The Build-Out is a biweekly roundup of news on residential and commercial development, as well as business news, in the Jacksonville area.
Jacksonville area entry-level teachers face an uphill battle when it comes to affording rent payments, according to a new Zillow analysis.
A news release on the findings showed that while the generally accepted threshold for housing costs to be considered affordable is about 30 percent of salary, the metro area’s new teachers spend on average about 45 percent of their monthly salary on median rent of $1,426 per month.
While that is better than the national average of 46.8 percent, as well as the average in Orlando of 50.4 percent and Tampa of 47.5 percent, it remains a daunting challenge for new teachers.
"Most acknowledge that building more homes is required to address the root cause of eroding housing affordability,” said Skylar Olsen, Zillow's director of economic research, in the release. “Without that new influx to take the pressure off rent and aggressive home value growth, it's the public servants, like teachers, firefighters, and nurses — the professions that keep us safe, our kids smart, and our families healthy — that often feel the pinch most."
Owning a home can help with affordability because of lower interest rates and long-term loan repayment plans. New teachers pay 26.6 percent of their monthly income for the typical mortgage payment nationally — although that presumes they’ve put 20 percent down, the study found. In Jacksonville, new teachers spend a quarter of their income on the median mortgage.
In other news:
● The Jacksonville area is No. 8 nationwide among large metros in the pace of its home permitting, according to a study by ApartmentList.com. An average of 5.8 new housing units were permitted per 1,000 residents over the past decade.
Because 5.8 jobs were also added per 1,000 residents during that period, that means 1.0 jobs were added for every new housing unit in the metro.
“Markets that add more than two jobs per permit are considered to be undersupplied, and less than one are considered to be oversupplied,” said Justin Chaplin, Apartmentlist.com marketing specialist. “By this measure, the Jacksonville metro appears to have a balance between jobs and new developments. However, since it's on the lowest possible end of the 1 to 2 scale, the metro may have a bit of an oversupply of housing.”
● Developers have set their sights on the old Florida National Guard Armory Building at 851 N. Market St. on the northeast edge of downtown Jacksonville, with three bids to the city having been recently opened.
The three-story, 81,000-square-foot Gothic-Revival style building with basement is overseen by the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services and has been vacant since 2010. It was built in the early 1900s and originally contained a drill hall/auditorium, swimming pool, gym, bowling alleys, reception rooms, a kitchen and mess hall, rifle/pistol range, billiard/pool room and a library, according to the city’s website.
The city’s Office of Economic Development Bid Summary shows a request for proposals to purchase and develop the 2.02-acre Market Street primary parcel, with an option for about three adjacent acres at 928 N. Liberty St.
The amount of each bid can remain undisclosed for up to 30 days, or when a selection is made.
According to The Daily Record, Boca Raton-based grocer B & H Fine Foods proposes a farmers market/urban farm/performance venue and Arkest LLC of Jacksonville has an architecture school in mind. The third, Fort Lauderdale’s REVA Development Corp., is known for its neighborhood revitalization projects.
● Homesite sales are now underway in the second phase of Beacon Lake, a popular lakefront lifestyle community, located on the south side of County Road 210 between U.S. 1 and Interstate 95 in northern St. Johns County.
Lot sizes are 43 feet and 63 feet for the sites, in the development where Dream Finders Homes and Mattamy Homes are building 1,600- to 3,500-square-foot single-family homes priced from the mid-$200s to the $500s. One- and two-story townhomes from 1,388 square feet to more than 2,000 square feet are also available from Dream Finders, priced from the low $200s.
“Our new home sites offer an outstanding opportunity to make your homebuying dreams come true and launch the next chapter in your life at Beacon Lake,” said Bruce J. Parker, managing director for Beacon Lake master developer BBX Capital Real Estate, in a news release.
The development contains a 43-acre lake with 8,200-square-foot Lake House, and sits in 358 acres of nature preserve. For more information, visit BeaconLake.com.
● The Mandarin Target at 10490 San Jose Blvd. will be one of the first 25 nationwide to host a Disney “store within a store,” in a major retail collaboration announced by The Walt Disney Company and the Minneapolis-based retailer.
The first Disney stores will launch at Target on Oct. 4, with 40 additional locations opening by October 2020, according to a news release. They will be Target-operated "shop-in-shop" layouts of about 750 square feet, next to kids clothing and toys and offering more than 450 Disney items, including more than 100 products previously available only at Disney retail locations.
Disney and Target promise “an engaging shopping experience for the entire family, with music, interactive displays, photo opportunities and a seating area where families can relax and watch Disney movie clips and park events.”
The only other Target store in Florida to initially host a Disney store will be in Clearwater.
● Jacksonville-based Brightway Insurance has added four locations in Florida, South Carolina and Colorado.
The national property/casualty insurance distribution company has more than $608 million in annualized written premium, making it one of the largest personal lines agencies in the U.S., according to a news release.
Alex McGregor opened Brightway, The McGregor Agency in Deerfield Beach; Lisa Jewell opened Brightway, The Lisa Jewell Agency in St. Petersburg; Vipul Patel opened Brightway, The Vipul Patel Agency in Florence, S.C.; and Lindsay Velasco opened Brightway, The Burns Agency in Centennial, Colo.
Brightway started in 2008 and now employs more than 900 people in 194 offices across 21 states, serving customers in all 50 states.
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