Author Topic: Luxury hotel, 200 apartments and retail coming to site of former Ambassador Hote  (Read 16600 times)

Kerry

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For what it is worth - the Ambassador Hotel group and the old Independent Life Building group are the same people - Augustine Development Group.

http://www.augustinedevelopment.com/
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KenFSU

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https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/the-mendenhall-report-historic-preservation-and-revitalization-trust-fund-debated

Hopefully they will! Also, hopefully the council will replenish the Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund. I love Lori Boyer but I don't agree with the position that earmarking money in it would become bad optics for the development community. Status quo, regarding the city's financial commitment and will for preservation and adaptive reuse is already bad. Any steps the city can play to embrace inclusiveness and equity in the downtown revitalization scene are a good thing.

100% agree here.

Also love LB, and I think she's a great addition to the DIA, but with Jacksonville's historic struggles in terms of downtown development, a part of me really wonders if we should have brought in someone from outside the market with decades of national experience to offer a fresh perspective on these issues.

KenFSU

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^No to both, although I'm sure the council has been lobbied for months behind closed doors.

Seems like a pretty safe bet :D

That said, we're really coming down to the wire here to get a full development agreement through the DIA and City Council if the Jags intend to break ground in January during the offseason as originally proposed.

thelakelander

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https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/the-mendenhall-report-historic-preservation-and-revitalization-trust-fund-debated

Hopefully they will! Also, hopefully the council will replenish the Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund. I love Lori Boyer but I don't agree with the position that earmarking money in it would become bad optics for the development community. Status quo, regarding the city's financial commitment and will for preservation and adaptive reuse is already bad. Any steps the city can play to embrace inclusiveness and equity in the downtown revitalization scene are a good thing.

100% agree here.

Also love LB, and I think she's a great addition to the DIA, but with Jacksonville's historic struggles in terms of downtown development, a part of me really wonders if we should have brought in someone from outside the market with decades of national experience to offer a fresh perspective on these issues.

The quote from a developer actively involved in the adaptive reuse of two long vacant buildings should be the end of the debate....

Quote
Bryan Greiner is president of Augustine Development Group Inc., the parent company of Axis Hotels LLC., which owns and intends to redevelop the Ambassador Hotel Downtown.

Built in 1922, the Ambassador Hotel will undergo a $6 million renovation to become a 127-room La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel. The six-story, almost 60,000-square-foot building will benefit from a $1.5 million Redevelopment Completion Grant from the trust fund.

The deal involves demolishing a former bank building next door at 404 N. Julia St. for construction of 220 apartments.

Greiner said Tuesday he thinks replenishing the fund would be positive for developers.

“Without that grant, I don’t think the project would have been viable,” he said.

Replenish the fund and keep working to add money to it!
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Tacachale

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https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/the-mendenhall-report-historic-preservation-and-revitalization-trust-fund-debated

Hopefully they will! Also, hopefully the council will replenish the Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund. I love Lori Boyer but I don't agree with the position that earmarking money in it would become bad optics for the development community. Status quo, regarding the city's financial commitment and will for preservation and adaptive reuse is already bad. Any steps the city can play to embrace inclusiveness and equity in the downtown revitalization scene are a good thing.

100% agree here.

Also love LB, and I think she's a great addition to the DIA, but with Jacksonville's historic struggles in terms of downtown development, a part of me really wonders if we should have brought in someone from outside the market with decades of national experience to offer a fresh perspective on these issues.

The quote from a developer actively involved in the adaptive reuse of two long vacant buildings should be the end of the debate....

Quote
Bryan Greiner is president of Augustine Development Group Inc., the parent company of Axis Hotels LLC., which owns and intends to redevelop the Ambassador Hotel Downtown.

Built in 1922, the Ambassador Hotel will undergo a $6 million renovation to become a 127-room La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel. The six-story, almost 60,000-square-foot building will benefit from a $1.5 million Redevelopment Completion Grant from the trust fund.

The deal involves demolishing a former bank building next door at 404 N. Julia St. for construction of 220 apartments.

Greiner said Tuesday he thinks replenishing the fund would be positive for developers.

“Without that grant, I don’t think the project would have been viable,” he said.

Replenish the fund and keep working to add money to it!

This is bizarre because it's the opposite of what she's been arguing up to now. In fact, when I interviewed Carlucci, he cited her comments that the trust "could use an infusion of cash, since it is entirely committed now" as one reason he pushed for the bill in the first place.
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Bill Hoff

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https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/the-mendenhall-report-historic-preservation-and-revitalization-trust-fund-debated

Hopefully they will! Also, hopefully the council will replenish the Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund. I love Lori Boyer but I don't agree with the position that earmarking money in it would become bad optics for the development community. Status quo, regarding the city's financial commitment and will for preservation and adaptive reuse is already bad. Any steps the city can play to embrace inclusiveness and equity in the downtown revitalization scene are a good thing.

100% agree here.

Also love LB, and I think she's a great addition to the DIA, but with Jacksonville's historic struggles in terms of downtown development, a part of me really wonders if we should have brought in someone from outside the market with decades of national experience to offer a fresh perspective on these issues.

The quote from a developer actively involved in the adaptive reuse of two long vacant buildings should be the end of the debate....

Quote
Bryan Greiner is president of Augustine Development Group Inc., the parent company of Axis Hotels LLC., which owns and intends to redevelop the Ambassador Hotel Downtown.

Built in 1922, the Ambassador Hotel will undergo a $6 million renovation to become a 127-room La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel. The six-story, almost 60,000-square-foot building will benefit from a $1.5 million Redevelopment Completion Grant from the trust fund.

The deal involves demolishing a former bank building next door at 404 N. Julia St. for construction of 220 apartments.

Greiner said Tuesday he thinks replenishing the fund would be positive for developers.

“Without that grant, I don’t think the project would have been viable,” he said.

Replenish the fund and keep working to add money to it!

This is bizarre because it's the opposite of what she's been arguing up to now. In fact, when I interviewed Carlucci, he cited her comments that the trust "could use an infusion of cash, since it is entirely committed now" as one reason he pushed for the bill in the first place.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but my read is that the Mayor doesn't care for Carlucci, and thus has discouraged support for his bill. He doesn't wish to see an adversary get a feather in his cap.

Captain Zissou

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I see what Boyer is saying, but I don't think it conveys the message she thinks it does given our city's recent history of screwing over developers.  Yes, if we have a pot of $4M dedicated to historic building restoration and we have projects looking for $8M of funds, that could be an issue.  I still think that's better than having no funds dedicated whatsoever.  I would rather know that there is a specific mechanism in place that needs to be replenished to fund my project rather than no money earmarked. 

thelakelander

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Perhaps I'm wrong, but my read is that the Mayor doesn't care for Carlucci, and thus has discouraged support for his bill. He doesn't wish to see an adversary get a feather in his cap.

This is possibly true. I also see it as a control the purse strings type of issue as well.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

heights unknown

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Construction on the hotel to begin within 10 days, per the developer.

Super good news. A little bitter sweet for me though; a lot of memories in that basement bar relative to a young "Heights Unknown" (Garry) back in the day (80's, 90's). But progress, progress, progress, all for the good of the land called Jacksonville!
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Kiva

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^No to both, although I'm sure the council has been lobbied for months behind closed doors.
Must be why they call it the Sunshine law!

Ken_FSU

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Construction fencing is back up.

thelakelander

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Site work is also underway on Vestcor's Brooklyn Lofts project and the Residence Inn development adjacent to Unity Plaza.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali