In the central core, SouthEast Group completed a two-year restoration of one of Jacksonville’s most prestigious addresses. The 18-story tower now features 107 loft-style residential apartments overlooking downtown Jacksonville and the St. Johns River. The mixed-use building also houses the University of North Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and The Jacksonville Business Journal, with a Chase Bank branch and Vagabond Coffee locations on the horizon. The University of North Florida opened a satellite campus in early 2019, with retail and 100 working-class-to-market rate apartments to open in the summer.
Investment: $53 million
Local investor Ash Properties purchased the 18-story BB&T Tower and garage for $23.3 million in July 2018. Shortly after, Ash Properties purchased the Exchange Building on the same block as its garage for an additional $825,000 of crucial investment into an underutilized block. Since the acquisition of the BB&T Tower, Ash Properties has invested over $2 million in numerous upgrades including preventative, deferred maintenance such as HVAC/chiller upgrades, a new roof on the tower and restriping and sealing the garage. A planned lobby renovation will provide additional major upgrades to the tower.
Twenty-five years and $57.3 million in the making, construction nears completion on phase two of the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center (JRTC). Phase one, a 10,000-square foot Intercity Bus Terminal, featuring Greyhound and MegaBus, opened in the spring of 2018. Phase two will complete an impressive new multimodal station for all public transit in the region, integrating a 40,000-square-foot JTA bus transfer facility, the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Skyway/U2C, rideshare and bike share – all in one transit hub.
This new affordable community is located in Downtown Jacksonville and provides a variety of amenities including a resident lounge, fitness center and an internet cafe all within a great location. Developed by The Vesctor Companies, Inc., Lofts at LaVilla offers a 130-unit affordable multifamily community consisting of studio, 1, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. This five-story building includes four residential floors over one floor of parking and amenities/leasing and retail. The property includes 165 total parking spaces (including 21 off-street spaces) and is inside the “LaVilla” overlay district. It’s located within 500’ of the Jefferson Station of the Automated Skyway Express.
Vestcor recently completed the Lofts at Jefferson Station, a transit-oriented development that consists of 133 new multi-family apartment units in the LaVilla neighborhood. The new development boasts spacious studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom floor plans. Residents enjoy a variety of amenities including an internet cafe, fitness center, outdoor space, a resident lounge with a billiards table, and a club room with tvs and a kitchen. The Lofts at Jefferson Station are located adjacent to the skyway, with easy access to the central core and Brooklyn districts. The mixed-income Affordable Housing development provides housing for a variety of household income ranges. The project resulted in an investment of approximately $28 million for the construction of the apartments and associated improvements.
This second-phase addition to the Lofts at LaVilla, also developed by Vestcor, added an additional 108 multi-family units and is a brand-new affordable community located in Downtown Jacksonville providing a variety of amenities including a resident lounge, fitness center, internet cafe, dog walk area all within a great location. This five-story building includes four residential floors over one floor of parking and amenities/leasing and retail. The property includes 129 total parking spaces (including 11 off-street spaces) and is inside the “LaVilla” overlay district.
Located in the Southbank district, within walking distance from San Marco Square, SoBA is positioned near highly desirable dining, shopping, and entertainment with direct access to Jacksonville’s finest medical institutions, thriving art scene and bustling Central Business District. This new rental apartment facility includes 143 residential rental units offering one, two, and three-bedroom apartment homes with open-concept floor plans and sophisticated finishes. Resident amenities feature a vibrant pool with semi-private cabanas, 24-hour fitness club, grand clubroom with co-working spaces; plus, as a pet-friendly community, SoBA offers a self-service dog grooming spa.
In Spring 2019, Jacksonville City Council approved Groundwork Jacksonville’s Emerald Trail Master Plan to create a 30-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian trails that will connect Downtown to 14 historic neighborhoods, 18 schools, two colleges and nearly 30 parks. Phase one is a 1.3-mile “Model Project” to connect the existing S-Line Rail Trail in Springfield to the Prime Osborn Convention Center in LaVilla. The Emerald Trail is estimated to cost $31 million, plus land acquisition, and take 10 years to complete. groundworkjacksonville.org/emerald-trail
Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies US Inc. will build a new, 162,000-square-foot headquarters for Jacksonville’s public utility in the Central Core at 325 W. Adams St. Ryan acquired 1.5 acres for $2.6 million in June 2019. Plans call for an adjacent 657-space garage with 10,690 square feet of activated ground floor space. The office tower and parking garage, developed by Ryan Companies US Inc., will sit on one city block, bounded by Adams, Monroe, Pearl and Julia streets adjacent to the Duval County Courthouse. JEA will lease the building from Ryan upon completion.
Investment: $72.2 million
The Lofts at Brooklyn will soon be a new, affordable community in the heart of Brooklyn. This Vestcor development will offer a wide array of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Each home will be equipped with amenities that will reflect both functionality and practicality. Contemporary kitchens, stylish appliances, impressive floor plans, and spectacular views are just some of the amenities residents will enjoy. Lofts at Brooklyn not only offers ideal in-home features, it also provides its residents with unmatched perks within the community. Enjoy a fitness center, clubroom and resident lounge with billiards tables. Controlled access entry, superb on-site maintenance and an accommodating animal-friendly policy ensure the comfort of residents.
Jacksonville’s largest credit union relocated its headquarters and 1,000 employees Downtown in 2019. VyStar Credit Union purchased the 23-story high-rise at 76 S. Laura Street and adjacent garage for $59 million in July 2018 and purchased the neighboring seven-story 100 W. Bay Building for $5 million in February 2019. The credit union is infusing more than $15 million in renovations into 100 W. Bay, with retailers Bread & Board Provisions and Peterbrooke Chocolatier located on the first floor. In addition, the credit union worked with Art Republic to install public art throughout its parking garage and plans to create pop-up experiences in its alleyway. Vystar was also the successful bidder to acquire a City parcel located at the corner of Forsyth and Main and on which the company plans to build a parking garage with associated retail.
Investment: $100+ million
This Hallmark Partners project includes the development of 308 new residential rental units, 13,000 square feet of retail space, and 83 dedicated spaces in the attached garage at 200 Riverside Avenue. This development is adjacent to the recently constructed 220 Riverside Ave apartment project. Plans for the project, set to open in the first quarter of 2021, include a rooftop pool, clubhouse, and dog park. Nashville-based Bristol Development Group and Jacksonville-based Hallmark Partners are partnering on the project, which will span 10 floors and about 76,320 square feet.
Augustine Development Group purchased five lots totaling 1.5 acres for $5.4 million in July 2018. The group has begun work to convert the long-vacant, historic Ambassador Hotel into a 120-room hotel property with a nationally recognized flag at an estimated construction cost of $18 million. The phases following include plans for a 200-unit apartment building and parking garage to further benefit the needs of the Independent Life Insurance Building renovation, also underway on the same street.
Investment: $37.1 million (hotel, multifamily housing and structured parking garage).
The Baptist Convention building was constructed in 1924, by Jacksonville famed Architect Henry John Klutho, and is a National Historic Landmark Building. The building has been abandoned for approximately 40+ years and will follow NPS guidelines for historic renovations. JWB Real Estate Companies will convert the Baptist Convention Building to a mixed-use facility, comprised of two future mercantile suites, future restaurant spaces, and 24 studio and 1-bedroom apartments.
Augustine Development Group plans to renovate this building, originally built in 1927, at 404 North Julia Street and construct a new, eight-story apartment building with an attached eight-story parking deck. Plans call for the renovation of the former bank into the main lobby of the complex to include an additional 36 residential apartments within the historic structure and add 3,240 square-feet of commercial/retail space. The new construction proposes an eight-story residential apartment complex that will provide 103 apartments along with an eight-story parking deck which will provide 487 parking spaces.
The Federal Reserve Building was constructed in 1923, and is a National Historic Landmark Building. The building has been abandoned for approximately 40+ years and will follow NPS guidelines for historic renovations. JWB Real Estate Companies will convert the Federal Reserve building into a mixed-use development including restaurant, business, and banquet space, along with an exterior courtyard for outdoor dining.
First Baptist Church is selling 11.29 acres, approximately 9 blocks, bounded by Jacksonville City Hall, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Main Street, in an effort to consolidate and downsize its Downtown campus. In spring 2020, investors Jim and Ellen Wiss purchased the first block with plans to develop up to 200 market-rate apartments with associated first floor commercial space at an anticipated cost of $40 million.
In 2019, global fin-tech leader, FIS acquired Worldpay, one of
the world’s leading global eCommerce and payment technology companies, making FIS a $12 billion company with 55,000 employees. FIS is building a new, 12-story, 300,000-square-foot headquarters to support its growth in the Brooklyn District. FIS will consolidate its current headquarters and local offices and plans to hire an additional 500 employees by 2029, bringing its Jacksonville workforce to approximately 1,800 employees.
Investment: $145 million
In February 2020, the DIA approved a $136 million bid by New York-based Spandrel Development Partners to build a mixed-use retail and multifamily development on the former Duval County Courthouse and City Hall properties. Spandrel plans a two-phase project with 520 apartments and up to 74,000 square feet of retail space that could include a grocery store or food hall. As proposed, the activated public waterfront space and streetscapes will make the area a destination for residents and visitors.
Investment: $136 million
Located on the south side of West Forsyth Street between Main and Laura streets, the Forsyth Parking Garage will provide parking for the 1,000 employees VyStar Credit Union is relocating to its headquarters campus Downtown, the nearby Barnett and Laura Street Trio projects and the general public. The seven-story, 280,804 square-foot parking garage will provide 780 parking spaces as well as 13,169 square-feet of ground-floor retail space.
Designed by Dasher Hurst Architects, the project will be built by Danis Construction.
Augustine Development Group purchased the building—now designated a local Historic Landmark—in October 2019 for $3.7 million, with plans to invest more than $30 million in the redevelopment of the property. The developer announced plans to renovate the 18-story, 165,000 square foot building at 233 W. Duval St. to include a 21,000-square-foot grocery store, 140 market-rate apartments and a 10,000 square foot rooftop restaurant, lounge and pool.The Developer proposes to construct a structured parking facility to serve the needs of this property as well as the redevelopment of the Ambassador Hotel and apartments along the same street. The development is projected to create 100 jobs over 14 months including 55 in the grocery store, 25 in the restaurant, 10 building maintenance staff, and 10 leasing personnel.
Investment: $31.7 million
Developer Ace Jax LLC has announced plans for the redevelopment of two long-vacant, historic properties. Plans for the Jones Brothers building include 28 apartments, more than 1,100 square feet of retail space and nearly 1,000 square feet of office space. Next door, the old Western Union building is slated for 9,600 square feet of retail space.
Investment: $13.3 million
In addition to the Barnett building, SouthEast Group is also redeveloping the Laura Street Trio. The Trio comprises of the 108-year-old Florida Life Building, the 111-year-old Bisbee Building and the 118-year-old Florida National Bank. Renovation will begin on the Laura Street Trio buildings adding a boutique hotel, high-end “Sophisticated Southern” restaurant, rooftop bar and parking garage.
In the Sports & Entertainment District, a joint venture between Iguana Investments and Cordish Companies has been announced for Lot J. Lot J plans call for a courtyard-style entertainment and retail complex, a residential tower, hotel and office building next to the stadium. The $450 to $500 million Phase I of Lot J is made up of the Live! Arena entertainment venue, a 200-unit boutique hotel and 700 residential units. Phase II is west of Lot J at what is a retention pond at North Georgia Street and Gator Bowl Boulevard and includes a high-rise residential tower and a mixed-use office/residential tower.
Investment: $500 million in Phase 1
The District by Elements of Jacksonville—with its vision for sustainable design—will encourage a healthy lifestyle and diversity. The development is slated to bring 950 residential units, 147 hotel rooms, 200,000 square feet of office space, 134,000 square feet of retail, a 125-slip marina and public park space to the long-vacant, 30-acre JEA site on Downtown’s Southbank.
Investment: $535 million
Georgia-based Rise Properties LLC plans to develop an 8-story, mixed-use development that will add 247 apartments to the Sports and Entertainment District. The project will include a rooftop pool, approximately 7,000 square feet of combined first floor and rooftop retail, and a seven-story parking deck. A feature wall will incorporate materials and architectural features that were found on the original Doro building. The former Forsyth Street right-of-way adjacent to the site is expected to create a destination for outdoor social activities including markets, culture, and entertainment all year around.
Investment: To be Determined
On January 20, 2021, the DIA released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the selection of qualified design firms and their consultants, who will participate in a design competition for the development of a vibrant and iconic public space on the premier waterfront site in Downtown Jacksonville now dubbed Riverfront Plaza, formerly The Jacksonville Landing. The competition will include presentations at a public workshop and will result in the selection of one team to complete the design. The DIA understands the magnitude and importance of this site and as such, the aesthetic, functional and programmatic design of the public space and the integration of public art to create a recognizable symbol of Downtown Jacksonville are paramount.
RFP Deadline: March 3, 2021
A Notice of Disposition was issued for the Shipyards and Metropolitan Park and Iguana Investments was top scoring respondent. The conceptual master plan submitted called for more than 600 condos and apartments, 300,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 300 hotel rooms, and a 250-slip marina on a 70-acre riverfront site. More recent concept plans released by Iguana have included a possible convention center. Phase 1 was to consist of 50-100 multi-family rental and/or for sale residential units, 200-250 room five-star hotel with restaurant, structured parking and amenities, 75,000± sf office/ restaurant/ retail, and public infrastructure.
Investment $500 million (overall master plan)