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214 Build-To-Rent Townhomes Planned On Jacksonville’s Southside

The red outline in this satellite photo of the Corporate Square area is where Sawyer's Preserve will be built.
Satellite image provided by Lafayette/Gotham Communications
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The red outline in this satellite photo of the Corporate Square area is where Sawyer's Preserve will be built.

The growing build-to-rent home trend is coming to the Corporate Square area of Jacksonville's Southside.Real estate investment management company Lafayette says it has acquired 19-acres with plans to build a major townhouse development.

Called Sawyer’s Preserve, the rental townhomes will be built on vacant land near Corporate Square Court and Corporate Square Boulevard, near Holiday Hills.

Amenities will include a swimming pool and cabana. The townhomes will be a mix of 146 three-bedroom and 68 four-bedroom units.

Lafayette did not announce the terms of the land acquisition, the anticipated cost of the development or rental rates, but it expects the first townhomes to be available for rent in the first quarter of 2022.

The property will be managed by Lafayette’s internal property management company, Brandywine Homes USA.   

Build-to-rent communities that favor townhomes and standalone homes over apartments have started popping up around the First Coast. Among the ventures is Windsong Acres in St. Augustine and Freehold Communities, which is offering single-family rental homes in the Shearwater master-planned community in St. Johns County.

Lafayette cited an influx of young professionals drawn to a relatively low cost of living and an employment landscape that has shown resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic as among the reasons for launching the Sawyer’s Preserve project.

The growing interest in build-to-rent homes comes as the cost of buying a home is rapidly rising.

Last week, Redfin said the total value of homes in the U.S. had surged 13.4%, marking a $4 trillion increase during the pandemic, with Jacksonville leading the way.

The value of owned-homes in the Jacksonville metropolitan area rose by 21.1% between February 2020 and February 2021, according to Redfin.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.