The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => The Burbs => St. Johns County => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on May 18, 2010, 04:05:33 AM

Title: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on May 18, 2010, 04:05:33 AM
RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/860786163_tnfAU-M.jpg)

While the struggles of the urban core usually garner the most attention, a trip to Northern St. Johns County shows that the suburbs may have significant worries of their own.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-may-rivertown-development-slowed-by-recession
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Hurricane on May 18, 2010, 07:42:25 AM
"Urban Sprawl".  I like the design, but more effort should be put into renovating currently developed areas and making the current school system better.  Simple fact is most families move to where the schools are better and you can't really blame them for doing that, because it is all about the children's future.  If we can find a way to make the current schools better, it will make it more attractive for families to move to the older areas of town.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: JC on May 18, 2010, 07:53:38 AM
"Urban Sprawl".  I like the design, but more effort should be put into renovating currently developed areas and making the current school system better.  Simple fact is most families move to where the schools are better and you can't really blame them for doing that, because it is all about the children's future.  If we can find a way to make the current schools better, it will make it more attractive for families to move to the older areas of town.

What you are describing is collective inaction on the part of parents and a dependency on government to provide good schools for kids, put short, they are taking the easy way out.   
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: buckethead on May 18, 2010, 07:56:29 AM
"Urban Sprawl".  I like the design, but more effort should be put into renovating currently developed areas and making the current school system better.  Simple fact is most families move to where the schools are better and you can't really blame them for doing that, because it is all about the children's future.  If we can find a way to make the current schools better, it will make it more attractive for families to move to the older areas of town.

What you are describing is collective inaction on the part of parents and a dependency on government to provide good schools for kids, put short, they are taking the easy way out.   
Are you (and your family) a home schooling family?
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: fsujax on May 18, 2010, 08:06:29 AM
lovely. well, at least the brickpavers and landscaping look nice.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Miss Fixit on May 18, 2010, 09:04:46 AM
Another failed effort at TND.  This development had potential to be an improvement over most of what's been done in St. John's County - narrow lots, front porches close to sidewalks, detached garage with granny flats, and decent architectural design and control - but came on the market at the worst possible time.  Probably some great bargains out there now if you don't mind having the community to yourself.  Watch out for CDD fees....
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: fieldafm on May 18, 2010, 09:11:31 AM
Wow, what a timely article. 

A few weeks ago I went on vacation to Destin.  I spent a day walking around Seaside and Watercolor b/c I was interested in these planned cities/communities.  Watercolor as you may or may not know is also a St Joe's development.  I took a lot of pictures of Watercolor, talked to a few homeowners, talked to a few realtors and talked to a few of the hotel employees about the town.

I went to Orlando on Sunday and out of curiosity made a quick detour to Rivertown.  I wondered if the same company truly did plan these two communities!
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: TheProfessor on May 18, 2010, 09:30:17 AM
LRK did a lot of the architecture work there.  They are out of business in Jax now.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: reednavy on May 18, 2010, 09:56:05 AM
Lol, and they cleared all that land and ruined a sizeable section of a Scenic Route, only to fail. Serves them right on this development.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: TheProfessor on May 18, 2010, 10:23:44 AM
Don't blame the architect. Blame the developer, St. Joe.  They are leaving Jax too.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: reednavy on May 18, 2010, 10:25:10 AM
Don't blame the architect. Blame the developer, St. Joe.  They are leaving Jax too.
I was talking in general, everyone involved with RiverTown.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: St. Auggie on May 18, 2010, 10:27:24 AM
I would imagine Watercolor would look about the same if it had started at the same time. 
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: JC on May 18, 2010, 10:58:58 AM
"Urban Sprawl".  I like the design, but more effort should be put into renovating currently developed areas and making the current school system better.  Simple fact is most families move to where the schools are better and you can't really blame them for doing that, because it is all about the children's future.  If we can find a way to make the current schools better, it will make it more attractive for families to move to the older areas of town.

What you are describing is collective inaction on the part of parents and a dependency on government to provide good schools for kids, put short, they are taking the easy way out.   
Are you (and your family) a home schooling family?

Yes, we are.  Was I that easy to read?
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: tufsu1 on May 18, 2010, 11:18:32 AM
LRK did a lot of the architecture work there.  They are out of business in Jax now.

LRK is out of Memphis...they opened a Jax. office primarily because of the work they were doing for St. Joe
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: finehoe on May 18, 2010, 11:37:49 AM
Lol, and they cleared all that land and ruined a sizeable section of a Scenic Route, only to fail. Serves them right on this development.

Too bad we all suffer for their despoilation of the environment.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: cline on May 18, 2010, 11:41:29 AM
Quote
Too bad we all suffer for their despoilation of the environment.

We already are.  They have been fined numerous times for improper control of runoff from the site.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: buckethead on May 18, 2010, 11:45:55 AM
What you are describing is collective inaction on the part of parents and a dependency on government to provide good schools for kids, put short, they are taking the easy way out.   
Are you (and your family) a home schooling family?

Yes, we are.  Was I that easy to read?
To me, perhaps. My family is home schooled as well. I feel exactly the same. I can be involved, but cannot control, or even influence other parents. Apathy abounds in our public schools.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: JC on May 18, 2010, 11:54:02 AM
What you are describing is collective inaction on the part of parents and a dependency on government to provide good schools for kids, put short, they are taking the easy way out.   
Are you (and your family) a home schooling family?

Yes, we are.  Was I that easy to read?
To me, perhaps. My family is home schooled as well. I feel exactly the same. I can be involved, but cannot control, or even influence other parents. Apathy abounds in our public schools.

Good for you and yours!

I guess it takes one to know one.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: heights unknown on May 18, 2010, 12:08:12 PM
Oh well, what a shame.  The cause and effect of the great recession and economic downturn. Maybe when the economic cranks back to close to full this development, along with others in the urban core and suburbs, will be revived.

"HU"
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: hightowerlover on May 18, 2010, 01:14:51 PM
who cares about some suburban crap subdivision that's barely considered jacksonville.  stick to the metro.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: fieldafm on May 18, 2010, 01:39:58 PM
I would imagine Watercolor would look about the same if it had started at the same time. 

What I meant was the layout/design elements of the development.  Rivertown is essentially a typical PUD.  Watercolor is it's own city.  The architecture was much better*.  The community was layed out and designed much better.  And it promoted biking and walking.  You hardly even saw garages in Watercolor.  True, Watercolor is primarily a second home community so that helps... but the overall theme of the city was much less car dependant.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: JC on May 18, 2010, 02:04:06 PM
who cares about some suburban crap subdivision that's barely considered jacksonville.  stick to the metro.

true
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: St. Auggie on May 18, 2010, 03:51:15 PM
I would imagine Watercolor would look about the same if it had started at the same time. 

What I meant was the layout/design elements of the development.  Rivertown is essentially a typical PUD.  Watercolor is it's own city.  The architecture was much better*.  The community was layed out and designed much better.  And it promoted biking and walking.  You hardly even saw garages in Watercolor.  True, Watercolor is primarily a second home community so that helps... but the overall theme of the city was much less car dependant.

I would have to guess that they just borrowed all the design elements from Seaside, which was there long before Watercolor.  Especially since Seaside was designed when "new urbanism" was a new thing.  I do love it over there, those are my favorite sunsets, nothing like rich folks clapping for the sun!!
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: copperfiend on May 18, 2010, 04:08:31 PM
who cares about some suburban crap subdivision that's barely considered jacksonville.  stick to the metro.

Developments like that are part of the conversation. Who cares? Obviously the person who wrote it did.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: tufsu1 on May 18, 2010, 04:09:41 PM
who cares about some suburban crap subdivision that's barely considered jacksonville.  stick to the metro.

what...St. Johns County isn't part of the Jacksonville metro area?
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: tufsu1 on May 18, 2010, 04:12:07 PM
I would have to guess that they just borrowed all the design elements from Seaside, which was there long before Watercolor.  Especially since Seaside was designed when "new urbanism" was a new thing.  I do love it over there, those are my favorite sunsets, nothing like rich folks clapping for the sun!!

having worked on the planning for WaterColor ten years ago (I really hate getting old), I can say that we did look at Seaside...and then tried to improve on it.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: fieldafm on May 18, 2010, 04:29:43 PM
having worked on the planning for Watercolor ten years ago (I really hate getting old), I can say that we did look at Seaside...and then tried to improve on it.

TuFSU... nice work on the plans.  I had never visited either community and was interested in their approach to community building.  Watercolor has nice homes... more traditional-styled NW Florida beach homes(wraparound porches, metal roofs, locally sourced wood), great biking, easy access to the state park, Florida-friendly yards, very walkable/bikeable routes around the city, as well as a connection to the natural surrounding of the community.

I can post pics of Watercolor if anyone is curious.  I didn't necessarily want to change the subject, so no disrespect to the author of the article... I just happened to have visited both communities in the last few weeks and was taken by their stark differences.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: St. Auggie on May 18, 2010, 04:30:30 PM


having worked on the planning for Watercolor ten years ago (I really hate getting old), I can say that we did look at Seaside...and then tried to improve on it.
[/quote]

That is really neat, nice havin that inside info.  I really think Watercolor added to the area, I know the Seaside residents would punch me for saying so, but Seaside was ruined once they built homes south of 30a.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: tufsu1 on May 18, 2010, 04:59:41 PM
yes...WaterColor is very well done...but that is easy to do when the average home costs over $500,000...it was much harder to do at SouthWood in Tallahassee, where the price point was only 10% higher than the general metro area.

RiverTown would likely have a similar problem, although I think St. Joe planned on a 20+ percent premium over other St. Johns communities.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Overstreet on May 18, 2010, 05:52:16 PM
The same company designed Seaside, Water Color, WindMark and RiverTown.  The difference was the development divisions. They were different people and had differnent goals and objectives.  I think River Town is a poor design. Big box houses on small lots with no regard for nature or the  lay of the land.  The river is your friend is blantant marketing BS when it comes to River Town. River Town is blatant development like the rest of them on Hwy 210.  It sucks.

The panhandle developments like WindMark on the other hand went so far as establishing "dark sky" so you could see stars at night. They left the flow of the land and built houses up above the natural vegetation and ground. They encouraged electric vehicle and pedestiran travel by making the front of the houses on the boardwalks and the vehicle areas in the "alley" areas. Some of the Camps have one to five acre lots. Each of the panhandle neighborhoods have a different feel. But they all feel better than River Town.

I don't know if y'all remember, but Julington Creek Plantation's developer was in bankrupcy and stalled for 10 years before it really took off. For a long time it was really just two streets with a 9 hole golf course.

They did do OK on the ball fields though. The article didn't show them.  They are north up the SR 13 a little. It is a good facility for a place out there in this early stage of development.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: St. Auggie on May 18, 2010, 07:30:18 PM
Very good post, but I do not believe that Seaside was developed by St. Joe. 
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: tufsu1 on May 18, 2010, 08:05:03 PM
Very good post, but I do not believe that Seaside was developed by St. Joe. 

correct...Seaside was developed by Robert Davis....designed by Andres Duany and his wife

St. Joe did WaterColor, Camp Creek, SouthWood, PierPark, RiverTown, WindMark, and Victoria Park
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 18, 2010, 10:09:24 PM
I'd say it fails because it doesn't match the feel of the land. St. Johns, in this area is endless moss draped trees, fields, shade, classic old homes, slight hills, small creeks, lots of farms and mile after mile of black pasture. People move here for any of these things, to enjoy a different pace in life, "Green Acres Syndrome" perhaps.

It has been mentioned that it will never work until the schools are passable... SAY WHAT? Uh? ST. JOHNS CALLING... HELLO JACKSONVILLE! The schools are already top notch which is exactly why, if this were the driver, it would be built out today. Obviously it hasn't had much effect at least in Rivertown.

I think Rivertown suffers from several huge mistakes that most Southron's wouldn't make:
1. They wiped out all of the trees, making the site look like an abandoned cotton field.
2. They built in the wide open county so the houses are on lots that would look small in Springfield...WTF?
3. While they did build a park, they didn't really attach it to the current site, nor is retail, industrial, or anything else, just a street of sardine homes in the middle of nowhere.
4. If they were serious about selling this they could have made hay of the Switzerland Airport with something unique as a fly-in community.
5. The "town" has no heart, only artificial space as yet unoccupied. It's a non-town!
6. It's also non-country!

I live several miles south in WGV, and the differences are remarkable in Julington Creek, WGV, Rivertown, Palencia and Nocatee. Over on 210 there is a tract with homesites of several acres each, nested in the woods, as rural-suburban development goes, to my mind, it is the best (and I can't remember it's name!)


OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Overstreet on May 19, 2010, 12:40:19 PM
They did a poor job at erosion control on the River Town site as well. They silted the river about three times.
The Rivertown Site will fill out if it ever gets built. There were schools, business districts, etc planned.

I think much of the growth in St Johns can be directly attributed to the schools. I moved there for the schools. They were never under supervison by the courts for desegregation. They didn't have the same bussing as Duval. Kids rode the bus cause it was a long way not for ballance. The academics seemed better and they didn't put up with a lot of bad behavior that Duval did.

Of course my kids are having kids of their own. I don't personnally know how the schools are there but I see people from work moving there cause thier wives that are/were Duval teachers don't want their own kids going to Duval schools.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Dappleganger on June 04, 2010, 11:02:08 AM
The best thing about RiverTown (the only thing, IMO) is the new road adjoining SR16 all the way to Greenbriar Rd. so that it now only takes half an hour to get to community college! Other than that this development is a BUST. Lots and home designs are more appropriate for an urban setting and do not fit in with the surroundings in any way, plus the way the developers destroyed the existing canopy should be a CRIME!!! The canopy along SR13 is unique, historic and a favorite of wildlife as well as nature lovers and needs to be better preserved than what was allowed. So many of my neighbors agree in this area that this developer built with NO REGARD for the preservation of the unique offerings of this part of St. Johns county.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Overstreet on June 04, 2010, 11:24:51 AM
The best thing about RiverTown (the only thing, IMO) is the new road adjoining SR16 all the way to Greenbriar Rd. ................plus the way the developers destroyed the existing canopy should be a CRIME!!! The canopy along SR13 is unique, historic and a favorite of wildlife as well as nature lovers and needs to be better preserved than what was allowed. So many of my neighbors agree in this area that this developer built with NO REGARD for the preservation of the unique offerings of this part of St. Johns county.

The road was there a long time before they announced Rivertown.

The land they built on was really tree farm land. Once away from the road the trees were numerous but not spectacular.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: north miami on June 04, 2010, 12:19:37 PM
Excellent modern day slave quarters and pretence.

"Only" tree farm forest

World Population 1960    3 Billion,38 Million      111,000 more each day
                        2009    6 Billion ,795 Thousand  227,000 more each day



Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: reednavy on June 04, 2010, 12:30:32 PM
Excellent modern day slave quarters and pretence.

"Only" tree farm forest

World Population 1960    3 Billion,38 Million      111,000 more each day
                        2009    6 Billion ,795 Thousand  227,000 more each day




wtf are you talking about?
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: tufsu1 on June 04, 2010, 12:31:41 PM
exactly!
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: Jason on June 04, 2010, 03:07:08 PM
Probably the fact that forest is forest, regardless of its usage and we only have so much left.
Title: Re: RiverTown Development Slowed by Recession
Post by: blizz01 on February 11, 2011, 07:17:32 PM
RiverTown plan in place, development to begin soon

Quote
Environmental design firm Ervin Lovett Miller announced Thursday that it has finished the master plan for the first phase of RiverTown in north St. Johns County.

Development at the St. Joe Co. community had stalled through the economic downturn, but developers have worked on the project's bid to adapt to the economic changes. The project, south of the town of Switzerland along the eastern bank of the St. Johns River, is to see construction of its amenities begin in the second quarter of this year, according to an ELM release. Changes to the development's Riverfront Park are expected to begin in the first quarter.

Rivertown has been designed to reflect the character of "great Southern neighborhoods of years past," according to the release. It features pedestrian friendly tree-lined streets, connected neighborhoods and parks, plazas, river views and recreational amenities.

The planned amenities at RiverTown include an open space trail network throughout the community, all of which lead to the St. Johns River and the community's Riverfront Park that will be located along the community's river frontage and accessible to RiverTown residents. The park is planned to feature approximately 58 acres of nature, canopy trees and passive recreational activities, a community dock, fishing pier and waterfront overlook areas. The park is also planned to feature a central event lawn with views up to RiverTown's main entrance and The RiverHouse amenity. Park visitors will enjoy walking and jogging trails along the riverfront location. The park is master planned to have limited day boat slips, kayaking, canoe launches and a restroom pavilion.

An amenity center at RiverTown has been designed to feature a competition pool and a fun pool for families, one championship tennis court with additional tennis courts and play fields. The community's social club - The RiverHouse - is planned to include more than 1,400 square feet of river view terraces, a 3,450 square-foot clubroom, meeting room, outdoor palm court with bar area, kitchen and restrooms. The RiverHouse will be located adjacent to the RiverTown fitness center, which is planned to include individual and group fitness areas, pool access, a social director's office and an approximately 470-square-foot poolside veranda.

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/404387/kevin-turner/2011-02-11/rivertown-plan-place-development-begin-soon