Ambassador Hotel Project Seeks Conceptual Approval

May 2, 2013 26 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

After being directed to go back to the drawing board in March, Birmingham-based Arbour Valley Development is back with more detail on their plans for the restoration of the Ambassador Hotel. Here is a look at the presentation they'll be giving at today's Downtown Development Review Board meeting.

Birmingham-based Arbour Valley Development, LLC. is the latest group to propose redeveloping the former Ambassador Hotel for residential apartment use.  Located at 420 Julia Street, the historic six story structure would house 80 to 57 residential units, a club room and fitness area.  In addition, a seventh floor would be added to the roof to serve as a clubhouse.

The Ambassador Hotel originally opened in 1924 as 310 West Church Street Apartments, the first upscale apartments in downtown Jacksonville. It was designed by Hentz, Reid and Adler, one of Atlanta's most prominent architectural firms. This $300,000, six-story brick and limestone Georgian Revival style building was built in an 'H' pattern that gives every room a large window view while still being able to house 50 apartments and about 110 residents.

In March, Arbour Valley asked the DDRB to conceptually approve their proposed restoration project.  However, the DDRB expressed a desire to be provided with additional information before considering the request. Today, Arbour Valley will present a more detailed case in hopes of receiving conceptual approval to move forward with the Arbours at Ambassador Place project.

Project General Information

The applicant is requesting conceptual review for the Arbours at Ambassador Place, an existing building listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The building is located at 420 Julia Street and is currently vacant. The applicant is proposing renovations to the existing Ambassador Hotel for residential apartments that include interior and exterior remodeling, as well as window treatment to the existing structure. The building is a six story structure with the lower level partially below the exterior finished grade. The applicant proposes remodeling the existing 80 units to 57 residential units and developing a club room and fitness area within the existing structure. Additionally, the applicant proposes to develop a new rooftop addition that will serve as a clubhouse. The proposed conceptual development information does show general streetscape, parking and new roof-top clubhouse design which must be further addressed showing detail design prior to DDRB final approval.
Source: DDRB May 2013 Meeting Agenda

Ambassador Place Presentation

Presentation includes the March 7, 2013 and May 2, 2013 slides.

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