Bridging the gap between West Augustine and historic downtown

Bridging the gap between West Augustine and historic downtown

The West Augustine area lives in the shadow of the historic Downtown St. Augustine, homeowner Shawn Prentiss said Tuesday.

She told Action News Jax, “I would walk downtown, to church, and everything if I could get there safely. Getting there safely is the issue. US-1 is very busy.”

Barry Broudy, owner of Broudy Liquors, grew up in his family’s shop on the corner of US-1 and King Street.

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The St. Johns County native said he watched the area shift and struggle.

He said he’s committed to creating a better environment.

Broudy explained, “I see it was the new gateway to the city.”

He has developed renderings for a pedestrian crossover, that he hopes will connect West Augustine and Downtown.

He said his ideas for the 5 acres he owns on the corner are bigger than a walkway.

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“It will include workforce housing, workforce parking, it will be a multimodal site for transportation, a grocery store,” described Broudy.

The layout submitted to city commissioners includes a parking garage, retail space, and a new police headquarters.

“People have kind of written it off as the other side of the tracks and I want to  see it become a vibrant part of St. Augustine," said Broudy.

Prentiss said it’s what she’s wanted for 30 years.

“I want it to go up safely, but the sooner the better,” she said.