Some great news came in today. See the release below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bartram Park Developer Will Not Pursue Julington-Durbin Preserve – Black Hammock Land Exchange
JACKSONVILLE, June 28, 2018 – Eastland, developer of Bartram Park in southwest Duval County, will not pursue an exchange of 403 acres of environmentally sensitive land on Black Hammock Island for the ability to develop a like-size tract in the Julington-Durbin Preserve.
While Eastland had not filed a formal application with the state, the proposed exchange agreement has generated much discussion in the community.
“Based on input we received from various preservation organizations and conservation proponents like former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney and the North Florida Land Trust, we realize that the Preserve is an environmental gem and we have decided not to pursue the exchange further,” said Eastland President Tom Dodson. “Instead, we are now exploring the sale of the Black Hammock land to the state of Florida.”
The preservation of the Black Hammock land, which is situated along the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and is presently zoned for residential real estate development, has been a top priority for area residents as well as preservation groups such as the North Florida Land Trust.
In discussions with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Department proposed to Eastland that the state would consider an acquisition of the Black Hammock land and Eastland has agreed to pursue this path with the State.
“We look forward to working with the state to reach a mutually satisfactory transaction,” said Dodson, who has lived and worked in Northeast Florida for past 25 years.
This is not the first time Dodson and his company have worked with the city and state to preserve public lands. In 2000, Dodson, in collaboration with then-Mayor Delaney, sold 2,000 acres adjacent to Bartram Park to the state and St. Johns River Water Management District to create the Julington-Durbin Preserve.
The Preserve sits on a peninsula formed at the confluence of Julington and Durbin creeks, offering seven unique communities ranging from sandhill to flatwood to floodplan swamp and marshes, according the city of Jacksonville, which manages the park. Nine miles of shoreline provide views of Julington and Durbin creeks, and an extensive trail system for waking, biking and horseback riding with some trails totaling 6.1 miles round trip. Over the next 12 months, Eastland will be planning, permitting and building a canoe/kayak launch off Racetrack Road.
John Finotti, Tucker/Hall
904-493-5006 (office) / 904-891-3867 (mobile)