Author Topic: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park  (Read 3119 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
    • MetroJacksonville.com
Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« on: June 16, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park



The 106 acre Amelia Park development in Fernandina Beach is the First Coast's most well planned Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND).

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/804

billy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 955
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 07:18:18 AM »
Kudos to Joel Embry, and his partners.
This one took a lot time and effort to get to this point.
The plan by DPZ was well thought out.
I'm not sure how the commercial has come along,
but I recommend a visit if anyone is in the vicinity.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32814
    • Modern Cities
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 07:24:21 AM »
The commercial component has not come out of the ground yet.  It looks like it will come as a part of a future phase.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

second_pancake

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 603
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 09:24:48 AM »
You guys seem to always be one step ahead of me....I just visited a place like this while I was in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and was going to start a topic on these types of developments.

There is some commercial for Amelia Park.  It's on 14th street at the west entrance and contains mostly medical and I believe there is one restaurant or coffee shop that went in just recently. 

I think this concept is great and works really well for those people who want the look and feel of an established old community but don't want the hassle of renovating or keeping up a older home and/or dealing with those houses that aren't kept-up and give the appearance of a run-down neighborhood. I personally think those houses add diversity and give people something to talk about, but that's just me I suppose ;)

Amelia Park in particular is well-planned not only because of the housing built in the community and the different housing options (row houses, large houses next to smaller bungalows, patio homes, etc), but because it was built within an already well-established area as a supplement to the pre-existing structures (within a short bike-ride of downtown Fernandina).  Sometimes you'll see these neighborhoods pop-up and they are just out in the middle of nowhere and seem completely out of place and you still have to get in your car to go anywhere noteworthy.

I have to say, the DFW area does a remarkable job of designing and building these types of communities and town centers.  I went through several small towns that just built new town centers...they actually moved their courthouses and city halls there, that you would swear have been there for a century.  Flower Mound, for example, was just an old farmer's town with not much going on there.  They built a beautiful town center and have housing going in all around it.

The area that we're looking to buy is in North Richland Hills and looks a lot like Amelia Park.  It's called, HomeTown and it has an interesting dynamic in that the developer worked with the city to have the new library, elementary school, and new shopping built on the HomeTown land so everything is within walking distance.  There is a water park within biking distance that can be reached by a biking/jogging trail that runs through the neighborhood along a large creek and continues on for miles (ties into a trail that runs alongside a major road up to Grapevine and will eventually tie into the Trinity Trail from what I've been told).

The town center is within sight of the neighborhood and is an easy walk.  There are the national chains there (Firehouse subs makes an appearance) but there are small businesses as well.  A breakfast/lunch diner was packed-out both times i drove through there while the national places had few customers. All of the retail space has living space above in the form of apartments and condos.

The most well-planned part of Amelia Park and Hometown in North Richland Hills, TX are that they are very realistic in how people live and work.  They don't tout themselves as a "live/work/play" community with no major job prospects around.  There are legitimate corporations within a few miles that allow residents to actually afford their homes.

Great tour!!
"What objectivity and the study of philosophy requires is not an 'open mind,' but an active mind - a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them criticially."

zoo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 580
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 10:38:12 AM »
Amelia Park is a nice TND, and I can certainly appreciate that carbon footprints will be reduced re: trips to Starbucks and the library, though not for commuting trips to work unless a buyer is the local GP or dentist.

  I was incredibly disappointed to see this article titled "Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park". Amelia Park is no more an urban neighborhood than the Villages in Ocala (unless  I  missed it when Ocala and  Fernandina Beach were declared urban). A developer reducing setbacks, alley-loading the homes, and designing in a bit of retail and park space in mimicry of a genuine urban environment, in a sterile location that makes suburbanites  feel comfortable, does not an urban neighborhood make. Kudos to the developer for figuring out how to work urban into the marketing pitch while still developing in the suburbs, but PUH-LEASE to any surburbanite who thinks they are saving the world by living in a TND in the sticks.

HomeTown, Baldwin Park, Amelia Park, RiverTown, Palencia, Nocatee, Watercolors, Seaside, Celebration, and a bunch of other TND's that make developers and suburbanites feel good about themselves, are merely antiseptic, in-authentic versions of urban. In the U.S. plenty of real urban neighborhoods, with real homes, commercial districts and public spaces, already exist and need to be re-invested in and recycled. Otherwise, developers and suburbanites are still just killing the earth in a different way.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32814
    • Modern Cities
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 11:12:39 AM »
There's a huge difference.  The Villages, RiverTown, Nocatee, etc. were all constructed in the boonies, far from the downtown core of the nearest city.  Amelia Park, on the other hand, is fairly close to Downtown Fernandina Beach and the historic neighborhoods surrounding it.  It can be argued that its urban infill, in a similar fashion to the failed projects that were once proposed for Jacksonville's Southbank (ex. San Marco Riverwalk Village).  As it continues to develop and fill out, it will be interesting to see how it integrates along its border with Fernandina's older neighborhoods to the north and the suburban ones to the south.  The Seaside's, Celebrations, Watercolors, etc. are to isolated too have the potential impact that Amelia Park could ultimately have on the southside of Fernandina.

Quote
Amelia Park in particular is well-planned not only because of the housing built in the community and the different housing options (row houses, large houses next to smaller bungalows, patio homes, etc), but because it was built within an already well-established area as a supplement to the pre-existing structures (within a short bike-ride of downtown Fernandina).  Sometimes you'll see these neighborhoods pop-up and they are just out in the middle of nowhere and seem completely out of place and you still have to get in your car to go anywhere noteworthy.

Imagine a similar type development popping up behind Shands or between Jefferson and I-95.  Its pretty much the same situation, just in a much smaller city.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 11:17:03 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32814
    • Modern Cities
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 11:57:05 AM »
Quote
HomeTown, Baldwin Park, Amelia Park, RiverTown, Palencia, Nocatee, Watercolors, Seaside, Celebration, and a bunch of other TND's that make developers and suburbanites feel good about themselves, are merely antiseptic, in-authentic versions of urban. In the U.S. plenty of real urban neighborhoods, with real homes, commercial districts and public spaces, already exist and need to be re-invested in and recycled.

Looking at this list, its a disservice to a few to group them with Palencia and Nocatee.  Nocatee is basically St. Johns County's answer to  Oakleaf and Palencia is nothing more than a large isolated golf community.  Seaside and Watercolor are interesting because although they are two TNDs directly adjacent to each other, the streets don't connect.  Thus they are basically just like tract home subdivisions with better landscaping, public spaces and architecture.

In Orlando, if I had to choose out of Baldwin Park and Celebration, I'd go with Baldwin Park.  Celebration is an isolated large Disney subdivision, where you rarely see residents walking.  Plus to do their shopping they get in their SUVs and head to Florida's tourist trap (US 192) where all of the Walmarts and Super Targets of the world can be found.  Baldwin Park, on the other hand, at least attempts to integrate with the existing neighborhoods to the SW.

Celebration


Baldwin Park


Of course, I prefer these types of developments when they are built in existing urban districts of major cities, such as the State Thomas neighborhood in Uptown Dallas.  However, these are normally just considered urban infill.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

second_pancake

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 603
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 10:11:59 PM »
I'm totally with Lake on this one.  And to say that commute times would not change for those that live in Amelia Park is complete ignorance to the industry that is available to those working on the island.  Have we forgotten the number one employer on the island, The Amelia Island Plantation?  Not to mention The Ritz Carlton, and Smurfit-Stone box manufacturing company.  All of those businesses are within 7 miles of Amelia Park and that subdivision has made it possible for the folks working at those locations to own a home with a historical feel without paying a premium price for an actual historic home or joining the waiting list for one to become available.
"What objectivity and the study of philosophy requires is not an 'open mind,' but an active mind - a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them criticially."

lewyn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 73
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 01:08:38 PM »
Amelia Park, on the other hand, is fairly close to Downtown Fernandina Beach and the historic neighborhoods surrounding it.

Only by Jacksonville standards.  When I visited Fernandina, it felt like a pretty long drive to me- actually it was about 3 miles, but since those 3 miles are a Jax-like suburban wasteland, it wasn't like an intown neighborhood.


thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32814
    • Modern Cities
Re: Urban Neighborhoods: Amelia Park
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008, 01:35:41 PM »
Its a half mile from the entrance of Amelia Park to Lime Street, which is where Fernandina Beach's historic street grid and residential areas begin.  That's roughly a little less than walking from 1st to 7th in Springfield.  From Amelia Park's entrance to the Centre Street waterfront, its right at 2.5 miles.  Its definately no Back Bay of Boston, but its not Southside Jacksonville or Mandarin either.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 01:38:20 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali