Waterfront project provides retail and restaurant growth along the Marina Mile

San Marco’s Hightide Burrito Co. has announced plans to open a second location and serve up its infamous “Beach Mex” cuisine to the riverfront along Lakeside Drive, just south of the Roosevelt Mall.

Hightide Burrito owner Alejandro (Alex) Juarez is planning to open next spring 2018 at the Sadler Point Retail Building on Lakeside Drive. Juarez’ fast-casual eatery is planned for the end of the building closest to the Ortega River, while on the street side, The Loop is still in its build-out phase.

Juarez said he had been thinking about another location for some time, but just began actively looking seven months ago. “I had been looking all over the city, as far as St. Augustine and the Beaches,” he said, “but this is a unique location with a good tenant mix.”

He also noted the proximity to his San Marco location won’t cannibalize that restaurant’s current business. “It’s far enough, yet close enough,” he said. “The water is a natural divide; as the crow flies, it’s not that far.”

Hightide Burrito intends to have outdoor seating in the mix of 150 seats, with a full bar for the full-service experience. Juarez has just begun the planning phase so had no timeline yet for the build-out.

A 2001 graduate of the University of North Florida, Juarez came to Jacksonville in 1997 from South Florida. After earning a Liberal Arts degree with a focus on international studies, he began his Jacksonville restaurant career opening two Tropical Smoothie franchises, but sold them shortly after opening the San Marco location of Hightide Burrito in 2009.

Sadler Point

Although The Loop is making progress on its own build-out, another tenant looks to be open by the end of September. Synergy Studio, currently located in The Shoppes of Avondale, plans to hold a grand opening at Sadler Point Nov. 17, the occasion of the studio’s 17th anniversary.

“The decision to move from Avondale was in large part due to our need to expand our space with the increased demand for our services,” said Lynn Peterson, Synergy Studio president. “In my exploration of  larger properties within The Shoppes of Avondale the rent is not financially compatible with our space needs.”

Peterson noted another influential factor for the move was the parking problem that faced her clients on a daily basis.

“The influx of food service establishments has also created problems with alley access, cleanliness, and maintenance greatly impacted by the frequent deliveries from full sized tractor trailer trucks,” she said.

With three tenants signed, Brooks Busey said two bays remain in the front and one or two in the back. “We will market more actively once the existing tenants are open,” said Busey, owner/operator of Sadler Point Marina and the retail building.

Busey also applied for an address change for both businesses, which were shown to be located on Roosevelt Boulevard. The address for the retail building is now 4591 Lakeside Dr., and the boatyard changed to 4599 Lakeside.

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