Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Developer of New Eckerd Store Asks Green Cove to Close Street

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Developer of New Eckerd Store Asks Green Cove to Close Street

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, County Line staff writer

A Ponte Vedra Beach developer who wants to build a new Eckerd pharmacy in Green Cove Springs has asked City Hall to permanently close one block of a city street to make way for the $2 million project.

Whether the new store would also mean the permanent closure of an existing Eckerd store in the city is uncertain, officials said.

The proposed Eckerd site is near the downtown area, on the east side of U.S. 17 between Houston and Clay streets, just northeast of the Clay County Administration Building, said Paul S. Ferber, president of The Ferber Co.

The City Council received a report on the project on Tuesday, but took no action. City Attorney Jim Arnold said he is reviewing the developer's closure request.

Ferber asked the council to close Clay Street between U.S. 17 and Magnolia Avenue, offering in return to resurface and rebuild portions of Houston Street and pay for the relocation of Clay Street's stormwater drainage system.

"The proposed development requires the closure," he said in a letter to Mayor Matthew Tinney Jr. "The project I propose replaces two vacant, unsightly buildings with a modern, well-designed and constructed building."

The property is owned by Ronnie and Jane Robinson, who own the adjacent Ronnie Robinson automotive dealership. One of the two small buildings on the site was formerly a bar. The Robinsons also own the land on both sides of the block of Clay Street to be closed, but the area to the east between their property and the St. Johns River is residential.

The city's Planning and Zoning Board will review the project at 5 p.m. Thursday; the council takes it up at 7 p.m. March 19. Both meetings will be at City Hall, 229 Walnut St.

The free-standing Eckerd proposed by Ferber would include a drive-through pharmacy, unlike the existing Eckerd store in Green Cove Springs, which is in a shopping center at the north end of town. …

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