New shopping plaza destined for growing Amelia Island?

The development would add a new grocery store to a 9-acre site on the island

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - A new plaza could soon be coming to the unincorporated part of Amelia Island in Nassau County.

The project, which would include a grocery store, is currently in the planning stages. It would be located on a nine-acre site along Amelia Island Parkway near the intersection with Bailey Road.

The proposed shopping center would inevitably create more competition for an existing shopping center about a mile away that features a Publix grocery store and a Walmart.

Residents who spoke with News4Jax on Tuesday expressed mixed feelings about the potential for new growth on the island, a recurring theme as the county evolves.

"We have been here 20 years and it's a big, big difference between now and when I first came here," said resident Evelyn Shelton, noting there's been a "lot of growth" lately.

Development plans

"This Publix plaza here stays completely like it is right now -- a lot of cars and the grocery store is packed -- so I think it would be needed," she added.

Others who have called the area home for a long time indicated they aren’t happy about yet another shopping center moving in.

"I don’t believe it’s needed on the island here. I liked our quiet little lifestyle out here and I feel that with the growth it’s becoming a little bit busier," said Diane Frith.

The proposed development comes at the same time the Fernandina Beach planning advisory board is discussing growth management, which is something that comes up every seven years.

Some say with all the current projects on tap the city is being stretched to the limit. As for this plaza, the land hasn't been purchased just yet.

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