St. Augustine Outlets could see major facelift

ST.AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The St. Augustine Outlets could be in for a serious makeover.

LVP St. Augustine Outlets, LLC owns the outlets through Lightstone Value Plus Reit, L.P., who is listed as an “Authorized Person.” They sent in an application to the St. Johns County Development Growth Management with plans for a change.

In documents obtained by Action News Jax, the layout shows a plan completely revamping the outlets. It would close the mall while putting in 350 multifamily units. The request also adds a healthcare complex across the street on Outlet Mall Blvd., the empty grass lot would become a Baptist Health medical campus.

In a statement to Action News Jax, Lightstone said: “As the retail industry evolves we are exploring re-imagining the St. Augustine Outlets site for the 21st century. The redevelopment of St. Augustine Outlets into a vibrant mix of residential, retail, dining and medical uses will revitalize this high-profile location at the doorstep of St. Augustine and spur economic development throughout St. Johns County. We have no timetable for the closing the mall at this time as it is still early in the development process.”

They also would develop up to 99,500 square feet of retail and office space.

St. Augustine neighbor Jordan Collins says while he understands the idea, he doesn’t like it.

“If they get rid of it, I’m pretty sure they’ll regret it,” he said.

Collins says he grew up in the area and remembers going to the outlets when he was a kid. He said it’s family oreinted and would be missed by the community.

“I want to be able to tell my kids I used to shop here when I was your age. I want to be able to bring my generation and they could bring theirs if it’s still happening,” he said. “So, I really don’t want them to get rid of it.”

Rogers Towers Attorney At Law sent a letter to the Planning Division Manager for St. Johns County government on behalf of the owners. It reads in part, “The outlet mall is aging and has been struggling to retain tenants for some time.”

Baptist Medical Center also confirmed Action News Jax they bought property at the outlets mall on the east side of I-95 from Lightstone for $6.8 million.

They sent a statement to Action News Jax saying in-part: “The purchase of this property reflects our continued commitment to offer easy access to comprehensive care to residents in this growing area south of St. Johns County. The location is close to Baptist Medical Center South, where the community can seek additional health and wellness services if needed. Baptist Health has proudly served the St. Johns community for more 16 years.”

Documents also show potential additions of 400 hotel rooms and a 2,600 seat movie theatre.

Daisy Nichols said she travels to the St. Augustine Outlets every other week from Jacksonville, and thinks it would be an inconvenience for people outside the area.

“You can still see we come from far away,” she said. “Where are we going to shop?”

Lightstone told Action News Jax there is no timetable for closing the mall because they’re in the early stage of the development process.