JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Developers and city officials broke ground Thursday on a new $86 million, 486-unit housing community located in Jacksonville’s historic San Marco neighborhood.
Known as San Marco Crossing, the two-building development is destined for a nearly nine-acre site along Kings Avenue near Bertha Street. It is anticipated to open sometime in 2021.
The project, a joint development by EJF Capital and Chance Partners, is situated in what’s defined as an “Opportunity Zone” under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017, or TCJA. The legislation provides tax incentives to developers who invest in low-income areas.
Jeff Rosen, principal for Chance Partners, said he expects the community to become a catalyst for development connecting historic San Marco Square with revitalization efforts along Atlantic Boulevard and the surrounding area.
"You can see that there's a lot of activity, but not a lot of housing has been able to be built," Rosen said. "Being able to deliver this much density to where we'll have almost 500 units and probably 800 residents to be able to walk and take advantage of everything that's happening in San Marco and Southbank we think is really important."
City Councilwoman LeAnna Cumber, who represents the area, said she thinks Philips Highway will be "unrecognizable in five years" because of this development and others.
Ameris Bank and Stifel Bank are contributing $51 million in financing for the construction, which will be overseen by Live Oak Contracting, a Jacksonville-based general contractor.
"As San Marco continues to develop, there's an opportunity to continue to bring up the area around San Marco, so that's what these projects are going to do," Live Oak Contracting President Paul Bertozzi said. "And with the San Marco Crossing project to San Marco Promenade project, the area has really come together, both commercially and residentially."