Major Infill Headed To Springfield's Main Street

January 10, 2013 26 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

By the end of 2013, we'll know if a large mixed-use senior living community proposed by Roundstone Development and Petra Management will become a game changer for Springfield's Main Street.

Intended for the 1400 block of Main Street, the 2.5-acre Springfield site consists of four parcels, including the current 4th Street Car Wash and the former Brumos Porsche showroom. Now, located on Atlantic Boulevard, Brumos' history dates back to 1959 when Hubert Brundage, one of six distributors licensed to import Porsche in 1957, changed Brundage Motors' name to Brumos Porsche.  A few years later in 1962, Brundage opened his first Porsche showroom at the 5th & Main site.

Established in 2004, Roundstone Development designs and develops high quality, affordable housing projects throughout the Southeastern United States.  These developments tend to range from multi-family complexes to single family homes. The Plaza at Chase Oaks in Plano, Texas, a similar Roundstone development, was completed in 2005.  Roundstone developed that 240 unit luxury elderly community for a local non-profit organization, delivering it under budget and two months in advance of estimated completion dates.

Roundstone Development's The Plaza at Chase Oaks.

Looking at the Springfield project, Roundstone Development and Petra Management's plans are pretty impressive and could deliver trendsetting results. The controversially approved 4th Street Car Wash and former Brumno's Porsche buildings would be demolished and replaced with a four story, concrete residential structure. Featuring one and two bedroom senior living apartments, the 103-unit, "U"-shaped structure would shield 130 surface parking spaces from the street. Amenities for the development's residents would include a media room, beauty salon, office center, fitness center, and swimming pool.  

In December, Operation New Hope, teamed up with LISC’s EPIC program, the Junior League of Jacksonville and local artist and FSCJ professor Dustin Harewood, to help revitalize Jacksonville’s historic Springfield neighborhood through the continuation of the Main Street Facelift Project.  As a part of this program, the Junior League installed more than 350 square feet of Harewood's artwork to the 1460 Main Street building.

As a part of the project, 1460 Main, a commercial building dating back to 1927 and Main Street's days as a streetcar line, will be preserved and integrated into the development. In addition, a second commercial building would be constructed at the intersection of 4th and Main.  Petra Management would manage the project's commercial component.

The ultimate feasibility of this $10-$15 million development, being designed by Jacksonville architects Zona & Associates, will be contingent on funding through a federal tax credit program.  The development team indicates that the final funding decision won't be known until this Summer or Fall.

Proposed first floor site plan.

Proposed elevations.  The existing 1460 Main Street building is highlighted in red.

Assuming this project materializes, there would be significant economic and visual impact to Main Street, which has struggled for decades after its days as Jacksonville's major north-south thoroughfare were cut short by the Jacksonville Expressway system.  What was once walkable from the river to Brentwood has become a corridor of surviving nodes, failed promises, and broken dreams. However, an infill project of this size would instantly plug a significant hole in the corridor's built environment between 3rd & 8th Streets.

Article by Ennis Davis