Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Planned Business, Retail Center to Be Focus of Public Meetings

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Planned Business, Retail Center to Be Focus of Public Meetings

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Staff writer

A proposed business and retail center on the Southside will be the topic at a number of area meetings over the next few weeks, starting with the Southeast Citizens Planning Advisory Committee's next monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, May 24, at Twin Lakes Academy Middle School, 8050 Point Meadows Drive off Baymeadows Road and Florida 9A.

The proposed 853-acre Freedom Commerce Center would be built between Baymeadows Road, Interstate 95 and Philips Highway. Plans indicate a combination of retail, residential, office and hotel space costing about $200 million. The project's environmental resource permit application is undergoing St. Johns River Water Management District review. The 4-year-old application has been delayed by the developer for the past few months for work on modifying the plan to meet district mandates on environmental and wetlands impact. The district board may vote on the application later this summer.

Speakers at the May 24 meeting are scheduled to include the developer, Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Jacksonville, and the St. Johns Riverkeeper.

The St. Johns Riverkeeper will join the Sierra Club to host two more public information meetings to discuss environmental concerns regarding the proposed Freedom Commerce Center development, this time in the Fruit Cove area.

The first meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Westminster Woods, 25 Florida 13. The second meeting is at 10 a.m. Monday, May 24, at the Bartram Trail branch library, 60 Davis Pond Blvd.

Car safety, protection

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office presents its sixth annual Child Safety Day and Auto Theft Prevention Rally from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at The Avenues mall parking garage at 10300 Southside Blvd. Along with a First Coast Car Council car and truck show, those attending can have their children fingerprinted and photographed for a free ID card. …

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