Significant Events in Project
November 29th: RAP hosted a meeting with representatives from CenterState Bank, the developer and over 40 nearby residents and business owners.
Developer Seeks Comments
2017: Developer asks for RAP input on development concept.
December 2018 Status
One of Riverside Avondale Preservation's core principles is to promote respectful, mutually beneficial relationships with residents and businesses. We also value healthy dialogue as we seek to advocate for preserving the historic fabric, even with new development.
RAP appreciates the interest and input of the community in the CenterState Bank/King Street project. We also want to acknowledge that CenterState Bank and the developer, J.B. Ritz, have shown a collaborative approach with RAP and the community. They have been responsive to some of the preliminary input RAP gave on the initial site planning work regarding the Overlay Zoning Regulations and Historic Guidelines. RAP had encouraged them to engage the neighborhood early in the process, and we appreciate that they made the time to do so.
These projects take a lot of back and forth, and there are many steps to the process. We look forward to continuing the conversations with the developers and the community in an effort to bring positive balance and compatible scale which complement the neighborhood and adhere to the Overlay and Historic Guidelines.
In November, Riverside Avondale Preservation hosted a neighborhood-merchant meeting with representatives of CenterState Bank and a firm interested in developing the site should the bank's building on King Street be demolished.
The meeting is in keeping with Riverside Avondale Preservation's role: to both facilitate conversations/forums, as well as advocate with and for the neighborhood to preserve the historic character of our community.
We asked for the meeting because public input is critical to providing CenterState Bank and developer, J. B. Ritz, with an understanding of the neighborhood's thoughts and desires for the property.
Members of Riverside Avondale Preservation's Zoning and Historic Preservation Committees and Board of Directors are evaluating the developer's latest proposal. Our eventual position will be informed by what we heard from the neighborhood and our study and understanding of the historic guidelines and zoning regulations.
Some of the information presented during the meeting was seen for the first time by the RAP Zoning and Preservation Committees.
For example, because scale is sometimes hard to visualize with a two-dimensional site plan (what has been the main working document) we had encouraged them to do the massing study presented, which shows in 3-D form the scale of existing and proposed buildings.
It is our strongly held position that any redevelopment project, and especially one of this size and central location, should complement and be compatible with the historic surroundings and context and meet City of Jacksonville historic preservation and zoning standards and regulations. As presented, the project does not comply with the Riverside-Avondale Zoning Overlay. It is also not compatible with the commercial/storefront character on King St. and the residential character on Frederica St. This compatibility is required by the City's historic preservation ordinance and guidelines.
These guidelines address issues of scale, massing and design and require projects to be compatible with the streetscape and neighboring structures.
Please be aware that while this is early in the process, RAP's Zoning Committee is working now to develop detailed feedback to the developers.
As a reminder, RAP does not have the governmental authority to approve or deny any application, as that authority lies with the City's Commissions and Council members. However, as the neighborhood association for the Historic District, we work diligently to be informed and involved to advocate in a respectful and positive way for the community.