Dust, potholes, and the growl of heavy equipment leave little doubt that the landmark but outdated Roosevelt Square shopping center on Jacksonville’s Westside is undergoing a major overhaul.
The Dewberry Group of Atlanta is transforming the 60-year-old Roosevelt Square shopping center into Ortega Park, a modern mixed-use development including restaurants, retail stores and possibly apartments or condos.
The company refused to talk about the multi-million dollar project except to identify three new businesses signing leases: Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opened in March, Cold Stone Creamery and First Watch.
Dewberry bought the outdated Roosevelt Mall in 1997 for $4.25 million, past Times-Union articles show, and redeveloped the mall into a 300,000-square-foot, open-air retail and lifestyle hub known as Roosevelt Square.
The company renovated the shopping center again in 1999, 2003 and 2019.
Anchored by Publix, Ulta Beauty and West Marine, the shopping center serves nearby residential neighborhoods including Riverside, Avondale and Ortega.
When completed, it will encompass “750,000 square feet of upscale residential, office, shopping, dining, and lifestyle experiences,” the company has said.
2018: Belk torn down at Roosevelt Square
The project’s centerpiece will be Ortega Alley — a pedestrian-only area including retail stores — that is intended to encourage and attract the increasingly active lifestyle in the area, according to the company website.
At an estimated cost of $1.2 million, Ortega Alley will be located near Metro Diner in the revamped shopping center.
“Over two decades ago, this endeavor started as a way to revitalize an old mall complex, but it has evolved into a community gathering landmark. With this next phase, we want to ensure it continues this way for future generations,” John Dewberry, company president and chief executive officer, said on the company website.
- Address: 4495 Roosevelt Blvd
- Location: Sits on 29 acres about six miles from downtown Jacksonville on Roosevelt Boulevard between San Juan and Wabash avenues
- Originally opened: 1961
- Estimated project cost: Not available
- Project completion: Not available
- New tenants signing leases: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cold Stone Creamery and First Watch
- Current restaurants and stores include: Publix, Metro Diner, Chipotle, Chase Bank, Ulta Beauty, Panera Bread, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Chick-fil-A, Gretchen’s Hallmark, West Marine, Great Clips, Taco Bell/KFC, AT&T and Kids First Dentistry.
- Construction status: Appears about halfway done
- Contractor: RLH Construction LLC