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Plans For Expansion of Saddle Brook Landings Form in Jacksonville, FL
March 8, 2018

Cecil Commerce Center growth spurs plan for 216 apartments

In response to an influx of jobs in and around Cecil Commerce Center, a developer is planning to build 216 two-bedroom apartments on a 53-acre parcel off of Normandy Boulevard, just west of Cecil Airport.

The project is being considered Thursday by the city's Planning Commission. The property — which had been owned by the U.S. Navy when Cecil was an active air station — has to have its land use changed from Public Buildings and Facilities to Low Density Residential. Later, the developer will submit a plan to rezone the property to Planned Unit Development.

If those changes are approved, the apartments would be built on land adjacent to the Saddle Brook Landings townhome community, located at 3037 John Hancock Court. Both that property and the site of the proposed project are owned by Rhode Island-based Landings Real Estate Group, which bought the land for $4.1 million in 2013.

Christopher Bicho, president of Landings Real Estate Group, said he is aiming to begin construction in the fall. The work would be done in two phases, with 97 units built in the first phase. He is leaving open the possibility of some minor commercial development — up to 20,000 square feet — on the property, such as the construction of a gas station on Normandy Boulevard.

Bicho said he hadn't planned to build apartments on the land, but job growth in the area has sparked interest in additional housing.

'We have been inundated with requests for two-bedrooms,' Bicho said. 'The employment base here has just exploded. It's really encouraging.'

He said the development's easy access to the highway should help meet the needs of people moving to the area for employment. He plans for the new buildings to have a similar design and exterior to the Saddle Brook Landings townhomes.

Reporter - Real Estate & Economic Development, Jacksonville Business Journal

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