The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: thelakelander on December 07, 2020, 09:07:31 AM

Title: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: thelakelander on December 07, 2020, 09:07:31 AM
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(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Development/Independent-Life-Building-December-2020/i-sHbGsq2/0/1f990127/L/20201210_DDRB%20AGENDA%20PACKET_Page_132-L.jpg)

A look at Augustine Development Group's December 10th Downtown Development Review Board presentation for final approval. Consisting of 135 market-rate apartments, a ground floor grocery market and mini-food hall, and rooftop lounge and seafood restaurant, the proposed adaptive reuse of the former Independent Life Building could be underway in early 2021 and completed by mid 2022.


Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/independent-life-project-up-for-final-ddrb-approval/
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: Steve on December 07, 2020, 10:16:30 AM
This (accompanied with the planned Sifakas work next door) and the Trio are the two most exciting projects downtown. Period.

Offense to Lot J and The District intended.
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: jcjohnpaint on December 07, 2020, 12:43:07 PM
100% agree
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: Steve on December 10, 2020, 06:17:52 PM
So, this passed but not unanimously (surprising):

The issue stems from the site plan on Church Street: there are two driveways in quick succession (one for the loading dock, one for the parking lot). I see their point-that’s definitely something that should be discouraged.

Now, it’s an odd site and aside from one member they all agreed it wasn’t ideal but not enough to deny the project.
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: heights unknown on December 10, 2020, 06:57:19 PM
Awesome. That part of downtown sorely needs some action. There's a few other projects I believe that are a stone's throw from this one. Will be nice to see this retro deco scraper become live and active again.
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: heights unknown on December 10, 2020, 07:08:35 PM
So...it says that the tall spire will be restored and illuminated once again like "back in the day" I guess. I had mentioned this in a previous post and was hoping that they would do this. I remember, very vividly how that spire looked when lit up, and how it was illuminated and fluctuated with the lighting after being solid for a few seconds (yes I'm an old fart); I lived on Duval Street as a boy (817 West Duval), and you could see the skyscrapers of downtown Jax back then (mid to late 60's) and Jax's skyline was lit up back then with illuminated signage. Would be nice to see that again on most all of the remaining scrapers in downtown Jax.
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: thelakelander on December 11, 2020, 11:51:49 AM
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The staff report says the developer has received a tentative certificate of appropriateness from the city Historic Preservation Commission on the restoration plans.

Hurst said Dec. 10 the proposed restoration needs final approval from the National Park Service, which regulates historic preservation projects in federally designated historic districts like Downtown Jacksonville.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/ddrb-approves-independent-life-renovation-downtown
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: thelakelander on January 27, 2021, 10:20:58 AM
Just waiting on Lenny's signature and National Parks Service approval now:

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/council-approves-dollar3-million-historic-preservation-grant-for-independent-life-building

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The restoration of the old Independent Life Building as an 18-floor apartment building and grocery store won support Tuesday from City Council when it approved $3 million for the conversion of the vacant high-rise in downtown.

The 18-0 vote marks the second time the city has agreed to partner with Augustine Development Group.

City Council previously agreed to an amended development agreement in May 2020 that committed $1.5 million in historic preservation fund money to help finance renovating the abandoned Ambassador Hotel, which is a few blocks from the Independent Life Building.

The status of the Ambassador project is unclear. The Downtown Investment Authority has given several months of extensions to the developer to get started on that work.


https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2021/01/27/independent-life-building-restoration-gets-3-million-backing-city/4268002001/

Just a follow up to the quote from the Times-Union article. The Ambassador, Independent Life and the Marine National Bank projects all appear to one major project.....at least from a parking perspective. The Marine National Bank project's parking garage is supposed to be for the Ambassador, Independent Life and Marine Bank developments. As such, it would make sense for the developer to get the other two projects further along, so that some level of construction would be simultaneous.
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: marcuscnelson on January 27, 2021, 01:26:15 PM
For anyone wondering (like I was) what the National Park Service has to do with this:

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According to Dasher Hurst, the proposed restoration is waiting for final approval from the National Park Service, which regulates historic preservation projects in federally designated historic districts, including Downtown Jacksonville.

There's no reason for Curry to not sign, right?
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: fieldafm on January 27, 2021, 02:07:26 PM
For anyone wondering (like I was) what the National Park Service has to do with this:

Quote
According to Dasher Hurst, the proposed restoration is waiting for final approval from the National Park Service, which regulates historic preservation projects in federally designated historic districts, including Downtown Jacksonville.

There's no reason for Curry to not sign, right?

The National Park Service under the Dept of the Interior is the federal agency in charge of the National Register of Historic Places.  NPS has to approve the proposed renovations and building alterations in order for a redevelopment/rehabilitation to qualify for federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

This is true for any project seeking tax credits where the building is either protected under the National Register of Historic Places, or for any buildings/complexes identified as contributing structures within a registered historic district.  The Independent Life, Ambassador Hotel and Marine National Bank buildings are all contributing structures within the Northbank's National Register Historic District


As for the Mayor's signature- it isn't required as the Council has passed the bill by a super-majority. He could sign it, or choose not to sign it.   
Title: Re: Independent Life project up for final DDRB approval
Post by: jaxlongtimer on January 27, 2021, 03:49:58 PM
^Can we just turn over all of Downtown to the National Park Service?  I think they could do a much better job than the local yokels!  ;D