• Residents express parking frustration ahead of new development at the Shoppes of Avondale

    By: Elizabeth Pace , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The City of Jacksonville’s Planning and Development Department is reviewing a parking deviation proposal for a new development in the Shoppes of Avondale. Residents have spoken out against this deviation proposal and asked the city to address the larger parking issue before approving any deviations.

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    The city has already approved three neighboring vacant spaces in the Shoppes of Avondale to be demolished and rebuilt for Southern Grounds. This will be the third location for Southern Grounds in Duval County.

    The company is proposing a 163-seat restaurant in their 8,700 square-foot building, which will have floor space of about 7,000 square feet. They said some of the space will be dedicated to their retail center.

    Because of the existing parking deficit in the Shoppes, the Riverside Avondale Preservation has asked to reduce their plan to 128 seats. A representative spoke at the deviation hearing Friday and said they support Southern Grounds coming to their community but are now asking for regulation from the city.

    “A lot of the concerns are not fact-checked right now,” Karie Kovacocy said. “They see that there’s 8,000 square feet of a building. But we are actually a smaller footprint than what’s already there.” Kovacocy is an Avondale resident and the architect for the new Southern Grounds development.

    The proposed deviation seeks to reduce the minimum number of off-street parking spaces from 24 to zero, as well as reduce the minimum require off-street loading spaces from one to zero.

    Neighbors said they support new development but strongly argue against the deviation proposal.

    “What our issue is, we have a traffic and parking congestion problem,” Avondale resident Glen Mcclary said. “It’s not Southern Grounds that is ultimately creating it. But what I really want to see is a unified effort between the city, the shops, the merchants and the people in order to find a solution to the traffic congestion issue.”

    The Planning and Development Department will make a decision on this deviant application at a later date.

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