Bostwick Building to be Renamed the Cowford Chophouse

November 21, 2014 38 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Transformation is one step closer to reality for one of Downtown Jacksonville’s most iconic buildings. The Bostwick Building has been a signature part of Downtown for 110 years, but now sits vacant.

The Bostwick Building opened in 1902 as the First National Bank. This building was the home of H.J. Klutho's architectural offices from 1944 to 1960.

“Restoration of the historic Bostwick Building will be another major step forward in the revitalization of Downtown Jacksonville,” said Mayor Alvin Brown.  “This building stands at a well-traveled gateway to Downtown.  Preserving its historic character and returning it to productive use will add real value to Downtown.”
The Mayor’s Office took steps this year to make revitalizing the building a top priority.  Through a partnership with the City’s Office of Economic Development and the Downtown Investment Authority, renovations are moving forward to convert the space into the Cowford Chophouse, located on the corner of Bay and Ocean Streets.  On Wednesday, the DIA voted to approve $500,000 in historic dollars and up to a $250,000 loan from the Downtown Economic Development Trust Fund toward the $6.16 million project.  City Council must now give final approval.
“The Downtown Investment Authority is excited to work with the partners for the Cowford Chophouse.  This project will provide Downtown Jacksonville with another high-end restaurant, which would allow for a great dining experience.  This new restaurant will be Jacksonville’s rival to such steakhouses as Bern’s in Tampa, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse in New Orleans and Bones Restaurant in Atlanta” said DIA CEO Aundra Wallace.  “Additionally, this project will continue the trend of historic renovation of buildings in Downtown, thus preserving the architectural character of 20th century Jacksonville.”
Jacques Klempf, CEO of Dixie Egg Co., took ownership of the former First Guaranty Bank & Trust in July.  His plans for the building include a modern, upscale steakhouse restaurant and rooftop terrace.  Klempf’s goal is to save a piece of Jacksonville’s history and help stimulate economic development Downtown.
The project will create 55 permanent jobs in Downtown.  Klempf said he hopes the project will be completed by December 2015.

Source: City of Jacksonville