San Marco stakeholders handed awards, praised for progress

San Marco stakeholders handed awards, praised for progress
Award winners as follows (l to r) Keith Doles, artist and muralist on behalf of “Emergence” and Bridge Muralists; Danielle Currie on behalf of One Bridal and 1901 Contracting for 1712 Hendricks Avenue; Sonja Sorenson on behalf of Worth Turner and 1917 Hendricks Avenue home to Foliahome; Erich Geisler of Corner Lot Development representing Industry West for 1001 Kings Avenue; Nate Labaugh, partner and principal for Jaycox Architects and Associates for Matthew’s Restaurant; Lauren Carlucci for her role as president and residential beautification of 1551 Alexandria Place; Mack Volk for his role as treasurer; Brian Kirtz of FDOT for the Shared Use Path or SUP; Kat Wright, public art director, on behalf of the Cultural Council and Ansley Randall mural; Dr. Gary Webber on behalf of ASPIRE Church and public art “Emergence”; Bill Ware and Leigh Gunn, of The Hendricks and Group 4 Design partnership; and Luz Hegi on behalf of her daughter Brittany Hegi (not pictured) on behalf of 1820 Farragut Place.

It was an evening of camaraderie and congratulations as leaders of San Marco Preservation Society (SMPS) rolled out the annual meeting and beautification awards Tuesday, May 9 at Preservation Hall. Following a light wine and cheese social, Lauren Carlucci, outgoing SMPS president, kicked off the awards and talked through some of the changes and challenges of leading the charge in the neighborhood.

The awards spanned the gamut from residential to commercial properties, as there was much progress to be reported on since the last annual meeting. The Terraces at San Marco are now out of the ground, The Hendricks is readying for tenants and Publix, Foxtail Coffee Company, Orange Theory Fitness, St. Johns Eye Associates and Crumbl Cookie have all opened their doors since the last outing.                       

Not to be left out was talk of the newly opened SUP, or Shared Use Path, which connects the neighborhoods of San Marco, to Riverside, opening up new travel paths and convenience for traversing the St. Johns River.

Honoring investors and local homeowners, Carlucci thanked those who have put blood, sweat and tears into local renovations and projects; all while starting the meeting by thanking one of their own. Carlucci recognizing Katie Kennedy, the new preservation hall coordinator who has managed to grow the events and increase revenue by using technology to leverage growth, new docusign implementation and a digital calendar for bookings. “Katie has revolutionized the way we book this place,” said Carlucci.

SMPS Advocacy — the good, the bad and the ugly

Carlucci took time to remind those in attendance about the work being done to advocate for projects, by requesting more consideration for design aesthetics on The Terraces at San Marco, a Toll Brothers townhome project; advocating for the Alford Place Corridor improvements; standing up to the self-storage facility request for zoning and PUD alterations on Home Street; and updating the zoning overlay to reflect the will of the people when it comes to navigation of zoning and land use, not to mention; where and when to compromise with developers in the years ahead.

Carlucci brought up the importance of joining the group to counter proposals for a self-storage facility that’s hanging in the balance, as the San Marco Preservation Society has been vocal about its opposition on many fronts, those being: incompatible use, not meeting redevelopment goals and the setting of a precedent for future use/s outside of the rules of the Downtown Overlay.

At issue currently is the end-around PUD or Planned Unit Development making its way through City Council’s TEU committee, as a request for closure of an alley as part of the process is heading for a final vote. She made sure to announce the importance of the next public hearing for June 6, with a final vote on June 13, and encouraged attendance and advocacy.

Events and traditional outings

SMPS relished in discussing the success of community building events and looked back on the success of Concert in the Park, Luminaria during the holidays, Wine Down in the Parks, along with Story Time in the Square in conjunction with San Marco Books and More. The events and annual outings all reinforced the importance of traditions that stand the test of time for the preservation group.

Accolades and Awards

Residential and commercial awards were presented on a wide array of projects, as several strong years of real estate and growth prompted improvements throughout the neighborhoods.

Commercial awards kicked off the winnings with Matthew’s Restaurant recognized for its façade upgrades and updates designed and implemented by Jaycox Architects and Associates; Regency Centers and Publix for East San Marco; Worth Turner for 1917 Hendricks Avenue and the Foliahome, a living boutique; Will Ware and Group4 Design for 1939 Hendricks Avenue; Corner Lot Development Group and Industry West for 1001 Kings Avenue; One Bridal and 1901 Contracting for 1712 Hendricks Avenue; and Aspire Church and Keith Doles and Bridge Muralists “Emergence” mural on Hendricks Avenue.

Lauren and Matt Carlucci, Jr. were also on hand to accept an award for their renovation and remodeling of 1551 Alexandria Place, a residential project completed during Carlucci’s tenure as president.

Public-Private Partnerships recognized

In closing out the meeting, partnerships with the public and private sector were mentioned, as the City of Jacksonville and the Cultural Council helped to facilitate artwork in public spaces. With the work of muralist Ainsley Randall in focus, the San Marco Blvd. and Nira Street intersection was transformed into a colorful, weather resistant public art spectacle. The Fishing Pier at Riverfront Park was also recognized as a public/private partnership with the City of Jacksonville, along with the SUP or Shared Use Path, which also illustrated the cooperation with multiple agencies to include the Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Jacksonville.

New leaders announced

As the meeting drew to a close, the ceremonial passing of the keys from Lauren Carlucci to David Paulk was made official. The newly elected president was nominated, seconded and all were in favor. The leaders also announced Matt Stupski as Treasurer, which was welcomed with applause. Praise for outgoing Treasurer was also made clear, as an award was announced for Mack Volk, who, despite raising a newborn with his wife, was honorably mentioned for his commitment to the organization over the last calendar year.

“Thank you all for being here, it’s great to have such support from residents, business owners and friends, so thanks for all you do…please continue to invest in us and in the neighborhood,” said President David Paulk. “We look forward to the next year with you all in the ‘hood.”

San Marco Preservation Society is coming up on fifty years, it was founded in 1975, more can be learned about SMPS by visiting

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