JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — New apartments could be going up near the historic San Marco Square.
A developer wants to buy part of South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church’s property and build a four-story apartment building, Park Place, which would include 143 units.
“We are for growth and we are for development, it’s just how much growth and development do you want? How much traffic do you want? And from a visual, do you want to change the character of the neighborhood?” John Livingston said.
Livingston is a member of the group behind the group Right Size San Marco.
His home backs up to the street where the new apartment complex would go.
The lot is next to East San Marco, where a new Publix and shopping plaza are slated to be built.
“It’s a very sensitive area for us because we live here, we work here, we play here,” Andy Allen of Corner Lot Development Group, said.
Allen said he and the other developers involved in the new apartments understand residents wanting to preserve San Marco’s unique feel.
"This is a walkable community, it’s a historic community," he said. "We’re getting input from everybody and we want this to be a win-win."
They say more residents living in the area will mean more business for San Marco Square. They’re also hoping it brings more parishioners to the church.
“The church sanctuary and classrooms are staying -- 35,000 square feet, pretty much the majority of everything that’s along Hendricks Avenue,” he said.
His team will be meeting with people Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the church to talk about the plans and any concerns. It's open to the public.
Livingston expects it to be a full house.
“There’s something special about San Marco and the historical charm and character it has, so we’re looking at not losing that inherent character of the neighborhood,” he said.
Loretta Trentman, with Beau Outfitters, a local business in San Marco Square, said she thinks the new apartments could be great for the area.
“Every customer counts to a small-business owner,” she said. “If we can grow that community larger, I think it’s a great thing.”
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