24 July Challenger Center Receives Road Paving Funds July 24, 2018 By Laura Pavlus News Challenger Center, Mixed Use , DEO, Clay County, Economic Development, JAXUSA 0 Clay Today - July 18, 2018 - by Kile Brewer - full article here - Challenger Center receives road paving funds OAKLEAF – A $2 million grant from the state should kickstart a development that’s been about 20 years in the making. Last week, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced the recipients of $16 million in grants with Clay County receiving $2,065,000 for the construction of Atlantis Drive, a road that will connect newly-opened State Road 23 to Challenger Center, a mixed-use property that can’t be developed until there’s a road to the property. “The concept is that people should be able to live, work, play and shop without getting on a major roadway,” said Challenger Center partner Ken Smallwood, an Orange Park real estate developer and lead partner on the project along with former State Senator Jim Horne of Fleming Island. “They can do everything right there in their neighborhood on a property that spans about 800 acres.” The road would fall near Trail Ridge Road and contain about 20 percent residential, 40 percent commercial retail and about 40 percent office and high end distribution warehouses, according to Smallwood. “The county wanted jobs but they didn’t want congestion, we think that for them to allow this kind of mixed use that it’ll be a winner,” he said. “We’ve had the property for about 20 years but everybody says, ‘We need a road.’ We were never able to develop it ourselves, we’re just a bunch of people that bought the land. We’re waiting on someone to come along and put in that road.” According to Smallwood, the $2 million grant will solve that problem on the road which he called a “shovel-ready” project that can begin as soon as they get bids back – about 90-120 days he estimates. Smallwood said they had committed to the state that they would add about 1,000 jobs in the first 10 years once development begins, but he is hopeful to add even more than that. “The road is going to make it all possible,” he said. There has been some interest from businesses, including a potential 189,000 square foot office building that would house an insurance company and bring 2,500 jobs all at once. He also said the JAXUSA Regional Economic Development Partnership wants to work with the property to try and bring new businesses to the area. Once the road is built, Smallwood expects the corner lots, closest to SR23, to go first, as well as a town home or apartment complex. “That will bring the workers, and once employers see workers then we’ll start getting some of the employers here,” he said. “Bring the road and the business will come.” Related Orange Park Medical Center Opens Level II Trauma Center Orange Park Medical Center opened its long-sought trauma center after receiving provisional status from the Florida Department of Health. For now, it’s the second trauma center serving the Northeast Florida region of Clay, Duval, Nassau, Baker and St. Johns counties. UF Health Jacksonville has a Level I trauma center serving the region. Proposed Cecil Commerce Center Distribution Center Could Bring 1,200 More Jobs to the Region A proposed distribution center for Jacksonville’s Cecil Commerce Center would be the latest in a string of recent successes for the city (Jacksonville) as it develops land at the former naval air station. Clay Recieves $2M for Road to Future Industrial Park Directly Adjacent to First Coast Expressway This week Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced $16 million for projects meant to aid cities with job growth. Of that, Clay County is getting $2.06 million to build a road. Clay’s is one of six projects winning the final awards from an $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which was divvied out all year.Clay County Commission Chair Gavin Rollins said the project will help build a roadway called Atlantis Drive, which will be near the under-construction First Coast Expressway, which will start at I-10 in Duval, travel through Clay and end at I-95 in St. Johns County. The new Atlantis Drive will extend east from Trail Ridge Road. Amazon Confirms 2nd Jacksonville Fulfillment Center and 1K Additional Full-Time Jobs Amazon announced plans to open a second fulfillment center in Jacksonville, Florida today (Jan. 4, 2017). The facility will add more than 1,000 full-time jobs with benefits starting on day one. In the Sunshine State, Amazon currently employs more than 4,000 full-time employees. Green Cove Springs Shopping Center Sold for $5.8M Magnolia Associates LLC, based in New Jersey, sold the center for $5.8 million to 1305 North Orange Ave. Holdings LLC, which is named after the shopping center’s address. The property has an 8.2 percent capitalization rate. Clay's Defense Sector Continues to Strengthen - Welcome Fleet Readiness Center Southeast! 70+ High-wage defense sector jobs are coming to Wells Road in Orange Park of Clay County Florida. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.