1,000 Acres Near St. Johns Town Center Proposed For Development

From St. Johns Town Center, look to the southeast across Butler Boulevard and Interstate 295.

That’s where the Skinner family intends to sell another 1,000 acres of timberland for development for shopping, working and living, according to our Daily Record news partner.

The Skinner family also sold the land that became the St. Johns Town Center regional shopping destination.

“We are optimistic that a plan like this will create something in Jacksonville that it hasn’t really experienced yet, something that is little more urban in a suburban area,” said A. Chester “Chip” Skinner III, who represents the family members who own the property.

It’s also the last large undeveloped Duval County property site that remains of the Skinner family’s original 50,000 acres from the early 1900s. The rest has been sold and developed.

“This is our last large holding in the area. We are trying to cast a vision and hopefully get some parties that buy into that vision that we can bring into the property to develop it,” Skinner said.

They envision mixed-use retail, office and multifamily.

A conceptual site plan by the England-Thims & Miller civil engineering firm shows an employment center, retail and mixed-use, a mixed-use village and residential.

It also shows a central “Skinner Park.”

Through Sawmill Timber LLC, the Skinners submitted the “Southeast Quadrant Mass Grading Plan” to the St. Johns River Water Management District on Tuesday for 1,065.3 acres at southeast Butler Boulevard and Interstate 295.

The address is 5101 Kernan Blvd.

A phasing plan filed with that application shows:

• A 245-acre Town Center Planning Area at the north central part of the site.  That will include office space.

• A 128-acre North Merchant Planning Area. Drawings show three potential major anchors and other retail buildings.

• A 60-acre South Merchant Planning Area.

• A 276-acre Single Family North property.

• A 133-acre Single Family South property.

• A 25-acre Ryals Village at the northeast corner of the site.

• An almost 141-acre conservation easement with Gum Swamp, along with a 33-acre compensatory flood storage area and other stormwater facilities, buffer and mitigation facilities.

• An 11-acre south access.

Plan extends Kernan

Plans show that Kernan Boulevard, which dead-ends at the property, will be extended to connect to Gate Parkway to the south.

That’s actually the impetus for the development.

Skinner said the family’s Transportation Management Area agreement with the city requires it to connect Kernan Boulevard and Gate Parkway by 2023, which is in five years.

“We felt like it was appropriate to start working on the permits because it is a lengthy process,” Skinner said. Applications to the Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers require a site plan.

The road system opens the property for development.

“We created what we think may be a potential site plan for the property,” Skinner said, but emphasized that the family has no development partners or schedules.

“We are really just in the permitting process,” he said.

You can read a longer version of this story on the Daily Record's website that a satellite image of the property area along with a look at the plans filed 13 years ago and progress on the road construction piece of the plan.