AV Homes Wants To Bring San Marco To The Southside

August 12, 2014 33 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The densification of the Southside continues with an Arizona-based development firm proposing to bring a slice of Riverside and San Marco within a mile of St. Johns Town Center.

AV Homes recently purchased 80 acres on East Baymeadows Road, just east of I-295 East Beltway, from the Skinner Family.  The Scottsdale Arizona-based firm proposes to build a 120 home single-family development reminiscent of established urban neighborhoods such as Riverside and San Marco. The project will be known as Old Still, in honor of the Green and Skinner family history of the land.

In a recent Jax Daily Record article, David Smith, Florida Division president for AV Homes envisions Old Still as a unique urban enclave featuring an urban park and homes lined close to the street.

According to the Jax Daily Record article, "A Jacksonville resident, Smith said he has long enjoyed the city’s older neighborhoods of Riverside, Avondale and San Marco.

“We will not replicate that — but create a community with some of the design cues that made that area of town really special,” he said.

Architecture will include Georgian red-brick and low country houses, mixed with Mediterranean, French, and a little bit of Victorian. It will feel like driving through San Marco or Avondale, where no two homes are the same, he said."

Can a Riverside or San Marco-style atmosphere be achieved on East Baymeadows Road, with a development featuring 75' wide homesites, surrounded by thousands of recently built multi-family developments? Does it really matter if the closest commercial uses are a quarter-mile away in the form of a McDonald's Restaurant and Gate gas station currently under construction?

Regardless of if urban core advocates are fans of replicating established neighborhoods in the suburbs or not, Jacksonville will find out soon. Residences at Old Still are expected to be open for sale by the first quarter of 2015.

Old Still Development Press Release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2014) – Nationally recognized AV Homes is bringing its award-winning experience in community design and homebuilding to Jacksonville with the purchase of 80 acres just off the 295 Beltway and Butler Boulevard, near St. Johns Town Center.

AV Homes finalized its purchase of the property Aug. 8 for an undisclosed sales price.

“This property is beautiful and truly unique,” said David Smith, Florida division president and a Jacksonville resident. “The AV Homes team is committed to creating a community in harmony with its natural surroundings for future residents to enjoy.”

Initial community concepts utilize an urban park design, with streetscapes oriented to front porches and winding sidewalks. Smith, who said the company will release additional details in the near future, expects the homes to appeal to a range of homebuyers.

Jacksonville’s strong growth in existing home sales and job creation, steady population growth and decreased inventory of existing homes has increased the demand for new homes, Smith said.

“AV Homes recognizes the current and future housing needs in Jacksonville – the timing is right,” he said. “Jacksonville is a vibrant city, and we know the AV Homes brand will be well received here.”

With the Jacksonville purchase, AV Homes significantly expands its footprint in Florida and creates additional growth opportunities for the company.

“Florida is a strong market for AV Homes, and we expect great success with our plans in Jacksonville,” he said.

AV Homes’ four existing traditional and 55-plus communities in the Orlando area and Port St. Lucie have been recognized for master planning and home design and an emphasis on healthy living and community involvement.

The company’s Central Florida communities include Solivita, a 4,300-acre lifestyle community for adults 55-plus; Bellalago, located along more than a mile of Kissimmee’s Lake Tohopekaliga; and Waterview, a traditional family-friendly neighborhood situated on 283 acres in Kissimmee.

Introduced in 2013, AV Homes’ Vitalia is the only age-restricted neighborhood for active adults 55-plus located within the 8,300-acre Tradition community in Port St. Lucie.

Nationally acclaimed AV Homes (Nasdaq: AVHI) has 50 years of experience in homebuilding, land development and other real estate operations in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina. The company builds homes for residents of all ages including active adult communities for those 55-plus. For more information, visit www.avhomesinc.com.

Development update by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com