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Northside residents unhappy over plans for new townhomes

Neighbors say development will increase traffic, crime

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A land war is brewing on the Northside of Jacksonville. Townhomes are set to be built in a neighborhood near the River City Marketplace and nearby residents are not happy about it. 

Victory Baptist Church on Lem Turner Road sold 41 acres of land that will be developed into a residential complex near Cole and Duval roads.

As the River City Marketplace brings thousands to the Northside, new homes have been popping up near the airport area.

NAI Hallmark announced that it represented Victory Baptist Church in the sale of 41 acres of land to Corner Lot which announced that it will use the land for townhomes. That has some residents upset.

"I think it’s going to bring more crime to the area and we’ve already got problems from people living on the other side of the highway bringing problems on the streets down here," said resident Larry Bellmore. 

He lives along Cole Road and said he and others feel the townhomes will make the area more congested.

"I feel it’s going to hurt us more because they’re going to put a driveway right where our road is and people are going to fly down that corner. It’s bad," said resident Justin Powell.

Others are also concerned.

"There’s been a lot of crime recently in this neighborhood. I took my daughter on a cruise and someone took my stuff out of my garage, and there were even people watching my house," said resident Thomas Leonard.

In a news release, NAI Hallmark admits the sale was met with opposition, but it says in the end all parties came together and there was a positive perspective on what the new homes bring.

Corner Lot purchased the land in August for $2 million.