The headline in today’s paper, “Boom! Downtown development takes off” is something I’ve been waiting to hear for some time. In years past, a fairly small group of buyers existed, often picking up properties at a much reduced price. In slow markets, lowball offers work. As properties see a higher demand, prime properties or scarce locations become much more desirable.
The central business district is key. Reading through described uses, combine a location in a historic district with potential water views and as many as 2 dozen restaurants within walking distance…you’ll understand why so many are suddenly interested in being in downtown Fernandina Beach.
“2.01.13 Central Business District (C-3)
The C-3 District is intended for the development of land uses within the central business district as the City’s center for residential, financial, commercial, governmental, professional, and cultural activities. The Central Business District category is designed to accommodate single- family or duplex residential uses, either freestanding or in mixed residential and business use structures; offices; commercial retail; personal services establishments; restaurants; transient accommodations; commercial parking facilities; civic uses; and cultural uses.” http://www.fbfl.us/DocumentCenter/View/16365
I remember describing downtown as the “Heart of Amelia Island” and Fernandina, but it really is true. I know of no other downtown with the same quality and quantity of entertainment, recreation, food, drink and shopping in tiny, walkable area. Pick up a copy of the news leader if you want to see some of the proposed additions, but the price points are suddenly higher.
Three large projects were discussed in the article, but a number of others are potentially coming. The hotel site on North 2nd Street paused, but could come back. The site is prime and wraps around the Crab Trap, another location available at $2.5 million. The Goodsell Property aka: Standard Marine, is a potential residential/commercial mixed use site with fantastic potential. Think about the building, but the “many times larger” footprint with water views and proximity to everything. Across the street, two other properties, a little smaller, but no less attractive, offer frontage on 2nd and Alachua. All might be moving soon, but could be poised for development if the Alachua Street improvements are complete. Think about two new buildings at 2nd and Ash and one block away at 3rd and Ash, the renovation of the Historic Schoolhouse on Atlantic and Salt Life. When is Salt Life breaking ground anyway?
While we were sleeping, the attention shifted and Fernandina is in the midst of a boom in commercial redevelopment.