Orange Park developers answer initial questions about proposed project

Plaza on Kingsley Avenue will bring apartments, stores, business offices

By Bruce Hope bruce@opcfla.com
Posted 3/11/20

ORANGE PARK – A new business park that will include apartments and commercial units is being proposed at Kingsley and Orange avenues.

Provision Impact Ventures, the developer of the property, …

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Orange Park developers answer initial questions about proposed project

Plaza on Kingsley Avenue will bring apartments, stores, business offices

Posted

ORANGE PARK – A new business park that will include apartments and commercial units is being proposed at Kingsley and Orange avenues.

Provision Impact Ventures, the developer of the property, met with Orange Park residents, Clay County officials and the media on March 5 to kick off preliminary discussions.

Speakers at the presentation included Robert Jacobson, founder and CEO of Provision Impact Ventures, JJ Harris of the Clay County Economic Development Corporation and Josh Cockrell of the Clay County Development Authority and others.

PIV and Kimley-Horne, the design and engineering consultants for Orange Park Plaza, fielded questions about the project.

“Having the community’s input is absolutely vital and central for success,” said Jacobson.

Speakers were interrupted several times by angry Orange Park residents who oppose the project as well as by attendees who had questions and wanted them answered publicly.

Presenters touted the selling points of the project. They spoke to the affordable housing it would create, especially for Department of Defense families. They also mentioned the jobs such a project would create, both in construction and afterward in the retail spaces created. Further, they estimated $300,000 in tax revenue generated.

None of those selling points seemed to sway those who opposed the project.

“I think people need to understand what this is really going to bring to our community. It’s not what they said here. It’s going to ruin our community,” said one local resident, who declined to be identified. “The people that came to this community is for the low-key, easy-going, quiet, peaceful; this is not an industrialized area here where we need all kinds of fancy things. We are here for the peace and quiet and the love of nature. This is not that.

“I would happily pay more taxes to prevent this eyesore from coming here. I would pay more taxes,” said the same resident said when asked about the projected tax revenue that could be generated.

One of the critical issues for residents is added traffic on traffic on Kingsley Avenue, a street that already has problems with traffic congestion.

“We don’t know yet. We haven't studied it in detail yet,” said Jack Hulsberg, a traffic engineer for Kimsley-Horne. “We anticipate offsite roadway improvements, but we haven’t met with DOT [Department of Transportation] or the town of Orange Park. It’s very preliminary at this point.”

At this time, nothing is set in stone. The current design mock-up is the 11th iteration.

The target date for initial approval from the Town of Orange Park is May 10. At the cost of an estimated $60 million and projecting approval with minimum delay, groundbreaking is expected for mid-August, with an 18-24-month expectation of completion. That would put a grand opening in late 2222, providing everything remained on schedule.

PIV has not yet officially submitted its Planned Unit Development application. The PUD application is for the process of rezoning the property.

Comment cards were available for anyone to submit comments or questions to be considered as part of the planning process.

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