traditional downtowns.  As of 2006, over 7 million square feet of office space was located within a three mile radius of Deerwood Park North.

2. It must have more than 600,000 square feet of retail space, the size of a medium shopping mall.  This ensures that the edge city is a center of recreation and commerce as well as office work.  St. Johns Town Center alone contains over 1 million square feet of retail space.

3. It must be characterized by more jobs than bedrooms. Despite the resident boom in condominium development along Gate Parkway, the JTB corridor is still known for its proliferation of office complexes.

4. It must be perceived by the population as one place.  When it comes to the urban core, many consider Riverside and San Marco to be different neighborhoods from downtown.  Despite, engulfing a land area larger than many major cities like San Francisco and Miami, most of the JTB corridor is identified as being in the Southside.

5. It must have been nothing like a city 30 years earlier.  In 1983, most of the JTB corridor was primarily rural and undeveloped.


Over the Southside's Blue Cross Blue Shield campus.

Because the Southside is our only emerging Edge City and in the midst of a development boom, we have decided to expand our monthly construction updates to include this area of Jacksonville.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edge_city


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35 Comments

Noone

January 29, 2013, 03:42:13 AM
That's a lot of Development. interesting with the Concorde Career Institute and the exodus from Arlington. The carpool parking lot is also unique or is it? Any idea of the number of people with that relocation?

Bill Hoff

January 29, 2013, 07:09:45 AM
Thank you for reminding me why I dislike the suburbs.  : )

thelakelander

January 29, 2013, 07:26:09 AM
That's a lot of Development. interesting with the Concorde Career Institute and the exodus from Arlington. The carpool parking lot is also unique or is it? Any idea of the number of people with that relocation?

It employed 120 at the Arlington location with a capacity for 700 students.  The move to the Southside increases their capacity to 900 students.

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/print-edition/2012/05/18/construction-set-for-new-concorde.html?page=all

chipwich

January 29, 2013, 07:42:15 AM
By this article, I am counting 1,568 new apartment units coming online at about the same time.  I would say this constitutes an overbuild of muti-family rentals in Jacksonville.

REIT money seems to be dumping into multi-family since retail and office are saturated at the moment.

fsujax

January 29, 2013, 08:01:58 AM
Always good to see the Mayo Clinic expanding. We are lucky to have them here.

spuwho

January 29, 2013, 08:03:54 AM
Interesting, I had never heard of the term "Edge City" before but it fits.

It's layout is indeed based on reliance on an automobile, it doesn't have to be that way by design. I believe you can still have "edge" development with TOD capabilities.

I am sure this will bring out the "suburbs are evil" dialog, but they are a part of the economics of the nation. To ignore it would place your head in the sand. We should be finding ways to improve edge city design.

Without quality metro "core" planning, people and their dollars will go elsewhere. In this case, they go to the "edge".

I agree, its a lot of rental units hitting the market at the same time, however, with certain people unable to get mortgages, rentals have been a growth market. It's a total flip from 2005-2006 when rentals were converting to condo because almost anyone could get a mortgage.

gedo3

January 29, 2013, 08:19:11 AM
Thanks for the explanation of what an edge city is.  I had a totally different--and incorrect!--concept.  Your explanations are also very handy--and very clear!

thelakelander

January 29, 2013, 08:33:01 AM
I am sure this will bring out the "suburbs are evil" dialog, but they are a part of the economics of the nation. To ignore it would place your head in the sand. We should be finding ways to improve edge city design.

Several cities are doing this now. Over the years, we seen various Edge Cities such as Rossyln (DC), Silver Spring (DC), Texas Medical Center (Houston), Bloomington (Minneapolis), Mission Valley (San Diego), Kendall (Miami), etc. start to urbanize around mass transit lines that connect these districts with their downtowns/urban cores, spurring infill TOD opportunities for both.

In all of our transit discussions, I've always felt we may not be properly taking advantage of the possibilities the JTB corridor brings to the table.  For example, people want transit between DT and the Beach, but shouldn't a major investment of any kind include direct connectivity to Southpoint, Deerwood Park, SJTC, UNF, Mayo, etc.?  If that's the case, why is Beach Boulevard always seen as the preferred potential corridor?  With BRT, we're pushing to connect the Northside with the Southside via Philips Highway but such a service completely misses the opportunity to tie into where most of the Southside's core destinations are, which means ridership could suffer despite major investments in building something.

thelakelander

January 29, 2013, 08:40:14 AM
Here's an example of Edge City development becoming walkable nodes of urbanism around transit stations in the middle of suburbia.  Out of all the places in Jax, I could easily envision the same thing taking place in the Southside.




An aerial of the Courthouse Station urban village and surrounding suburban area.




Tallest around transit stations and a drop off in scale and density, ultimately leveling out with pre-existing single-family home development.

mbwright

January 29, 2013, 10:02:20 AM
Interesting to see so much wood frame construction.  With the high number of termites, and hurricanes, this does not make much sense.  SIP and other forms of construction would be better. I remember my apartment in college, you could hear and feel every door close (it would shake) and every person walking in the apartment above.

tufsu1

January 29, 2013, 10:53:26 AM
DC is the epicenter for the Edge City concept...height restrictions and government dominance of the downtown core led many private sector employers to the edges along the Capital Beltway....but as Ennis has noted, places like Roslyn-Ballston, Bethesda, and Silver Spring have grown into fairly walkable places....and the King of the Edge City, Tysons Corner, is about to get remade with the addition of Metrorail service.

Note that Christopher Leinberger of ULI has studied these places extensively....and has coined the term WalkUPs (Walkable Urban Places) to describe what are often suburban mixed-use districts.

CityLife

January 29, 2013, 11:04:01 AM
Great piece Ennis and great post TUFSU. I've never been to Tyson's Corner, but have read a little about before. Design wise how does it compare to the Town Center? IF there was ever comparable demand at the Town Center, would it even be possible to replicate Tyson's Corner? Isn't it somewhat boxed in by UNF, Butler, and existing development?

tufsu1

January 29, 2013, 11:09:39 AM
Sadly, the Town Center area is nowhere near the density of Tysons Corner....even though it was clearly developed around the car, SR 123 (Chain Bridge Road) and SR 7 (Leesburg Pike) serve as the spines of the area and can be tamed for better pedestrian access....I think a better comparison in FL to Tysons Corner is Tampa's Westshore district.

That said, Town center can be densified too...its all about replacing surface parking with garages....which is what has happened at Tysons Corner over the years

Ocklawaha

January 29, 2013, 01:56:18 PM
Why do you hate Jacksonville so much?  Why do we care about examples from other places? Everything is perfect here!

(Okay, I-10 East, I commented for you.)  ;D

thelakelander

January 29, 2013, 02:10:33 PM
Sadly, the Town Center area is nowhere near the density of Tysons Corner....even though it was clearly developed around the car, SR 123 (Chain Bridge Road) and SR 7 (Leesburg Pike) serve as the spines of the area and can be tamed for better pedestrian access....I think a better comparison in FL to Tysons Corner is Tampa's Westshore district.

That said, Town center can be densified too...its all about replacing surface parking with garages....which is what has happened at Tysons Corner over the years

Downtown Dadeland in Kendall, FL (suburban Miami) is a good example of how an area like SJTC can increase in density around a transit line.




San Diego's Mission Valley corridor is a great example of a transit friendly suburban corridor very similar in length and land uses to the JTB corridor:


LRT stop at Sleiman styled suburban Target anchored strip mall.

Captain Zissou

January 29, 2013, 02:13:43 PM
I can't find the deerwood park south development online anywhere.

Ocklawaha

January 29, 2013, 02:32:50 PM
Lake, just so everyone knows the roots of New Center in Detroit. The Hamilton, Woodward and Oakland Avenue's Streetcar line as well as some crosstown segments along Davison and a series of small return loops in the same area, all served New Center, MI.  So did the interurban lines. 






ProjectMaximus

January 29, 2013, 03:40:20 PM
I can't find the deerwood park south development online anywhere.

Not sure which one youre talking about? Here's the one next to Tattersall: http://www.theprestonpartnership.com/?project=deerwood-park-2

And by Deerwood Place: http://scottarchitects.com/deerwood-lake-loft-apartments-jacksonville-florida/

rjr120

January 29, 2013, 08:54:17 PM
Just a thought, but how about including a small image for the location of each project so those of us not that familiar with the area have an idea of where these places are?  I'm thinking a small thumbnail type shot from Google Maps with a pin where the construction site is located.  I know I don't get over to the Southside much so I know I would be appreciative of a feature like this.

thelakelander

January 29, 2013, 09:11:25 PM
Good point.  That's probably needed for the urban core updates as well.

ProjectMaximus

January 29, 2013, 11:41:16 PM
i like that idea a lot.

http://maps.google.com/help/maps/getmaps/plot-one.html

TD*

January 30, 2013, 01:01:11 AM
This is really amazing all the growth that is going out in the burbs in Jax.

We are seeing a lot of growth here in Tallahassee as well.

jcjohnpaint

January 30, 2013, 06:40:51 AM
I was in Tallahassee the other day.  I couldn't believe how much growth was going on in and around DT

Captain Zissou

January 30, 2013, 09:27:06 AM
I can't find the deerwood park south development online anywhere.

Not sure which one youre talking about? Here's the one next to Tattersall: http://www.theprestonpartnership.com/?project=deerwood-park-2

And by Deerwood Place: http://scottarchitects.com/deerwood-lake-loft-apartments-jacksonville-florida/

Thanks for this.  It's nearly blashemy, but these two projects are adding density to that area, which i think is a decent thing.  The Deerwood Lake Lofts will be directly behind and adjacent to existing retail, they have integrated structured parking, and the surrounding land is completely developed.  The other project is surrounded by developed land, it is near work and play, and the design isn't too sprawled out.  If we can't have development in the urban core, I would rather see existing activity centers densify and approach walkability than mow down pine forests for new development.

TD*

February 01, 2013, 12:27:56 AM
Yea. our core is definitely growing quickly!

simms3

February 01, 2013, 01:25:47 AM
Heads out of sands?  This is not a lot of construction activity, historically for the market/submarket or relative to similar SE metros right now.  This is not an edge city by real estate industry standards.  The vast bulk of Jax activity is occuring there on the SS right now, but it's not a lot of "REIT" capital.  Jax is still a value-add and opportunistic town attractive to retail and a smidge of institutional capital playing in the value-add/opportunity/smaller than gateway market arena.  FL as a whole outside of SoFla is not attractive to most debt/equity due to lack of stable or quality job growth, which is the key drive of multifamily development.

Jacksonville is fortunate to have Mayo, an expanding research hospital group with a campus in Jax that benefits from warm climate (but falls prey to lack of direct air connections).  However, MOB is like multifamily right now in that demand is high, debt is attractive and available, credit name-brand hospital groups are backing, and yet there is no MOB market in Jax.  It's still all public/private hospital development competing in the same queu for regulatory approval and some degree of public financing, which tells me that the metro is behind the times and lagging there, too.

And industrial growth?  Don't pay much attention, but haven't seen any FL cities in the headlines, which tells me that bets are off even with port expansion projects.  Hotel growth?  Jax not a tourist city, no CC expansion (which is driving most countrywide booms right now despite the headlines on this site that convention business is apparently going away).  Retail growth?  Simply there to serve population growth, but the market doesn't seem to be advancing as a bright spot whereby capital can chase disposable income growth, retirees, tourism, etc etc.  IOW Nordstrom isn't arriving because Jax became wealthy and a higher per capita spending town (or spending/income growth town), it's arriving because Jax is now over 1.5 million people and more in the region with no Nordstrom, an expanding brand with access to incredible and cheap capital and more flexibility in catering stores to areas (not to mention the best land for retail in the city is still cheap...you can't find land like that around the SJTC for as cheap in Nashville or Orlando or Raleigh or Charlotte).

There is no potential for the SS to resemble Rosslyn-Balston, or any other significant edge city (at least for decades to come).  Rosslyn-Balston is literally 1.5-3.5 miles from the heart of DT DC, the 3rd-4th largest and arguably one of the top 5 most attractive CBD investments in the country (where above market GSA leases and priced out credit tenants get pushed to nearby edge cities such as in that corridor or Montgomery County, MD).

Until Southpoint forms a cohesive plan and Southpoint landowners join to form a strong BID or CID, nothing will be done to shape the area into a new-urbanist suburb (aka edge city in the industry mold/standard).  Right now it's simply the ok side of town, much like East Memphis/Germantown, or south Nashville into Williamson County, or the north side of Orlando into Seminole County/Altamonte Springs (but not even there yet), etc etc.  In other words, it's merely the "good side of town" where businesses and residents can locate safely, but it's not anywhere close to resembling an "edge city" that functions as a CBD away from a CBD.

Another good edge city example is Buckhead in Atlanta, which is 5 miles from Midtown and 6-7 miles from downtown, and is nothing more than a prestigious vertical suburb with a degree of walkability.  What makes it so desirable to certain firms is its emphasis on acting as the hub for FIRE firms in the SE.  What's becoming more and more important in CBDs and edge cities/submarkets across the country is specialization.  It's very important to have certain cohesive industries lumped together.  Some cities such as NYC, SF/Bay, and Boston have done this for a century, automatically.  Other cities such as Atlanta have adapted to this style for ~20 years now.  It will be an important factor in developing edge cities, submarkets, and CBD districts going forward.  Jax does not have this (it's frankly too small, but if it were serious about growing it would focus certain symbiotic industries in certain areas and the government AND the private sector would plan growth together).

thelakelander

February 01, 2013, 07:16:49 AM
Like Buckhead and Heathrow (Seminole County), it's an Edge City by the standards of the man who came up with the term and definition and characteristics.  You don't have to be a Rosslyn-Balston, which has more office space than DT Atlanta, to meet the minimum definition of the term.  There are also several colder Edge Cities out their such as Detroit's Southfield. It may not be the hottest for the real estate industry but the industry's current trends aren't the determining factor.

simms3

February 01, 2013, 10:48:13 AM
With a definition as vague as the one posed in the article, there are edge cities all over the place.  It's not what's on paper that counts, but rather what's in practice and what people IN the industry of putting to use these "planning terms" think.  Right now I see no evidence that apartment owners are advertising their development as being in some desirable or happening "edge city", as is the case with apartment advertising and office space advertising in DC.  I see "southside", "near SJTC", "convenient to work", which to me falls in line with being on the "good side of town", which every city has.

Perhaps *industry* leaders in Jax who are in the business of building stuff, leasing stuff, financing stuff, etc should convene and start thinking of the Gate Parkway/Southpoint area as an "edge city", but ultimately the damage of planning to low density has already been done and it will take mega solutions in city departments and working with a certain kind of credible and well capitalized developer (who don't really exist yet in Jax) to sort of push the area going forward into higher density and into having more traditional "edge city" characteristics.

BTW DT Atlanta has less than 20 million SF of private leasable office space and is the smallest submarket within its own metro, as well.  I guess it's a good comparison to use as people not in the know would either think of DT/Midtown as one (and therefore quite large) or they think DT Atlanta should be super large (not having visited), but it's not really the focal point of the city, and hasn't been for 20 years.  In fact, some brokerages lump DT and Midtown together and call that the CBD (in which case any edge city in the country is dwarfed), and some even lump Buckhead in due to all 3 being in the city limits (the 3 together have more office space than FiDi of San Francisco, which is quite large itself...again DT SF is actually just near center of government and "civic center" and is not the best of areas, misnomers abound).

thelakelander

February 01, 2013, 10:49:31 AM
^Like Downtowns, there are Edge Cities all over the place.  They've been around for well over 50 years.  Some just happen to be much larger than others. 

simms3

February 01, 2013, 11:00:41 AM
Ok, well go build an apartment complex and advertise walkabilty, convenience, transit access, "steps away", downtown Southside, etc.  Was just looking at advertising for apartments in Bethesda, MD.  Walkscore is quoted, living above shopping, urban living without the fuss, quiet urban enclave, live in the city away from the city, best of urban living without the hastle, doorman greeting, stone's throw from x station, etc etc

It's almost like advertising for apartments in the district and advertising for apartments in the multiple edge cities around DC are the same!  That to me tells me that most have a more restricted definition of edge city than simply a place where office space, retail and residential combine in some form or manner (which is really just about everywhere, right?).

Tacachale

February 01, 2013, 11:16:39 AM
^No, not everywhere. Most suburbs are still bedroom communities. Arlington, Mandarin and NW St. Johns don't have much office space to speak of; the people live there and work elsewhere. If I understand the man correctly, "Edge City" is a necessarily loose definition for a place where people work as well as live (and shop), outside of the urban framework.

thelakelander

February 01, 2013, 11:20:16 AM
Simms3, no one ever said the typical Edge City was walkable.  Edge Cities have traditionally developed as being autocentric and pedestrian hostile.  Most still are today but others are urbanizing and becoming walkable suburban nodes.  For that to happen with the Southside, we'd first have to significantly alter our land use and zoning regulations.  Who knows if that will happen anytime soon but if it did, we do have the opportunity to improve the environment that exists today.


Southfield, MI during it's early years.  Nothing about this was walkable then and it still isn't today.  Today, there are a few more office buildings but the mall is worse off than our Regency Square.


Southfield today.

ProjectMaximus

February 01, 2013, 12:35:37 PM
Ok, well go build an apartment complex and advertise walkabilty, convenience, transit access, "steps away", downtown Southside, etc.  Was just looking at advertising for apartments in Bethesda, MD.  Walkscore is quoted, living above shopping, urban living without the fuss, quiet urban enclave, live in the city away from the city, best of urban living without the hastle, doorman greeting, stone's throw from x station, etc etc

It's almost like advertising for apartments in the district and advertising for apartments in the multiple edge cities around DC are the same!  That to me tells me that most have a more restricted definition of edge city than simply a place where office space, retail and residential combine in some form or manner (which is really just about everywhere, right?).

Your perspective is obviously different. The edge city I remember learning about in college 8 years ago was developed for the automobile. Even in this article it states "massive surface parking lots...manicured lawns...winding parkways without sidewalks." Lake's advice is for us to slowly begin to turn Southside into a more walkable and dense area the way your examples have done.

mholcombe

July 09, 2013, 07:47:20 AM
Was surprised not to see The Hawthorne Luxury Apartments listed as new development.  239-units located on Point Meadows Drive adjacent to Twin Lakes Middle School.  Units scheduled to come online in late July/early August.

thelakelander

July 09, 2013, 08:11:36 AM
This the January update. They have been included for the last few months.
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