Author Topic: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center  (Read 23023 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« on: June 16, 2011, 06:10:19 AM »
Understanding the St. Johns Town Center



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.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-jun-understanding-the-st-johns-town-center

Overstreet

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 06:32:37 AM »
Seems to me Lifestyle centers were mixed use and had residential mixed in with the retail. So much that second and thrid stories above shops were often apartments/condos. St Johns has none of that. However there is a motel/hotel.

I personally don't like anywhere that draws a crowd shopping. It don't matter indoor mall, out door mall or downtown business district.

Garden guy

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 07:22:24 AM »
Take the entire center and put it downtown and then we're talking...i won't go to the stjohns town center...but would'nt we be a real city if our developers had real vision and put these stores downtown....as far as im concerned these developers are the reason our city is in such dire staights..well..at least downtowns...but of course the Skinner family wouldn't have made so much money that they were due for handing our city half of it's land...

simms3

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 08:24:57 AM »
I have had the discussion in the office of what is a lifestyle center and in the world of real estate, we apparently like to run away from that word as much as possible.  I can tell you that most of the centers in that list, including the St. Johns Town Center, are referred to simply as outdoor malls.  Some centers like Avenue Viera (Atlanta developer that has that thing replicated like 10 times in the Atlanta metro) pretty much fit the bill (glorified power center with mall-like stores amidst some big box retailers).

We are listing two large centers in two different states that would fall in the lifestyle center umbrella as defined in this article, but we are actually calling them both power centers for short.  These are centers that are attracting interest from the big guys only (because they are so large), and our partner in the listing is in Miami (a guy we partner with for everything).  Apparently, as I'm still learning, "Lifestyle Centers" have not done nearly as well as they were predicted to, and so they have a huge stigma attached to them.  One of our centers even has sales per SF of close to $500.  Nope, not a lifestyle center...still a multi-phased power center with perhaps a lifestyle component.

There is a center (Summit) in Birmingham with just under a million SF of gross leasable area, and it is anchored among other things by a Saks Fifth Avenue, but we call it a power center (glorified as it may be).  

Mary Brickell Village, City Place, Mizner Park, Old Hyde Park Village,and Winter Park Village are definitely not lifestyle centers, but rather a form of urban format shopping/infill.  While not to the same level, saying Old Hyde Park Village is a lifestyle center would be akin to calling Highland Park Village in Dallas a lifestyle center (and that is in the same playing field as Bal Harbour Shops, and old).  Atlantic Station in Atlanta is not a lifestyle center, either, but rather a redeveloped mixed-use brownfield.  Outdoor does not necessarily mean lifestyle center.

In that list, true lifestyle centers include Waterford Lakes, Viera, and perhaps Market Street at Heath Brook and Destin Commons.  There may be a few others, but once you start straying from having any big box and including traditional department stores and really upscale stores/purely mall stores and in a mall layout that happens to be outdoors, it's really just an outdoor mall.

I guess in short, a lifestyle center as thought of within the real estate industry is a power center in more attractive packaging, and a power center is an in-line/strip center with big box retailers.  The more attractive packaging can be nicer facades, slightly more walkable environment, fountains, and of course a slew of smaller mall-stores.  Viera and Waterford Lakes are the perfect examples here.  They are also not over 600,000 SF large.  Once you get to a certain point of massiveness, you are either a multi-phased power center or you are a mall.

SJTC attracts something like 10 million visitors a year, with like 30-35% coming from a distance of greater than 100 miles away.  It has a power center component, but it's "lifestyle component" is anchored by a traditional mall department store that is still in its mall format.  The layout is no different from a mall, but happens to have parking and sidewalks and landscaping in the middle.  There will most likely be another department store and a few other upscale stores that either go in malls or on Fifth Avenue type streets joining this center.  SJTC is owned by SPG, another indicator that it is most likely a mall taking advantage of good FL weather, a super-regional mall at that.  I guess looking at the map in the picture provided, if you were to take away the newest section (green), maybe you could call this a power center with a lifestyle component, but that newest section turned this place into a mall and when more stuff gets built, it will even further resemble a mall.

Sorry to clarify here, but this is exactly my line of business for the time being at least.
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simms3

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 08:37:14 AM »
In fact, I take back Waterford Lakes.  It is a power center through and through.
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tufsu1

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2011, 08:41:27 AM »
I somewhat agree with simms.

the walkable portion of St. Johns Town Center would have been considered a lifestyle center
the big box area (Target, DSW, etc.) is a power center

thelakelander

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2011, 09:20:38 AM »
SJTC, is a hybrid.  In fact, most of the centers on the list are hybrids.  We live in a time where its getting more difficult to fit these places into one distinct category.  The same thing goes for rail transit where traditionally we associate commuter rail and streetcars as having specific operating characteristics and costs.  In reality, more and more systems are being developed with hybrid traits, specifically designed for the communities or corridors they serve.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 09:22:14 AM by thelakelander »
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tg

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2011, 09:47:14 AM »
There is still plenty of room around SJTC for residential development. There is already one apartment complex behind the Publix at the far end, but is no real integration to the SJTC. Does anyone know about what the plan is for the strip of land across from the town center? The intersections are all ready to be extended into four ways, and if they're smart, they will develop in a way that could integrate Town Center and apartments more with UNF.

finehoe

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 10:10:06 AM »
Here are two developments in Arlington, VA that do a much better job of integrating the residential with the commercial:

http://www.marketcommonclarendon.net/

http://www.pentagonrow.com/

Doctor_K

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 10:26:47 AM »
There is still plenty of room around SJTC for residential development. There is already one apartment complex behind the Publix at the far end, but is no real integration to the SJTC. Does anyone know about what the plan is for the strip of land across from the town center? The intersections are all ready to be extended into four ways, and if they're smart, they will develop in a way that could integrate Town Center and apartments more with UNF.

Technically, the stuff behind Publix is actually a townhouse subdivision, not apartments.  Phase 2 abuts the back corner of the Power Center (or as my wife and I like to call it, the "Blue Collar side" of the SJTC), and is connected to Phase 1 across the creek by a footbridge.  

I live back there.  Plenty of residents in the neighborhood walk to the SJTC.  So while it's not a compact lifestyle center and the development is indeed separate from the rest of the T.C., it's all still technically within walking distance.  

In the sprawling suburbia of the Southside, and with the exception of Tapestry Park (which got it right, IMO), that's probably as good as it's going to get in terms of connectivity.  FWIW, I'd have loved to have a residential component on top of the retail in the SJTC, akin to TP.

There are condos also, situated behind Maggianos and the south portion of the Power Center and adjacent to the hotel.

I hope they leave the land on the other side of Town Center Parkway alone for a long while.

In fact, I hope the next phase of residential goes in behind the "White Collar" section at the south end.

... and if they're smart, they will develop in a way that could integrate Town Center and apartments more with UNF.

FWIW, there's already a practically-dedicated bus route (SS-6) that serves UNF and the SJTC.  Well ok, not really dedicated per se, but it gets decent usage with the students traveling to Publix and the rest of the TC from campus.

Take the entire center and put it downtown and then we're talking...i won't go to the stjohns town center...but would'nt we be a real city if our developers had real vision and put these stores downtown....
Not with that sea of asphalt parking lots.  Haven't we all agreed by now that downtown has entirely too much parking anyway?  :D

« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 11:08:11 AM by Doctor_K »
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Tacachale

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2011, 11:21:03 AM »
I hated malls when they were inside giant building in the air conditioning, I certainly still hate them when they're out in the sun and have all their surface parking in the middle of everything.

Personal taste I suppose.

I find what they've done on King Street in Charleston interesting. They attracted archetypal mall stores to existing downtown buildings. The downside of this is that you have a bunch of lame national chains cluttering up your downtown, to the point that it really does feel like you're at the mall. The upside is you get to have these places without having the mall itself (and without having to plow over greenfield land to build it).
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

thelakelander

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2011, 11:25:41 AM »
^Charleston is a major tourist attraction with significant foot traffic.  As long as you have viable market demographics and a highly visible location (auto or foot traffic will do), businesses (local and chain) will be attracted to it.
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tg

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2011, 11:32:07 AM »

FWIW, there's already a practically-dedicated bus route (SS-6) that serves UNF and the SJTC.  Well ok, not really dedicated per se, but it gets decent usage with the students traveling to Publix and the rest of the TC from campus.


I'm just saying it would be great to see some more apartments/condos/townhomes in and around Town Center to make the area more connected to students living closer to campus. I go to UNF, and most students that don't live on campus live drive to school. There was discussion on another thread about how the campus is isolated from everything. I agree that there is JTA bus routing, but apartments in and around SJTC would allow for a more "college town" or a more united feel for the city and school. There has been talk for the last few years from recenet Student Government administrations about expanding UNF's shuttle to the Town Center. I wouldn't be surprised if it happened in the next 5 years.

Town Center has been a big benefit to UNF, and I think Town Center should realize the potential that UNF could bring them if they really want to be an actual "Town Center." I just wish everything was more pedestrian/biking friendly...and the two being so close to each other offers a great opportunity to have a gem in the urban sprawl of Southside.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 11:36:37 AM by tg »

Tacachale

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2011, 11:38:02 AM »
^Charleston is a major tourist attraction with significant foot traffic.  As long as you have viable market demographics and a highly visible location (auto or foot traffic will do), businesses (local and chain) will be attracted to it.

The entire peninsula is a tourist attraction, and many of its streets have lots of traffic and thriving businesses. But it's chiefly the one section of King Street that has the proliferation of mall-style chain stores (as well as local businesses and other things of course). It seems unlikely this would have happened without planning.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

peestandingup

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Re: Understanding the St. Johns Town Center
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2011, 11:38:52 AM »
Get rid of the drive-up parking (thats usually not available anyway) & the roads going right down the center of the main strip (forcing cars & people to play chicken with each other), and you might have a true pedestrian open-air mall. Example:

The Shops At La Cantera in San Antonio