NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – The City Council in Neptune Beach voted Monday night against a proposed development at the site of a closed Kmart store.
The vote comes after the Community Development Board voted unanimously to deny the proposal in July.
The majority of Neptune Beach residents who attended the meeting Monday night made it clear they did not want to turn the site of the former Kmart into apartment buildings and retail space.
The development, named "500 Atlantic," included 175 multi-family residences, a boutique hotel with up to 74 rooms, and 107,000 square feet of commercial, retail and restaurant space.
Those in favor said it would benefit community growth. Residents opposed said it would take away from the city's small-town feel.
Neptune Beach Mayor Elaine Brown said although the project was denied, the vacant building will be replaced.
"Something is going to be built on that area," Brown said. "We don’t know what it will be. But we know in the future, hopefully, we can get more conversation going between the applicant and the developer and our community."
TriBridge Residential, which would have been the developer of the project, released a statement reading:
At the Neptune Beach City Council meeting, the council voted to accept the recommendation of the Community Development Board to not approve the special exception requested by TriBridge Residential in order to proceed with the 500 Atlantic development at 500 Atlantic Boulevard, Neptune Beach, Fla. 32216.
TriBridge Residential and TLM Realty are disappointed with the vote but remain committed to revitalizing the blighted site of the former Kmart and transforming it into a vibrant mixed-use community that will benefit the entire Beaches region. We will be proceeding with options for development that do not require approval from the Community Development Board or the City Council.
We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to provide constructive feedback, and we will continue to incorporate as much as possible into our proposed development.
Brown told News4Jax the City Council agreed the proposed project was too large for the area.