Suburban Density: Bartram Park

It's the opposite of Riverside/Avondale and an urbanite's kryptonite. However, this development is designed to pack in 9,700 residential units and 2 million square feet of commercial/office space: Bartram Park

Published May 14, 2013 in Neighborhoods -

About Bartram Park

Bartram Park is located on a peninsula formed by Julington and Durbin Creeks, just west of Interstate 95.  During the early 1990s, the property was considered as the site for what would become World Golf Village.  However, that project ended up in St. Johns County, partially due to the potential of an extensive permitting process.

The community is named after 18th century naturalist William Bartram. Born to Britain's Royal Botanist, John Bartram, William (1739-1823) was the United State's first native-born naturalist. In 1765, William accompanied his father on explorations of the St. Johns River. In 1766, he attempted to operate a 500-acre indigo plantation with six slaves near the present day location of the Shands Bridge.  That same year, Bartram abandoned the plantation. In 1773, Bartram embarked on a four year journey across several states, including a trip back down the St. Johns River. When Bartram published his adventures in 1791, the book quickly became an American classic.

Image of William Bartram courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society at

Plans for Bartram Park date back to 1999, when the Eastland Company, developers of Queen's Harbour,  announced their intentions for a massive 4,700-acre massive mixed-use community to take advantage of the city's rapid southward growth pattern. Eastland envisioned a $500 million, self-sustaining community that would be home to 12,000 residents and 1.2 million square feet of commercial space at buildout. Development would be clustered on half of the property, allowing the rest of the land to remain in a pristine undeveloped state.

Anticipating the future construction of State Road 9B, right-of-way for that highway was set aside.  Access from the development to Interstate 95 would be provided by a privately funded $22 million interchange at St. Augustine Road. Physical development of Bartram Park was coordinated with the summer 2004 opening of the Flagler Development funded interchange, whose overpass is known for its Jacksonville sign.  Bartram Park Boulevard was completed shortly after the interchange's opening.  Extended to Race Track Road in 2007, the road serves as Bartram Park's transportation spine and provides additional connectivity between Duval and Northern St. Johns County.

Bartram Park master site plan. Courtesy of (click to enlarge)

Dubbed the "Southern Gateway" to Jacksonville, today Bartram Park is one of North Florida's fastest growing areas. 38,548 people live within a three mile radius of its main entrance. The daytime population Within a five mile radius is estimated to be 47,000. Despite being nearly 5,000 acres in size, Bartram Park is unique for suburban Jacksonville. Nearly half of the property (2,006 acres) was set aside for the Julington-Durbin Preserve, offering residents direct access to hiking, sightseeing, horseback riding and biking.  The remaining 2,600 acres is designed to feature 9,700 residential units, 1.3 million square feet of commercial space, 1.7 million square feet of office space and 300 hotel units.  It's marketed as a development where residents have the ability to work and shop with minimal commuting.  At such a density, one would typically expect a walkable urban environment as a result.  However, Bartram Park is built to accommodate density with the automobile as a mobility priority.

Here is a look at Bartram Park.

Bartram Park Photo Tour: Residential

Taking advantage of a section of the city that was an underserved market for multifamily, the majority of housing units in Bartram Park are townhouses, apartments and condominiums. Each individual community happens to be gated.  Thus, while containing decent urban density, taking advantage of alternative forms of mobility for anything other than recreation, remains a challenge.

Bartram Park Photo Tour: Commercial/Retail/Office

At buildout, Bartram Park will feature two million square feet of commercial space.  For comparison's sake, the Jacksonville Landing is 125,000 square feet and the St. Johns Town Center offers around 1.1 million square feet of retail space.  Instead of serving as a walkable center for the community, land set aside for retail is located along its edges.

Bartram Village

Bartram Village is a commercial park slated for 125,000 square feet of commercial space and 300 hotel rooms centered around a lake.  Current businesses located in the village include Hampton Inn, Gate Petroleum and Zaxby's.

Bartram Office Park

The Bartram Office Park is designed to accommodate 126,540 square feet of office space.

Office park site plan courtesy of

The Shoppes at Bartram Park

Bartram Park's largest retail center is The Shoppes at Bartram Park. Coordinated with the opening of the Interstate 95/Old St. Augustine Road interchange, the retail center opened in 2004. Today, Publix and Kohl's anchor the 120,013 square foot center.

Brooks Rehabilitation Bartram Park

The Brooks Rehabilitation campus is one of the largest commercial developments currently under construction in Bartram Park.  In 2005, the hospital purchased 110 acres for the $35 million project. The first phase includes a 100-bed skilled nursing facility (Bartram Crossings), a 61-bed assisted living facility (Bartram Lakes) and two 12-bed memory care centers (THE GREEN HOUSE Residences).

Bartram Park Photo Tour: Infrastructure

Completed in 2007, Bartram Park Boulevard serves as the development's main roadway.  The wide heavily landscaped context sensitive parkway features wide sidewalks and bicycle lanes. However, multimodal accessibility to the corridor is limited by the "one-way in/one-way out" design of adjacent gated communities.

The current construction of State Road 9B will facilitate additional growth at Bartram Park. The eventual completion of the project will open the remaining rural sections of Race Track Road to new development via direct connectivity to Interstate 95. This future commercial corridor will be anchored by Bass Pro Shops, which plans to build a 104,000 store near the intersection of Bartram Park Boulevard and Race Track Road. The store will be situated within a 40 acre area that includes a 14- acre lake that will be managed for trophy bass and youth and community events.

Bartram Park is located along Interstate 95 between Old St. Augustine Road and Racetrack Road.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at

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Metro Jacksonville