Beacon Riverside sales office opens Oct. 7

Rendering briefly unveiled at NEFAR Historic Area Council meeting

By Steve DiMattia
Resident Community News

The Beacon Riverside luxury condominiums’ sales gallery officially opens for business Oct. 7, announced Hallmark Partners’ Bryan Weber at the September meeting of the newly revived Northeast Florida Association of Realtors Historic Area Council.

The sales gallery is across from The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens at 806 Riverside Ave., two blocks from the Beacon site, located at 500 Bishopgate Lane. Yvonne Saint-Laurent is sales administrator and Veronica O’Brien and Debbie Riley, sales associates.

Beacon will be 14 floors above two parking levels with 55 units ranging from $600,000 to $2 million. It will sit at the St. Johns River on 1.4 acres between Lomax Street and Bishopgate Lane.
“Residents will enter on Lomax, exit on Bishopgate. That will control some of the neighborhood traffic concerns,” Weber told the 72 NEFAR members squeezed into the Harden Training Room of Riverside’s EverBank building.
Weber briefly showed a slide of a rendering of the Beacon, just long enough for the audience to get a glimpse of the gleaming glass and concrete structure, then quickly took it down. He declined to provide a copy for publication.

“That’s the first public unveiling. Just a sneak peek before it goes on display Oct. 7,” Weber said, laughing as people took photos of the slide.
Prior to Weber’s Beacon presentation, Hallmark co-founder Alex Coley gave a brief overview of 220 Riverside and Unity Plaza, Hallmarks’ 294-unit apartment and two-acre public park project in Brooklyn.

Coley was particularly enthusiastic about the 300 annual events planned for Unity Plaza. Examples include everything from six yearly concerts in the plaza’s amphitheatre featuring well known musicians, to “Sumo Sushi” – an event where patrons watch sumo wrestlers while enjoying sushi, presented by LivingSocial, the online deal-of-the-day website. He also noted that he plans to favor local vendors and businesses over national chains.

“What we saw tonight was evidence of what’s happening with the overall zeitgeist,” said Historic Area Council Chair Jon Singleton. “There’s a change in interest in the historic quarter that taps into adaptive reuse: living in a community that’s already established. Taking a beautiful historic house and making it better, updating it so it works for today’s lifestyle. Doing things to help eliminate your drive time to work, school, church, family, friends and activities. I think that’s fantastic and that’s what’s happening here with 220 Riverside and Beacon.”

Singleton said that he plans to have representatives from the area’s historic neighborhood preservation societies speak at the next Historic Area Council meeting in order to further heighten the awareness of adaptive reuse among NEFAR members.

The council’s meetings will take place every other month on the third Thursday, with the next one Nov. 21. The venue will be announced.

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