Residential Midrise Proposed for Downtown

October 3, 2013 41 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Specializing in the development of affordable senior apartments and with over 1,900 housing units under their belts, American Realty Development has set their eyes on downtown Jacksonville. The Maitland-based company intends to construct a seven story apartment building on a surface parking lot bounded by West Ashley, North Pearl and West Church Streets.

Perspective Rendering of Madison Landing Apartments.

American Realty has developed a variety of tax-credit multi-family projects throughout Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Their developments typically include carded secure entries, on-site amenities such as swimming pools, health-fitness services, and arts-crafts rooms. Called Madison Landing Apartments, the downtown Jacksonville development would be age restricted to persons 55 and older. It would be American Realty's third affordable apartment development in Jacksonville. In 2004, the company developed 240-unit Madison Woods Apartments in the vicinity of Lem Turner Road and Dunn Avenue.  That was followed in 2007 with the construction of 160-unit Madison Manor Apartments near Beach Boulevard and Parental Home Road.

Rendering of Madison Heights Apartments in downtown Tampa.

Madison Landing appears to be American Realty's second urban infill residential development in Florida. Construction is currently underway on the 80-unit, seven story Madison Heights Apartments in downtown Tampa. Located across the street from the Marion Transit Center, that $15 million project is being financed with government tax credits and a loan from PNC Bank. It's expected to be complete by mid-2014. Tax credits would be utilized to assist in the financing of the downtown Jacksonville project as well. Rental rates for the Tampa project will run from $275 to $674 a month.

In a March 2013, Tampa Tribune article, American Realty manager Patrick Law expects to encounter few obstacles to filling units, given the retirement of millions of Baby Boomers. When asked a question about the project’s feasibility, Law responded, “We’re in Florida, are you kidding me?”

Madison Heights Apartments under construction in downtown Tampa. photograph courtesy of densitymatters at Skyscraper City

The downtown Jacksonville project would be constructed on the site of an existing surface parking lot adjacent to KBJ Architects. According to conceptual plans, the project's primary residential entrance is located at the intersection of Ashley and Pearl Streets. While the one-acre site plan indicates the building will not have setbacks, No street level retail is included and the majority of its sidewalk frontage will be dedicated to vehicle circulation and parking garage activity.

To alleviate this situation, Slocum Platts Architects are proposing a variety of facade treatments to shield the 77-space first floor garage. The second and third floors are dedicated to tenant services, such as a pool deck above the garage, and select residential units. The remaining four floors of the 62' building are residential only. Overall, the L-shaped, concrete structure contains 102 apartments equally split between 1 bedroom/1 bathroom and 2 bedroom/2 bathroom units.

While the project does not include street level retail, the presence of over 150 additional residents should be a boost towards the efforts of filling several empty retail spaces located in the adjacent Metropolitan Lofts and City Place developments.  Madison Landing is the second residential project currently proposed on this block of Church and Pearl Streets. In March 2013 Arbour Valley Development of Birmingham, AL announced their plans to redevelop the abandoned Ambassador Hotel into a 57-unit apartment building. Combined with City Place and Metropolitan Lofts, if these Madison Landing and Ambassador Lofts become reality,  this once desolate area could end up having the highest concentration of residential uses within the Northbank.

American Realty Development anticipates breaking ground in 2014. Construction on the $21 million project is estimated to take 10 months.

Next Page: Additional Conceptual Drawings

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