A groundbreaking and name reveal ceremony was held July 12 by Chance Partners for its property at the former Commander Apartments and St. Johns Village on St. Johns Avenue.
The apartment development’s new name, RiverVUE, was revealed by Kim Hyatt, regional manager for Pegasus Residential, which will handle all leasing and property management. Hyatt said pre-leasing will begin in February 2018. “The leasing office will be in the tower which is scheduled to be completed in April/May timeframe,” Hyatt said. “Once the tower is completed and the leasing office is officially open, the Pegasus team will be working out of there.”
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by representatives from the City of Jacksonville, Davis Architects, Kimley-Horn Engineers, Pittman Landscape Architecture, Rogers Towers, P.A., LandSouth Construction, Ameris Bank, Riverside Avondale Preservation, and residents from the Fishweir, Woodmere, and duPont neighborhoods.
During comments, District 14 Councilman Jim Love announced plans by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to dredge Fishweir Creek. “It will be deep enough to bring in a small boat, a canoe, a kayak. That’s in the works,” said Love.
The Resident reached out to the Army Corps for details.
“We are currently working on executing the project partnership agreement (PPA) between the County and the Corps,” said Amanda D. Parker, Public Affairs Specialist, USACE Jacksonville, in an email. “This agreement, scheduled for execution in October 2018, will allow us to proceed with design and permitting of the proposed project in FY18. During this review period, we will review the preliminary design proposed in the feasibility study and share any modifications with the public in a follow-up meeting (date TBD). Construction of the project could occur as early as FY19 subject to federal and local sponsor appropriations.”
Chance Partners purchased the 5.86-acre property in March 2017 and began construction in May.
In June Chance Partners won the award for Outstanding Public Participation from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association for working with the community and surrounding neighborhoods on the project.
“The community was significant in this partnership,” said Judd Bobilin, Chance Partners CEO and president, speaking about the award in his opening remarks. “One of the three tenets of our company is to partner with the community and be transparent, and we think that’s very important. We had over 17 meetings with Councilman Love, with City staff and with the neighborhood groups, and we think we’ve come out with a great project.”
The $42 million infill project approved by City Council in October 2016 was the third attempt to redevelop the site since 2006 when Chase Properties first showed an interest in the property, which was owned by a New Jersey-based family.
In each proposed iteration of redevelopment, neighbors on nearby streets expressed a great deal of concern about scale, density, and increased traffic.
“When you’re doing infill development, it’s important to take the neighborhood into consideration,” said Keith Holt, Riverside Avondale Preservation board chair. “These guys have been very inclusive of the neighborhood. Some things were big things and others were small things you don’t notice, which makes it even more important. The street gets swept three times a day, so there isn’t tons of dirt flying over the neighborhood. They have meetings with us once a quarter to give us a heads up on what’s coming and we send an email blast to the neighborhood to let them know.”
RiverVUE is expected to be open for residents by late spring 2018, and will have 228 luxury apartments, with 88-units in the 16-story high-rise, four two-level townhomes, four carriage homes and 132 units in the two four-story buildings along Fishweir Creek.
“Working with the neighborhood we were excited about the overall design of the project and hope this will complement the overall neighborhood,” said Jeff Rosen of Chance Partners. “It’s unique within the whole marketplace to actually be on the waterfront with over an acre that will be an outdoor oasis.”
RiverVUE will have over an acre of dedicated green space and amenities for its residents, the most of any apartment complex in Jacksonville, including a resort style pool, dog park, event space, state-of-the-art fitness facility, modern spacious clubroom and meeting rooms for its residents.
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