Author Topic: Luxury hotel, 200 apartments and retail coming to site of former Ambassador Hote  (Read 18306 times)

Jagsdrew

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I totally forgot about the apartment portion of the development. I was gnashing my teeth yesterday over the 6.4 million dollar package La Quinta received but forgot that there are 200+ apartments to go along with it. I'm an idiot.
Twitter: @Jagsdrew

Steve

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Pretty cool. Glad to see this one moving along so quickly. I assume since Vesctor is involved, the apartment component won't have retail?

11 East and The Carling has retail, so I wouldn’t completely rule it out.

jaxjags

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Has anyone seen published conceptual drawings for the apartment part of this project?

remc86007

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Walked by the hotel this morning. There were a lot of construction noises coming from inside the hotel and a frontloader was removing debris from the bottom floor. It was super exciting to see and hear after years of walking by an abandoned building.

KenFSU

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Anyone hear if these will be Affordable, Workforce, or Market Rate Apartments.

Market Rate.

Hotel has been slightly downsized (127 rooms down to 100), residential has been slightly upsized (from 200 units up to 220 now).

thelakelander

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Has anyone seen published conceptual drawings for the apartment part of this project?
Now, before that component moves forward, they'll have to gain design approval from the DDRB.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

KenFSU

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P.S. It's largely flown under the radar, but downtown has not had a great couple of months in terms of hotel occupancy.

January's numbers in particular are looking even more alarming (hovering between 56% and 60% - down about 20% YoY).

It's going to be interesting to see what happens as the La Quinta, Hyatt Place, and others come online.

Steve

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P.S. It's largely flown under the radar, but downtown has not had a great couple of months in terms of hotel occupancy.

January's numbers in particular are looking even more alarming (hovering between 56% and 60% - down about 20% YoY).

It's going to be interesting to see what happens as the La Quinta, Hyatt Place, and others come online.

Interesting. Any idea how the city as a whole is doing?

Here’s how I see it: Downtown’s base is logically business travelers. Business travelers are fairly brand loyal, and there’s no Marriott presence and no IHG presence. Hilton has a decent southbank presence, then obviously Hyatt and Omni.

My thought is the downtown hotels may cannibalize the room nights at places like JTB/95, but less so from existing downtown properties (maybe a little)

It surprised me a little the brands for the Hyatt Place (considering the 900+ room Hyatt) and LaQuinta. I know Marriott is planting a flag with the Trio development and the Brooklyn Residence inn, and IHG has the proposed Indigo.

I agree it’s likely one of those don’t break ground. The Indigo one is the one I’ve heard the least about.

thelakelander

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I see all of these as more likely to happen. The ones I would not hold my breath on is Berkman, the Shipyards and the AC Hotel at the District. It just seems like once a few of these open, they'll absorb whatever demand is here until downtown grows a bit. In addition, the longer these other places take to break ground, the more likely the economy won't be as healthy as it is now.
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thelakelander

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Here was the last story about Hotel Indigo (November 2018). The developer isn't asking for incentives and already owns the building.

Quote
Since May, he said his development team has been working to push the project forward.

“We are fully entitled and our design docs are at about 80 percent completion,” he said.

“All we need now is finish our capital stack to get construction underway so we hope to be online toward the end of 2019.”

Profit is a former NFL player whose investment business is based in Bethesda, Maryland. He is not seeking incentives from the Downtown Investment Authority or the city of Jacksonville for the hotel.

Profit also announced he was not pursuing federal historic tax credits because he plans to modify the building layout to increase occupancy.

Full article: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/developer-of-downtown-hotel-indigo-will-not-seek-historic-tax-credits
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KenFSU

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Any idea how the city as a whole is doing?

In addition, the longer these other places take to break ground, the more likely the economy won't be as healthy as it is now.

City hotels are bucketed into six areas: Arlington, Beaches, Downtown, Northside/Airport, Southside/Mandarin, Westside. Downtown closed out last week at 56% occupancy. All other areas were between 70% and 80%. Downtown was in the 70s for most of last fiscal year, and in the same ballpark as the other regions, but whether it be changing tastes, or fewer events (Jags didn't help), perception shift after the shooting, or maybe even residual effects of the damage the politics have caused to the Landing, downtown's numbers have started to drop in Q4 to present.

To Ennis' point, we may already be there. Jacksonville had something crazy like 8 years of continous annual RevPar growth. We also had a streak going up until Q4 of last year of over a year of weekly RevPar growth. Numbers throughout the city are finally showing real evidence of softening, which is also mirrored in tourism numbers in other cities througout the state (Jacksonville's actually fairing better than most of other Florida cities).

I think if we don't continue to focus on making our downtown a more attractive, vibrant place to spend time, the numbers might not be so pretty when the new hotels come online. I hope you're right Steve about drawing from JTB/95, but I question whether Hyatt Place, Indigo, La Quinta, or the Brooklyn hotel on their own will add net new room occupants to downtown.

I think the Courtyard at the Trio will add net new visitors, due to the story and additional development that comes with it. Same with the pie-in-the-sky Berkman plan. IF - a huge if here - the Berkman opens as a Hard Rock or other nice property with a swim-up pool, restaurants, a family arcade, and the goofy rides, I think it probably creates enough additional demand for hotel rooms downtown so as to not just cannibalize the existing base. A Lot J hotel is more of a wildcard.

I think everyone can win though if we continue to make smart investments in downtown, like the Emerald Necklace, and actually work with Sleiman to make the Landing a great anchor for Indigo, Courtyard, Hyatt Place, La Quinta, etc.

One thing that continues to blow my mind though when looking at the downtown numbers is why in the world we included so many hotel rooms in the Convention Center RFP...

« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 11:12:00 AM by KenFSU »

ProjectMaximus

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Perhaps we are prepping to host that once-every-30-years-Super Bowl.

I wonder if I will see an impact on our airbnb rentals in San Marco. We have two units and they are over 90% occupied every month. I get the sense our guests are slightly more business oriented vs leisure, with an occasional overnight passing-through traveler. Our rates are a good deal vs hotels...both units are 2 bedroom and typically rent in the $65-100/night range inclusive of taxes and fees.

CityLife

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Ken, what were the other areas hotel occupancy last year? Did they dip too like DT, or hold steady?

I would guess that the opening of Daily's Place and the subsequent wave of excitement and shows (along with a good Jags season) propped up the hotel occupancy rates for 2017. From a quick glance, Daily's didn't have nearly as many shows in 2018 as it did in 2017.

https://www.setlist.fm/venue/dailys-place-amphitheater-jacksonville-fl-usa-6bd54eba.html?page=12



thelakelander

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I think everyone can win though if we continue to make smart investments in downtown, like the Emerald Necklace, and actually work with Sleiman to make the Landing a great anchor for Indigo, Courtyard, Hyatt Place, La Quinta, etc.

One thing that continues to blow my mind though when looking at the downtown numbers is why in the world we included so many hotel rooms in the Convention Center RFP...

We can pretty much bet on the house that all projects won't materialize (they never do....not even in places like NYC and Miami) and we won't continue to make smart investments in downtown.  Just in recent months, we nuked the entire idea of resolving the convention center situation and we imploded a perfectly fine building without even issuing a RFP for adaptive reuse. Now we're considering moving a public utility and hundreds of jobs out of downtown to help subsidize a competing development in a flood zone. Nothing about these decisions represent the concept of continued smart investments.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

KenFSU

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Ken, what were the other areas hotel occupancy last year? Did they dip too like DT, or hold steady?

They mostly held steady or rose, but all areas started to dip in Q4.

Technically, though downtown had the lowest occupancy rate in Q4, by a comfortable margin, it was the only region that showed growth on paper in Oct-Dec.

All five other regions showed monthly losses versus the previous year in all three months of the quarter.

The downtown growth in Q4 is misleading however, as the Hyatt was fully/partially closed post-Irma throughout Q4 2017, but still technically on the books and counting against occupancy.

This is what makes the January numbers scary to me. Occupancy is down 20% and RevPar is down like 25% versus January 2018 (YoY losses are closer to 10% for other regions, with the beaches actually being up a bit), and this is compared to a month last year where the Hyatt was still under construction and hadn't fully reopened and was subsequently dragging the downtown numbers down with it.

Don't get me wrong, downtown had super strong growth in 2018, by far the strongest growth in the city in terms of hotels, it's just a little odd to see what's happening in the last few months.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 11:08:00 AM by KenFSU »