Downtown Hotel to be Restored?

July 2, 2009 44 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

With the courthouse finally underway, the return of life to the vacant Ambassador Hotel may be on the horizon.

This recently submitted application to the Downtown Development Review Board highlights a plan to convert the abandoned Ambassador Hotel into 50 one and two-bedroom apartment units.

About the Ambassador Hotel

The 310 West Church Street Apartment building was completed in 1923.  It was the first large apartment building constructed in downtown.  At some point, it became a hotel called 'The Ambassador'.  In its later years, the Ambassador became an $80-a-week rooming house with 110 residents and a target of code inspections and drug raids.  

The Ambassador closed and has been vacant since 1998.  In 2000, the owner of the building mentioned that he would like to see it become a hotel once again.  While the Ambassador still sits vacant nearly a decade later, unlike its counterparts, it is still standing.

Source: 110 must find new housing Ambassador Hotel closing to remodel - Florida Times-Union - Friday, January 16, 1998 (Jacksonville Public Library online archives)

If this project moves forward, it could be the first of many to come as a result of the county courthouse project finally getting underway.

Project Update by Ennis Davis