Article by Ennis Davis - - It appears one of downtown's surface parking lots will soon disappear, only to be replaced with slurpees. On Feb. 2, the Downtown Development Review Board granted final design and signage approval for a 7-Eleven convenience store and gas station at 9Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a recreational gold mine and communal landmark in Jacksonville, functioning as one of the city's most recognized and visited public parks. Metro Jacksonville explores the park with its more than 447 acres of open use.
Original Bahri Gas Station Design
The development of a gas station at this site dates back to early 2010, when the Bahri Gas and Convenience store was proposed, and recommended for denial, due to an autocentric site layout.
On Aug. 26, 2010, the DDRB approved the design of the Bahri Gas and Convenience Store at the high-profile intersection of Main and Union Streets. The proposed project included a cafe/restaurant with outdoor dining and serving areas along Union and Main Streets.
Original 7-Eleven Conceptual Design
By the fall of 2011, the project site was under contract for a new 7-Eleven store with modifications to the plan shown above. The changes involved the elimination of outdoor seating along Union Street, and the canopy connecting the building to the gas pump canopy, as well as a reduction in the convenience store's overall square footage.
Recently Approved 7-Eleven Design
Although conceptual approval of the plan above was granted at the December 2011 DDRB meeting, a list of suggestions were given for 7-Eleven's consideration:
- Brick color on door facing Union Street
- Add metal canopies
- Eliminate arches on west side of building
- Add a bike rack and bench along Main Street
- Keep landscaping treatment the same as the previously approved Bahri design
- A need to see detailed signage renderings
At the February 2nd DDRB meeting, 7-Eleven representatives returned and presented the modified plan, shown below, for final approval.
A ground lease has already been executed between 7-Eleven and the previous owner. 7-Eleven's Due Diligence period and site permitting is expected to be in place by March 6, 2012. Construction is expected to commence immediately after permitting.