Commercial development in St. Johns County got a big boost in September when commissioners unanimously approved a development project expected to bring up to 1.35 million square feet of non-residential use to the State Road 207/Interstate 95 area.
Called The Quadrant, the project could include up to 300 hotel rooms, 750,000 square feet of industrial space, 200,000 square feet of general office space as well as additional healthcare facilities and commercial and retail construction.
Chris Shee, owner of Heritage Development Group and the force behind The Quadrant, presented plans for the mixed-use project to commissioners.
Shee said plans include creation of a multi-modal pedestrian network in the 134-acre site, with bicycle paths and walkways that could connect to the county’s River-to-Sea loop.
Shee touted the economic benefits of the project as well, saying the location at SR 207 and I-95 “is ideally suited to draw consumers” not only from St. Johns County but from neighboring counties as well.
“It will fill the existing need for more commercial and retail services on a major corridor in our county,” he said, and “complements what is already going on in the area.”
Shee said the project would also promote economic development “by the creation of additional jobs, sales tax and increase the ad valorem value of land,” adding The Quadrant presents “a tremendous economic opportunity for non-residential development.”
Commission Chairman Henry Dean questioned Shee on the wetlands issue for the project, asking if an environmental resource permit had been obtained from the St. Johns River Water Management District.
Shee said that has not happened yet and added that the wetlands on the property are lower-lying areas that turned into wetlands.
In making a motion to approve the land-use and zoning changes to allow the project to move forward, Commissioner Paul Waldron offered his support for the plan.
“I think this is the ideal spot for industrial and hotel uses near I-95 in that corridor,” he said.