TriBridge Offers Scaled Down Project for Kmart Property

Hopes to build 230 apartments in mixed-use project.

After running into strong opposition from the public and city officials on a proposed 313-apartment complex on the site of the abandoned Kmart store on Atlantic Boulevard, developer TriBridge has come back with a proposal for 230 apartments in a Planned Unit Development, or PUD, along with 78,000 square feet of retail commercial space, which includes the 58,000 square feet of the existing shopping center.

TriBridge says that the apartment complex will generate about half the number of vehicle trips per day compared to the Kmart when it was open. Parking would be provided in garages, driveways or surface parking lots, according to the application. They say there will be ample parking for the two cars per apartment anticipated with the development.

The company is also offering to invest $2.3 million in infrastructure improvements, including replacing the sewer main along Forest Avenue and a portion of Florida Boulevard; the installation of a traffic light at Sylvan Drive on Atlantic; construction of a pedestrian crossing over Third street; funding for the trail from to Jarboe Park, and; the addition of a stormwater pond and reclaimed water lines for irrigation.

But the developer needs a special exception for the project, which would have to be approved by the City Council. The plan was only presented to the city on Monday, so it is not known if the new proposal will overcome the objections of some members of the council and many residents in Neptune by the Sea. The company is requesting a special exception for the project, and says the improvements offered the community should be justification for granting it.

Mayor Elaine Brown told The Island Times that she appreciates that the number of apartments has been reduced, and is encouraged by some of the other things in the proposal such as the infrastructure improvements. But she cautioned that there are still many questions that need to be answered, and the proposal must be vetted by the Community Development Board before coming before the council.

http://ci.neptune-beach.fl.us

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