Downtown Construction Update - October 2006

October 16, 2006 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

241 Ashley Street is a 5 story / 26,000sf office building and garage proposed on the NE corner of Ashley and Julia Streets, directly across the street from Residences at Citi Place.


1. Berkman Plaza II -

Foundation work continues in preparation for the 23 story / 223 unit condo tower

2. Churchwell Lofts

Renovation work has started on this loft project in the Bay Street Entertainment District.

3. The first floor of the Churchwell Building will be available for street level retail / dining / bar or nightclub space, when complete.

4. Residences at Citi Place -

The current conversion of this apartment tower into condos makes this project the most affordable in downtown.  Prices for its 205 units range from $59k to $139k.  Now that's a bargain that's difficult to find even in the suburbs.  This project also will include 8,000sf of street retail, including a convenience store.

5. Sax Seafood

This restaurant on the corner of Union and Davis Streets in LaVilla is almost complete.  While its great to see another dining establishment go up in the core, downtown is no place for suburban oriented site plans.  In the future, we'll need a better job from organizations like the JEDC and DRC to ensure new downtown developments are designed to front the sidewalk, promoting walkability, instead catering first to automobiles.

6. Metropolitan Lofts -

The exterior windows still haven't been replaced, but pre-leasing has began on the 118 unit apartment building, formerly known as the Jas Telecom Building.  As of this weekend, the sidewalks around the structure are in the process of being redone.


7. YMCA Building

Ownership of this Klutho structure was recently given to the Police and Fire Pension Fund.  The Fund is in the process of renovating the structure.  When renovation is complete, the City of Jacksonville will lease the building to house the planning department, as well as several others.

8. The renovation of the YMCA, gives us a chance to avoid past mistakes from a result of the City Hall renovation.  Whoever is involved in the redevelopment of this structure (Mayor, Barton & the JEDC, Suzanne Jenkins, the planning department, The Fund, DRC and anybody else we missed) needs to make sure that the retail space with the large sidewalk area (shaded section in photograph), not become office space.

Given the prominent location facing Hemming Plaza, every effort needs to be taken to add an additional reason to visit the Hemming Park area at night and on weekends.  Doing such, will add light to the streetscape (enhancing safety), as well as create an area of cultural synergy between JMOMA, the new library and Boomtown.

9. The Barnett

Reconstruction work continues on the Barnett, which will house 105 loft condo units and street retail, once complete.  Hopefully, Cameron Kuhn can be pursuaded to add exterior lighting to showcase the building's unique architectural details as well as return the old electronic clock back to life.

10. 20 West

Work slowly continues on the coversion of the former Lerner Shops Building to luxury loft apartments on Adams Street.  Whenever the project is completed, its supposed to house downtown's first Loop Pizza Grill directly across the street from the Carling.

11. 218 Lofts

Work has recently started on the former Exchange Building at 218 W. Adams Street.  Once complete the development will feature 30+ condo units above street retail.

12. Laura Street

There's no work going on here, but this photograph is taken in the middle of what's becoming an urban loft district, along Adams and Laura Street.  It also cleary shows the direct connection this area and Hemming Plaza share with the Landing, which plans to eventually open its courtyard to the street.

In an effort to strengthen pedestrian connections and promote a compact scene of street level retail and dining in the Northbank, efforts to add way-finding signage, lighting and landscaping to the corridor should seriously be considered and made a priority over other projects, such as the Greening of Main or moving Kids Kampus to Friendship Fountain..

13. The Laura Trio

Renovation work appears to have stopped on this project.  Hopefully, it has stopped because of the Fund's negotiations to sell the structures and proposed parking gargage to Cameron Kuhn.

14. Haydon Burns Library

While the building still sits empty, a deal to sell the structure to Main Branch LLC has been put together.  Once finalized, Main Branch immediately plans to renovated the structure to include a mix of use (possibly including a specialty grocery store), as well as adding two to three floors of condos.

15. Courthouse Garage

We have no courthouse and won't be getting one anytime soon, but we will have a mega garage facility that should be completed before the end of the year.  Hopefully, this will cause city owned garage rates to go down, creating a better playing field for downtown to attract office companies.  After all, what's the incentive for a company to take up space downtown if their employees will be charged nearly $100 month each for parking, when they also have the choice of heading out to the Southside where acres and acres of surface parking is available for free?


16. Everbank Plaza

Work continues to move along on the Everbank Plaza construction site.  However, rumors are continuing to grow that JEDC would like to see the historic Fire Station, as shown in this photograph, torn down.  Lets hope smarter minds prevail because we've already lost too much historic fabric, as it is.

17. Fidelity National Financial

Fidelity's eight story office building is now complete.  A parking garage, featuring street retail, is now being developed between Everbank Plaza and Fidelity's new structure.

18. Brooklyn Park -

A new "coming soon" sign is now up on the site of the planned 1,500 unit Brooklyn Park mixed use urban infill project by Miles Development.

19. Mt. Moriah A.M.E. Church

The Mount Moriah Church sits in the middle of the proposed Brookyn Park development site, raising concerns that it too may be demolished.  While the structure isn't much, in terms of size or architecture, it is one of the few remaining buildings in Jacksonville that survived the Great Fire of 1901 and is the best preserved pre-1900 structure remaining in what's left of Brooklyn and a direct link to the early origins of the immediate community.


20. Hendricks Avenue Reconstruction

Despite delays, efforts to improve the Hendricks Avenue corridor continue to move forward.

21. The Strand -

The Strand, as well as Riverplace Tower, is in the process of recieving a paint job, while the soon to be taller "Peninsula" continues to rapidly rise.

22. The Peninsula -

Construction on the Peninsula is now up to the 10th level.  Which means they still have 27 stories to go.

23. The Strand & Peninsula

The construction site, as viewed from the Southbank Riverwalk's Navy Memorial.

24. San Marco Place -

Now topped out, at 21 stories, preparations are being made to add stucco to the San Marco Place's exterior.