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Abandoned Jacksonville: The Laura Street Trio

A look inside what may be the most historically significant corner in downtown Jacksonville: The endangered Laura Street Trio.

Published November 18, 2011 in History      51 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

feature

A Brief History of the Laura Trio Buildings


The Laura Trio during the 1920s.  Images courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

THE LAURA TRIO: The "Chicago-style" Bisbee Building (right) was designed by H.J. Klutho in 1908-09. The Florida Life Building (left), also designed by Klutho, was Jacksonville's tallest building in 1912 and is known as the city's purest statement of a "skyscraper." The "Marble Bank" (center) was completed in 1902 as the Mercantile Exchange Bank.


Old Florida National Bank (Marble Bank)



Quote
Old Florida National Bank
51 West Forsyth Street
Date: 1902 (original); 1905-1906 (addition); 1916 (remodeling)
Architects: Edward H. Glidden (1902); Unknown (1905-1906); Mowbray & Uffinger (1916)
Builder: M.T. Hallowes & Company (original)

This bank was originally constructed with the facade half as wide as it is today.  Built in 1902 as the Merchantile Exchange Bank, it was purchased three years later by the newly organized Florida Bank & Trust, the forerunner of today's Florida National Bank chain.  The new banking firm expanded the building to its present size, retaining the Neo-Classical Revival style.  The entire facade is sheathed in marble, including six massive columns also made of marble.  In 1916, the interior of the building was completely gutted and redesigned by the New York architecture firm of Mowbray and Uffinger.  A grand banking room was created, complete with a spectacular skylight, coffered ceiling, and classical plaster detailing, at a cost of $135,000.  During the 1950s, two dropped ceilings that covered the skylight and plaster ornamentation were added.  In 1978, the Jacksonville National Bank, then owner of the building, commissioned architect Robert Broward to guide the restoration of the interior to its 1916 splendor.  The false ceilings were removed, the skylight was uncovered, and the beautiful plaster detailing was once again revealed.  Both the bank and the architect received awards for this dramatic restoration and at the time, "the Marle Bank" had become a leading example of the preservation consciousness of Jacksonville's business community.

Source: Page 61, Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage Landmarks For The Future


Bisbee Building



Quote
Bisbee Building
47 North Laura Street
Date: 1908 - 1909
Architect: Henry J. Klutho
Builder: Southern Ferro Concrete Company and W.T. Hadlow & Company

This building was originally constructed to be only twenty-six feet wide, one-half of its present width.  The novelty of it being Jacksonville's first skyscraper made the office space highly sought after, and the building was completely rented before construction was finished.  Thus, the owner, William A. Bisbee, directed the architect H.J. Klutho to double the size of the building.  The east wall of the original narrow tower was removed and an additional vertical section was added, resulting in its present configuration.  The ten-story building was Florida's first reinforced-concrete frame highrise office building.  According to Klutho, this system was so new that the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company refused to make a construction loan until full engineering data were submitted, and their own architect was dispatched to Jacksonville to go over the figures.  The Forsyth Street facade is faced with polished limestone and terra-cotta, and features broad plate glass "Chicago-style" windows, a copper cornice, and various abstract geometric ornaments.  This building is an early example of Klutho's affinity for the high-rise architectural concepts that were pioneered in Chicago.

Source: Page 60, Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage Landmarks For The Future


About the Florida Life



Quote
Florida Life Building
117 North Laura Street
Date: 1911 - 1912
Architect: Henry J. Klutho
Builder: Frank Richardson

Construction on this building began a month after the start of Klutho's St. James Building (city hall), and it was completed two months before.  Both buildings were constructed of reinforced concrete.  The architect was no doubt very proud and busy to have two such great architectural works rising simultaneously on the city's skyline.  Although the Florida Life Building was Jacksonville's tallest for less than a year, it was and perhaps still is Jacksonville's purest statement of a "skyscraper."  It is a narrow, beautifully proportioned tower that soars vertically, giving an impression of being much taller than its actual eleven-story height.  The lower two stories form the tower's base, richly adorned with glazed terra-cotta and originally featuring a suspended glass canopy over the building's entrance, similar to that of the St. James Building.  Broad plate glass Chicago-style windows accentuate the Forsyth Street facade, drawing the eye upward along the slender pilasters to a crowning burst of terra-cotta scrollwork, which in turn supports an ornate copper cornice and a parapet.  The dramatic scrolled capitals at the top of the pilasters are evolved from the intricate ornamentation used by Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, who is credited with being the "father of the skyscraper."  The Florida Life Building fulfills Sullivan's definition of a skyscraper perhaps as well as any building ever constructed by Sullivan himself: "It must be tall, every inch of it tall.  The force and power of altitude must be in it. It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exhaltation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a dissenting line."  In 1914, a penthouse was added -- "a pretty little three-room cottage" -- and the rooftop was landscaped with grass and shrubbery.  This was built as a residence for C.E. Clark, secretary of the Peninsula Casualty Company, which had its offices below and which was the sister company of the Florida Life Insurance Company, owner of the building. Klutho's majestic  skyscraper outlasted the Florida Life Insurance Company, which went bankrupt in 1915.

Source: Page 68, Jacksonville's Architectural Heritage Landmarks For The Future



Photographs Below Submitted to Metro Jacksonville by Nomeus



























The Future



In May 2010, plans were announced to convert these long empty historically significant buildings into a mix of uses.  The $70 million project included converting the Marble Bank into an upscale restaurant, the Florida Life Building into 19 apartments, the Bisbee into 36 apartments and the nearby Barnett Bank Building into a boutique hotel.  In addition, plans included a new eight-story building with 42 apartments and a 250 space parking garage.



In June 2011, developers of the project mentioned that they had been approved for a construction loan and permanent financing through a private equity group, but that the project would not move forward without $5 million in tax credits.  If this proposal can become reality, this would be a major coup in the effort to re-energize downtown Jacksonville.

Photos by nomeus via www.flurbex.com

Article by Ennis Davis.







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51 Comments

ricker

November 18, 2011, 04:50:22 AM
So I gather it would now be a fine time to summon the rallying cry of the friends of save old PS#4 Annie Lytle, fire station #5, the old Ambassador Hotel;
Folks from RAP, LAPS, the non demolitionists from Springfield, the streetcar enthusiasts

And announce our support!

Contact your councilpersons' assistants.first with much patience respect.while conveying a strong sense of urgency.
BE EXTREMELY POLITE no MATTER HOW LONG YOURE PLACED ON HOLD!
EMAIL your representative
They work.for us!
Happily so i.might add if you've got a great one or two!!
;)       
We may hear and read that this city is broke- but it could sneeze 200k taxcredit on the finest of handkerchiefs ;/

Its worth the time and trouble to reach out to any redeveloper of hostoric structures,  as Jax, our bland home, NEEDS these spaces to come ALIVE again.
Our city could become an attractive destination to travel to from abroad, visit local family. And friends could like our DownTown SSOO much, Viola! They STAY!

Money.sucks.
But we need these projects to wrap.
That celebration cannot happen until a groundbreaking.
That cannot happen without financing.
None of these can happen with out YOU ALL!

Please.take.the.time to.find out who you council.district Rep.is.
Call.630-2489
Give your name and Address and you then ask who is my city councilperson??

Ask to be patched through to his or her office and/or assistant.
If that person is not available, leave a very brief message speaking slowly and PLAINLY.
Ask.for.the direct line into his or assistants desk and for the appropriate email addresses to both.

Speaking from experience,  you will get a call back and emails answered.


But, like prayer_ the answers aren't always what you figured originally or even. On your timeline. Necessarily


The only way to.keep residents here in our core and happy and to symbiotic ally sustain the sprawl if we stop such errant pave the globe mmindset, is to draw quality folks back into our ghostdowndowntown by salvaging the physical lay of the land set before us.

The city CAN oneday soon stop leaking money like a siv but some work must be prioritized and these are.some of the pojects I.dream.of.



acme54321

November 18, 2011, 05:50:25 AM
Does anyone know the terms of this $5M tax credit?  Would the funds be given to the developer from the city, or would this just be purely in the form of tax breaks that the developer wouldn't have to pay?

Whose hands is this in now, the city?  Is the developer still on board? 

billy

November 18, 2011, 06:31:57 AM
What is the actual current status of the proposed deal?

ben says

November 18, 2011, 07:33:05 AM
Whoever remodels this place, please keep the original bank vault intact. Anyone whose been to Starbucks on King Street in Charleston knows how great that finish can look.

Tacachale

November 18, 2011, 08:47:17 AM
I think the last that has been reported on this was this past June:

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2011/06/21/laura-street-trio-developers-plead.html

The Atkins Group/Linea LLC presented to Brown's transition team and met preliminarily with the JEDC. They said they were negotiating the purchase of the Trio and the Barnett Building from the owner and wanted $5 million in incentives to move forward with phase I of the restoration.

The incentives would be "historic tax credits and new market tax credits." The company would not receive them until completing this phase of the project and having it approved by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Atkins Group is in with Capital City Partners of Tallahassee, who successfully restored Hotel Duval in downtown Tally. I've been there and it's very nice and evidently successful.

However, as of that time they had not made a formal proposal to JEDC or anyone else, and nothing more has been reported since. If anyone knows anything, please share.

Awesome pics, btw. These buildings have a ton of potential; hopefully they can be saved.

johnny_simpatico

November 18, 2011, 08:54:18 AM
Interesting that these buildings are now commonly referred to as a "trio."  They were built over a period of years by different builders and for different owners.  I would suppose they qualify as a trio because everything around them has either been demolished or replaced with parking garages.  I'm not so sure it's wise to put all three eggs (plus the Barnett Building) into one basket.  Jacksonville has seen that approach fail in the past decade.  Since they really are three discrete buildings, and since there is more risk involved with a mega-project, wouldn't it be smarter to go with an incremental approach, nibbling away with the easiest project first?

vicupstate

November 18, 2011, 08:57:10 AM
This is a do or die project for the DT Northbank, IMO.  If the public/private sector cannot pull off this project given it's excellent location and potential, then it is hard to see the Ambassador, Lytle School, Riverside Fire Station,  the Ford plant, etc. seeing a rebirth when these buildings don't.       

I hope they can be saved before time and the elements cause too much deterioation. 

redglittercoffin

November 18, 2011, 09:11:54 AM
Apple could turn that bank into an amazing looking retail store.

wsansewjs

November 18, 2011, 09:14:34 AM
Wow, these buildings are built like tanks! I betcha they will outlive the Freedom Tower.

-Josh

jcjohnpaint

November 18, 2011, 09:49:18 AM
5 mil? Really?
What was the cost to put the street in front of the courthouse?
What was the overspending on the transportation hub?
What does the 9B project cost?
etc etc
If the Brown administration keeps their word, this to me would be one of the first projects Brown should conquer.  No area in downtown is so centralized as the trio to the fabric. 

jcjohnpaint

November 18, 2011, 09:49:55 AM
but, we are quickly running out of time!

fsujax

November 18, 2011, 09:53:15 AM
I agree this is a must do project for the CBD. As far as I am concerned the new administration should be all over this and pushing it into over drive.

hightowerlover

November 18, 2011, 09:55:14 AM
yeah, $5 Million doesn't sound like much... but Jacksonville really doesn't need any more unfilled/unsellable condos on the market right now

thelakelander

November 18, 2011, 09:58:54 AM
5 mil? Really?
What was the cost to put the street in front of the courthouse?

Would have been around $1 million, after pedestrian upgrades were added

Quote
What was the overspending on the transportation hub?

I think the highest it was priced at was $180 million.  Peer cities have been putting up similar hubs as low as $30 million.

Quote
What does the 9B project cost?

In the range of $150 million.

Quote
If the Brown administration keeps their word, this to me would be one of the first projects Brown should conquer.  No area in downtown is so centralized as the trio to the fabric.

This would be a great place to start.  It's much easier and affordable than a new convention center would be.

thelakelander

November 18, 2011, 10:01:50 AM
yeah, $5 Million doesn't sound like much... but Jacksonville really doesn't need any more unfilled/unsellable condos on the market right now

IMO, the city's focus should be more on shoring up the deteriorating condition of these structures.  Even if the upper floors of the Florida Life and Bisbee are raw shells until economic conditions improve, I don't think we under estimate the impact on downtown of having them preserved and some life in them at street level.

Bridges

November 18, 2011, 10:21:17 AM
Whoever remodels this place, please keep the original bank vault intact. Anyone whose been to Starbucks on King Street in Charleston knows how great that finish can look.

The Sheraton in downtown Columbia does a great job of utilizing the Vault.  They have the Vault Martini Bar.  Not open all the time, but it is a great reuse of an existing building:

http://deals.pricegrabber.com/deals/nestles-within-the-bank-original-safe-this-183673/


That building also has a cool little rooftop bar, open to the public.  I've always thought Jacksonville lacked a nice public rooftop bar.  The city shows so much potential from up high. 

Kay

November 18, 2011, 11:05:19 AM
My understanding is that the Historic Trust Funds are on hold waiting for the Laura Street Trio project.  Federal tax credits are available if you complete a restoration properly.  I don't think the City has anything to do with those, except the historic planning division would monitor and report to the feds on it.  They also could get a 10-year property tax exemption on the increased value from the restoration. 

Tacachale

November 18, 2011, 11:13:47 AM
yeah, $5 Million doesn't sound like much... but Jacksonville really doesn't need any more unfilled/unsellable condos on the market right now

IMO, the city's focus should be more on shoring up the deteriorating condition of these structures.  Even if the upper floors of the Florida Life and Bisbee are raw shells until economic conditions improve, I don't think we under estimate the impact on downtown of having them preserved and some life in them at street level.

Absolutely. That's why I don't see any downside to the Atkins deal. They only get the tax credit upon completing phase I, the stabilizing and preservation phase. The worst case scenario is that nothing happens at all, which is what would happen anyway. But the best case scenario is that they rescue the buildings, and then move on to a working project.

My understanding is that the Historic Trust Funds are on hold waiting for the Laura Street Trio project.  Federal tax credits are available if you complete a restoration properly.  I don't think the City has anything to do with those, except the historic planning division would monitor and report to the feds on it.  They also could get a 10-year property tax exemption on the increased value from the restoration. 

The article said at least part of the incentive package required JEDC approval, and that nothing had been presented yet. Do you know the story on that?

Tacachale

November 18, 2011, 11:18:01 AM
Interesting that these buildings are now commonly referred to as a "trio."  They were built over a period of years by different builders and for different owners.  I would suppose they qualify as a trio because everything around them has either been demolished or replaced with parking garages.  I'm not so sure it's wise to put all three eggs (plus the Barnett Building) into one basket.  Jacksonville has seen that approach fail in the past decade.  Since they really are three discrete buildings, and since there is more risk involved with a mega-project, wouldn't it be smarter to go with an incremental approach, nibbling away with the easiest project first?
The Trio buildings have been grouped together by every buyer since at least 1999, probably earlier. Additionally, being close together and in such a unique configuration makes them a good fit for a more holistic development. I doubt that any of the buildings would have benefited from an incremental approach. What's more likely is that the Marble Bank would sell, being in better condition, the Bisbee and Florida Life buildings would not and be left to deteriorate even further, and then it would be even more difficult to do anything with the bank, let alone the other individual buildings.

I don't think Jacksonville's problem has been in putting too many eggs in one basket; on the contrary some of our biggest failures have been not thinking things through holistically enough.

fieldafm

November 18, 2011, 11:54:08 AM
Quote
The article said at least part of the incentive package required JEDC approval, and that nothing had been presented yet. Do you know the story on that

The developer needs to get financing lined up and at least sign a new purchase option(the one they had expired a long time ago)... neither of which has happened.

In fairness, the city is not holding up the process.

I still don't see why the Barnett Building isn't pursued by itself.  I mean, I do see it(read: parking garage), but I still don't see why they don't get creative with shared parking arrangements and just do the one bldg as a hotel/apartment/mixed use rehab.

The plans did originally call for a rooftop bar on the Barnett Building... Hotel Duval in Tally has a REALLY cool rooftop bar on it now.

thelakelander

November 18, 2011, 11:57:48 AM
^If they are split, the Barnett as a separate project makes the most sense.  If the Trio gets split, the only thing that would have a chance at not being torn down would be the Marble Bank.

avonjax

November 18, 2011, 12:11:27 PM
I think if this project can happen it will be the catalyst to bringing real life to downtown. It's a perfect location. Even if the housing piece has to wait, it would bring more people living in the core. I hope the additional housing unit and parking garage get built eliminating two empty lots and that some retail/restaurants sign on.

Tacachale

November 18, 2011, 12:21:24 PM
Quote
The article said at least part of the incentive package required JEDC approval, and that nothing had been presented yet. Do you know the story on that

The developer needs to get financing lined up and at least sign a new purchase option(the one they had expired a long time ago)... neither of which has happened.

In fairness, the city is not holding up the process.

I still don't see why the Barnett Building isn't pursued by itself.  I mean, I do see it(read: parking garage), but I still don't see why they don't get creative with shared parking arrangements and just do the one bldg as a hotel/apartment/mixed use rehab.

The plans did originally call for a rooftop bar on the Barnett Building... Hotel Duval in Tally has a REALLY cool rooftop bar on it now.
Interesting, thank you. I've been trying not to get my hopes up about the Trio, but these buildings are so key.

I don't understand why Barnett remains lumped in with the Trio now either. If the developer wanted a garage, couldn't they just buy that parcel next to the Bisbee Building and build it anyway? Then later on that developer or another one could deal with the Trio (I remain convinced that they need to be all-or-nothing).

And this developer or another one, the city would do well to find someone who can at least stabilize the Trio buildings.

Kay

November 18, 2011, 01:14:00 PM
Quote
The article said at least part of the incentive package required JEDC approval, and that nothing had been presented yet. Do you know the story on that

The developer needs to get financing lined up and at least sign a new purchase option(the one they had expired a long time ago)... neither of which has happened.

In fairness, the city is not holding up the process.

I still don't see why the Barnett Building isn't pursued by itself.  I mean, I do see it(read: parking garage), but I still don't see why they don't get creative with shared parking arrangements and just do the one bldg as a hotel/apartment/mixed use rehab.

The plans did originally call for a rooftop bar on the Barnett Building... Hotel Duval in Tally has a REALLY cool rooftop bar on it now.

What I've been told is that the Trio property provides parking for the Barnett building and that's why they stay tied.

And I've also been told the JEDC is not the hold up on the deal.  The hold up is the developer getting financing.

acme54321

November 18, 2011, 01:21:03 PM
I thought this guy found financing for the project?

jcjohnpaint

November 18, 2011, 01:21:44 PM
Once the structure is gone- it is gone!  Forever.  Aside from market conditions there is a value here for preserving the structure/ at much cost.  This project in no way resembles (not having the demand) for another condo development in the southside/ We are still building these at an alarming rate (at all costs).  We need to do what what is right for the heritage of Jacksonville.  Conservative, Cheap, and Shortsightedness is one thing/ Conservative, Creative, and Innovative is another.  We can be a conservative city, but it does not mean we have to be a stupid city. 

Kay

November 18, 2011, 01:41:58 PM
^If they are split, the Barnett as a separate project makes the most sense.  If the Trio gets split, the only thing that would have a chance at not being torn down would be the Marble Bank.

Why do you say that?  All three buidlings are landmarked.

Timkin

November 18, 2011, 02:24:47 PM
I think the best plan is to Mothball the larger two buildings , and renovate and bring to life in stages, beginning with the smallest of the three, the Bank Building.

These structures appear to have new roofing systems on them. If so, that is a major plus.

There is a way to do this but as Lakelander stated,  condos may not be the best choice at this stage in the game.. not when we have a horrible real estate market and condo prices at nearly give-away right now.

Like all of our remaining landmarks,  it is merely my opinion that none of these places should be razed.    Instead of putting up another parking garage or new building, we should be utilizing these pieces.

thelakelander

November 18, 2011, 03:25:43 PM
^If they are split, the Barnett as a separate project makes the most sense.  If the Trio gets split, the only thing that would have a chance at not being torn down would be the Marble Bank.

Why do you say that?  All three buidlings are landmarked.

Because without significant public money, the narrow footprints and costs associated with bringing them back to code make them pretty unfeasible for the private sector pull off 100% alone.

nomeus

November 18, 2011, 03:33:29 PM
Whoever remodels this place, please keep the original bank vault intact. Anyone whose been to Starbucks on King Street in Charleston knows how great that finish can look.

as you can see in my photos, the vaults are rusted through. the wheels dont even turn. it would probably be a huge amount of money to try to restore them.

Timkin

November 18, 2011, 03:46:48 PM
great pics btw, Nomeus.    If the Vaults can be opened and left open, perhaps just sealing them might be an option.. but restoring probably would be incredibly expensive.

Mike D

November 18, 2011, 09:44:14 PM
Thanks for the excellent pictures, Nomeus, and for taking us to a place we don't usually get to go...namely inside these beautiful buildings!  No doubt you're right about the cost of restoring the vaults, but I agree that they should be saved along with the buildings themselves.  This is a real test for downtown Jacksonville, because if we lose this trio and the Barnett Bank, you have to wonder if there's much chance of saving anything more.  It's mind boggling to consider the number of unique and significant buildings we have plowed down in this town.  Yes, Jacksonville is hardly alone in doing this...but it is a fact that few cities have so successfully undergone "urban renewal."  In the case of Jacksonville, it has left a once vibrant downtown an island surrounded by an eerie expanse of empty land.  We hear a lot about the need for parking, but let's not lose sight of the fact that people are willing to walk the equivalent of three or four city blocks on a busy day at the mall.  If the destination is worth reaching, they'll walk.  Admittedly, if any of these buildings were converted to condos, owners would want parking. But for other uses (restaurants, retail) easy parking is not as critical as some would have you believe.  Jacksonville has already torn down too many historic buildings for parking lots.  And, as downtown is already surrounded by the aforementioned wasteland of empty lots...use that land for parking, pay for security and regular shuttles and you'll still save money over the cost of razing the old and building new parking garages.   

nomeus

November 22, 2011, 02:28:17 AM
thank you everyone for the very kind words. it is my great pleasure and the pleasure of my team to not only be able to shoot these locations, but to be able to show everyone what they look like behind locked doors. it has long been my passion to show the beauty of the forgotten in hopes that someone, somewhere will see the potential of having the phoenix rise from the ashes. it pains me greatly to see such history and potential diminished to a pile of rubble and dirt. if my photos can bring the appropriate attention to these and any locations, then my work has been done.

thank you all again for your support!

nomeus

Traveller

November 22, 2011, 04:59:14 PM
I just noticed the Trio is featured on the front page of Wikipedia today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

JaxNative68

November 23, 2011, 01:00:11 PM
the Old Florida National Bank could be an incredible restaurant space!

mtraininjax

November 24, 2011, 12:20:55 AM
Quote
but Jacksonville really doesn't need any more unfilled/unsellable condos on the market right now

That is plain and simple crazy talk. When was the last time you spoke with a realtor who has been selling condos downtown? Simple fact is that many of the empty units in Peninsula are now sold, they have less than double-digit units remaining, and the fees in that building are the most expensive downtown. So building a good structure, giving people what they want and pricing the units right, has a lot going for itself.

If you drive down Butler and you see all the Gardens of Bridge Hampton units for sale, understand that those units and others on the Southside were thrown up and are not constructed of the same that the downtown units are constructed. You cannot compare 11E with a condo on the southside, its like apples and oranges.

Barnett should be done on its own and it would be cool to see a parking garage, similar to that of 11E or the Main Street Library with retail on the ground floor and a nice deck for the patrons. It could be built to allow for the Laura Trio to use as well, because at some point, the Trio will be finished, its just a matter of when.

JeffreyS

November 24, 2011, 09:27:41 AM
Yes it is the suburban condos that are empty and suffering.

MusicMan

November 24, 2011, 09:21:55 PM
The developer has asked for a $5 million tax credit. Instead I would give them $5 million cash as soon as they were done with the renovations. Completeing the project they have "drawn up" would be worth way more than $5 million to downtown jacksonville not only in terms of Downtown Re-Development but also interms of drawing other investors, and REAL LIVING PEOPLE, downtown.

Timkin

November 24, 2011, 11:10:32 PM
Does someone know the price tag for the renovation on the Laura Trio and the break down of cost between the 3 buildings?

Tacachale

November 28, 2011, 10:10:42 AM
^The number that the Atkins Group was talking about was 70 million, after the 5 million for restoring the Trio. But that included the Barnett Bank Building as well as constructing a new building and a parking garage with first-floor retail, so the amount devoted to the Trio is presumably a good bit less. And that assumes they could actually pull it off, which sounds like it may not be the case.

tufsu1

November 28, 2011, 01:39:51 PM
Here's an article from this week's Business Journal on downtown (and the Laura Trio)

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/print-edition/2011/11/25/stars-align-for-downtown.html

Tacachale

November 28, 2011, 01:46:24 PM
Can't seem to read it, though we have a subscription. Can you post the relevant quotations?

urbaknight

November 28, 2011, 02:25:22 PM
The residentials should be apartments for rent, not condos to buy.

billy

November 28, 2011, 02:56:11 PM
what does the article say? I can only open half of it....

comncense

November 29, 2011, 08:23:07 AM
No one with the full article yet?

thelakelander

November 29, 2011, 08:31:30 AM
My office has a copy of the biz journal.  Here's what it says about the trio:

Quote
The trio consists of the Florida Life Building, the Bisbee Building and the Marble Bank Building as well as the Barnett Bank Building.  Shea and Rummell said that Linea LLC, which has been trying to redevelop the properties since May 2010, is close to striking a private equity deal that could, combined with city incentives, make it a reality.

"We're a second-tier city, and we have to be out there reminding the investment community that we're here," Shea said.

If the Laura Street trio moves forward, it could be a major catalyst for downtown, Rummell said.  He views those buildings as one of the bookends of the urban core, with the other being a convention center near the Hyatt.

jcjohnpaint

November 29, 2011, 08:56:15 AM
thanks Lake! 

Tacachale

November 29, 2011, 09:01:45 AM
So nothing new, really. Well, here's hoping.

fsujax

November 29, 2011, 09:04:01 AM
no nothing new. Still waiting on financing.

Captain Zissou

November 29, 2011, 10:45:05 AM
I feel much better about private equity finance than I do about banks.  Bank financing for this project is a dead end street.  Private equity firms are more willing to take risks, but they'll take more profits later.  Whatever it takes to start turning dirt on this project is fine with me.

Arlingtondude

January 21, 2012, 11:20:34 PM
Does anyone have pictures of the interior of the bank building from the restoration of 1980? I use to bank there in the early 80's and the interior was spectacular. It's a shame that just 15 years later the bank was in ruins.
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