Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Construction Workers Fill Beach Lots; They're Working on Condominiums

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Construction Workers Fill Beach Lots; They're Working on Condominiums

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- As more high-rise condominiums sprout up along the oceanfront, public beach access parking spots are disappearing, at least temporarily.

Several street-end beach-access parking lots have been jammed with construction workers' vehicles at condominium projects in recent weeks, leaving fewer spaces for beachgoers.

The Costa Verano condominium construction on First Street has nearly consumed the public-access parking lot at Second Avenue South, and the larger Ocean Nine Villas on First Street has blocked several lots farther south, including those at Ninth, 12th and 13th avenues south. The 10th Avenue South beach access lot has been eliminated during construction, but developers plan to replace it when the projects are done.

The lots have from a dozen to about 30 public parking spaces at beach access points.

Dave Auchter, vice president of the Auchter Co., which is managing construction at the beachfront condominium sites, said his company would like subcontractors to avoid using any public parking spaces, but it can't be helped.

"Parking is always a challenge when you're dealing with in-fill redevelopment," Auchter said, adding city government doesn't require contractors to avoid the public beach parking spaces. "We're always trying to be considerate of the community. But sometimes that's a very difficult challenge."

Most of the contractors' use of public beach parking is happening during the winter, the least busy time at the Beaches, Auchter said. And some of the condominiums are nearing completion, which brings more workers.

"During the structural phase of the project, you really only have one primary subcontractor," Auchter said. "As the structure is nearing completion, you do generally have a larger labor force doing mechanical work and finishes."

The Costa Verano project should be completed by the summer, and the Ocean Nine Villas should be finished in September, he said. …

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