Nocatee Town Center: Northeast Florida's Next Downtown?

June 9, 2015 125 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

In 2008, Metro Jacksonville ran a story revealing plans for the Nocatee Town Center. Readers were asked for their opinions on if the development would truly become the urban downtown core of a new city. Since that time, Nocatee has become the third fastest growing master planned community in the country. Now that seven years have passed, Metro Jacksonville takes a visit to Nocatee Town Center.

Nocatee Town Center is being designed to serve as the traditional pedestrian friendly downtown of Nocatee. Nocatee is a planned 23.48 square mile community straddling the St. Johns/Duval county line being designed as a complete, sustainable new city that balances work and recreation in a multimodal friendly setting.

Anchored by the largest Publix in Northeast Florida, Nocatee Town Center may be one of Northeast Florida's largest Traditional Neighborhood Developments (TND) currently under construction. Here, one will find a growing number of retailers and restaurants, as it continues to grow into Nocatee resident's first choice for shopping, dining, business, socializing, and now "in-town living".  
Lakeside at Town center is shaping up as the Town Center's largest residential neighborhood. Being marketed as urban living, it features Key West style residences built by David Weekley Homes and Mattamy Homes. Nearby, Enclave at Town Center features include garage lined alleys and lush parks throughout. The latest residential development is ICI Homes' Siena at Town Center. Here, residences are being designed in Mediterranean, Tuscan and Spanish architectural styles.

Lakeside at Town Center

Additional retail development is also underway. Skinner Brothers Realty is building the 6.25-acre Town Center East. Anchored by an 11,670-square-foot retail strip, its tenants will include Dunkin' Donuts, Big Fish Yoga and Coastal Wine Market. This Town Center development is anticipated to be complted in January 2016.

Despite the continued growth, initial plans indicated in the 2008 master plan have not materialized. While the first phase of Nocatee Town Center was completed in 2009, property set aside for condominiums, townhomes and apartments has ended up being developed as single-family residential neighborhoods designed as Traditional Neighborhood Developments. Land earmarked for a walkable Main Street also sits empty, possibly reflecting the true current market demand for real mixed-use urban development in the heart of suburbia. While many urban core advocates may despise developments like this, it is hard to deny that some of the individual developments are being build in a more sustainable fashion than their suburban siblings of the mid-to-late 20th century.

Here's a look at the 2015 version of Nocatee Town Center. You be the judge!

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