Branan Field area seeing growth after dry spell
By Keitha Nelson, First Coast News
There's a 20,000-acre tract in the north central portion of Clay County that's seeing more development now than it has in nearly a decade.
The Branan Field Master Plan was adopted in 2004, but by 2008 development came to a screeching halt. Holly Parrish, director of economic and development services for Clay County, says things have picked back up.
"Last month, we did the highest number of single family (home) permits than we've done since March or May of 2006," said Parrish.
Parrish, who has worked for the county for 23 years, has experienced the highs and painful lows. In 2008, the county went from issuing an average of nearly 2,000 permits annually to roughly 400 per year.
"It was a slow time," said Parrish. "It was difficult for a lot of our businesses here."
The county is now welcoming the growth and is preparing for the expected traffic. There's a $7 million dollar extension plan in the works for Tynes Boulevard. It's expected to be completed in five years.
Currently, Tynes Boulevard begins at Old Jennings Road, runs through the Pine Ridge Plantation and Two Creeks residential developments and ends at the northern boundary of the Two Creeks community. The project will extend Tynes Boulevard to Oakleaf Plantation Parkway. The First Coast Expressway is also being built and there are two service roads in place.
"People are moving here and buying here and we're growing again," said Parrish.
On the east side of Branan Field Road, there's a mixed use development in the works. It can accommodate a range of uses including residential, retail and office space. St Vincent's Hospital is expanding with a three-story tower, adding a maternity ward and more inpatient beds.
"We want to get some good jobs in this area and have places for people to work here," said Parrish. "So they don't have to go outside of the county to work."
The extension of Tynes Boulevard is scheduled to begin in 2016.
View the story: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/local/2015/10/08/branan-field-area-seeing-growth-following-serious-decline/73618966/