The previously vacant ground floor commercial space at 220 Riverside, a mixed-use building in the Brooklyn area of Jacksonville, will soon be fully leased once again, according to the retail team at Franklin Street.
When the development at 220 Riverside opened in 2015, it was with great fanfare, with the commercial space in the property attracting some high-end tenants. The adjacent Unity Plaza was heralded as an attraction both for the building and the neighborhood overall.
Then, everything fell apart: While the success of the property from a residential standpoint helped spur more Brooklyn development, the promise of the commercial space remained unrealized.
After the four restaurants operating in the space closed by early 2018, the retail part of the development was turned over to the bank and then sold for $3.3 million in 2019.
Now, the property has come back to life in what could be a litmus test for retail leasing at future urban mixed-use multifamily projects in Jacksonville.
The other two spaces in the property are leased to restaurant Anejo Cocina Mexicana and Strayer University.
It’s a big turnaround for the building, which just a few years ago had nearly 14,000 square feet of empty commercial space after previous restaurant tenants had closed.
The Franklin Street team took on the project in 2019 and quickly determined that the property could only support one restaurant concept and that the other spaces needed to be complementary.
It was a strategic change for the property, which brought a new type of development to the city when it debuted.
“220 Riverside was the first mixed-use building of its kind in the area when it opened in 2015,” Ostrofsky said.
Ostrofsky and Walsh said one of the biggest challenges was parking for the commercial components of the building. That has been solved with a combination of spaces at adjacent Vista Brooklyn and at Florida Blue for after-work customers.
As well as being good news for the property owners, the leases stand as a sign of the development of the neighborhood on the edge of the urban core.
“This lease-up really shows how far the Brooklyn area has come in the last six years,” Ostrofsky said.
“Brooklyn wasn’t on our tour list three or four years ago, but today it’s one of our tier one markets,” Walsh said. “The biggest challenge now is vacancy. There’s not a whole lot of product available today.”
She said the next five years hold a lot of promise for the area as well, with projects like Fuqua Development’s plans at the former Times-Union site and others that will bring more commercial spaces online.