Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Retail Development on Southside

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Retail Development on Southside

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Brune Mathis, Times-Union senior business writer

Rooftops draw retail, and developer Jeff Conn is counting on them. Lots of them.

With that in mind, construction could start by June on the $9 million Deerwood Lake Commons for completion next spring. Plans show it will be anchored by Publix Super Markets Inc. and feature another almost 24,000 square feet of retail space.

Conn said he hasn't seen anything like it.

"I have never in my career seen more interest in leasing . . . than I have in this center," said Conn, a principal with Jacksonville-based Hallmark Partners, which is developing the center in a venture with Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp.

Conn said the center's location, at southwest Southside Boulevard and Touchton Road, is the reason. The almost 8-acre site sits across Southside Boulevard from Deerwood Park North, also called Tinseltown in reference to the prominent movie theater that anchors the retail core of the business and residential center.

The Commons also will be one of the initial developments within Deerwood Lake, a sprouting 284-acre development designed to include housing, apartments, offices and retail space. To pinpoint the location, the Commons will sit behind Copeland's restaurant.

Conn said the Commons is beckoning to retailers because of the customers who already live in the area, especially in the developments west and north of the site, as well as the hundreds of proposed houses and apartments yet to come.

"There's been a void for a good quality grocery-anchored center, particularly with all the housing that exists to the west. . . . There's just a host of existing residential, west and north," he said.

The city has issued its conditional concurrency approval for Deerwood Lake Commons, which comprises the 44,260-square-foot Publix as well as the 23,250 square feet of retail shops next to it. …

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