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Gate announces major development along I-95 at SR 9B

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gate Petroleum Company and Gatlin Development Company announced Wednesday plans for Durbin Park, a 1,600 acre, mixed-used development near the new intersection being built at Interstate 95 at State Road 9B in northern St. Johns County.

Durbin Park will be built on Gate-owned property that constitutes the largest contiguous area in St Johns County planned for commercial development. Durbin Park will include an estimated 2.4 million square feet of retail, 2.8 million square feet of office space, 999 multifamily units and 350 hotel rooms. It will be contained within a landscape of abundant green space, walking trails, lakes and family entertainment offerings.

Phase 1, west of I-95, will include mostly retail stores, including a home-improvement store, a department store and at least one other big-box retailer, and is projected to open in the spring of 2018. Phase 2, just east of I-95, will include homes, hotels, retail stores -- including the highly-anticipated Bass Pro Shop -- and offices. That will likely open in 2019.

WATCH: Drone video of Gate development site

Developers said they hope to break ground on Phase 1 by the end of the year and may be able to announce some of the names of the retailers and hotels that will be opening in Bartram Park within the next few weeks.

People living near the proposed development think it will be a huge benefit to the area. 

"Right now you have to go pretty far into any type of shopping," Tammy Kirkland said. "They just put it right here, but before that, you have to go all the way out to Southside or San Jose."

Gate spokeswoman Misty Skipper said that the project is mostly funded with private funds, but will benefit the community by not only brining new businesses, but hundreds of jobs and tax dollars to the area.

"With bringing in the significant retailers, you’re going to have not only property tax revenue for the county, you have sales tax revenue from this retailers that will be there," Skipper said.

When asked about the impact of the additional housing on schools in the area, a St. Johns County School District administrator said that the 999 multi-family housing units should generate about 280 additional students, nearly half of them in elementary schools.

"The developer would be required to file an application for school concurrency at the time of permitting for these multi-family units," executive director for planning and government relations Nicole Cubbedge said. "If there are capacity deficiencies at that time, the developer would be required to pay school concurrency proportionate share mitigation for the deficient units."

Gate has developed and manages several real estate properties in north Florida including the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Deerwood Park, Southpoint Office Park, Kendall Town Center and Deerwood Center.

"Unique to Northeast Florida, Durbin Park will be a distinct destination where individuals and families can live, work, shop and be entertained all within a park-like setting," said John Peyton, president of Gate Petroleum. "The Durbin Park development will bring long overdue amenities to one of the fastest growing counties in the country."

With decades of experience, Gatlin Development will lead all aspects of the retail development.