Author Topic: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block  (Read 648 times)

thelakelander

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Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« on: November 05, 2020, 11:35:42 PM »
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Already moving forward with the redevelopment of the long abandoned Ambassador Hotel and Independent Life Buildings, Augustine Development Group is now poised to bring a mixed-use multifamily project to Downtown Jacksonville.


Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/mixed-use-project-proposed-for-ambassador-hotel-block/
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2020, 01:35:16 AM »
Wow, crazy how fast people start responding to any indication at all of the city giving a damn about downtown.

The new building seems just a little uninspired to me, and that big blank wall viewed from Julia St is screaming for a mural or something. Infill is infill, of course, but I can't help but feel like we could do a little better.
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Steve

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2020, 09:13:34 AM »
Wow, crazy how fast people start responding to any indication at all of the city giving a damn about downtown.

The new building seems just a little uninspired to me, and that big blank wall viewed from Julia St is screaming for a mural or something. Infill is infill, of course, but I can't help but feel like we could do a little better.

Agreed. I think this project is "okay".

 - I like the reuse of the Marine National Bank building, so that's nice.
 - While perhaps 1st floor residential that opens in is considered "activated" street front (not sure the law), in spirit it definitely is not in my eyes.
 - They are also using the Ambassador frontage as "active" space, yet that project isn't up for review here.
 - That combined with the lack of activity on the garage isn't great, means that 75% of the block is uninspiring.

thelakelander

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2020, 09:21:58 AM »
I'm fine with it at this point. I rather see the retail of the various developments clustered together as opposed to spread out at random locations of each site. The retail is pushed to Julia in the Marine National Bank, the Ambassador and the Independent Life Building. If we zoom out a bit, this also aligns with the clustering of retail along Julia with the JEA headquarters and the redevelopment of the Porter House block. By the same token, if we zoom out and look at the surrounding area, Pearl is more of a service street. What's happening here is something the DIA should have attempted on a much larger level through the core of downtown. Identifying retail vs service corridors.
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Ken_FSU

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2020, 09:41:11 AM »
Great project, and big props to the DIA for pushing through the legislation to uncap the Historic Preservation Trust.

Different use cases and objectives obviously, but it will be interesting to see how much public subsidy goes into what's essentially Augustine Development Group's version of Lot J in the true urban core:

~400 residential units (vs. 400 at Lot J)
~127 hotel rooms (vs. 150-200 at Lot J)
~500 structured parking spots (vs. 700 at Lot J)
~35,000 sf of retail (vs. 175,000 at Lot J)



bl8jaxnative

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2020, 10:35:55 AM »
it will be interesting to see how much public subsidy goes into what's essentially Augustine Development Group's version of Lot J

That's an interesting and excellent comparison.

Steve

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2020, 12:17:21 PM »
I'm fine with it at this point. I rather see the retail of the various developments clustered together as opposed to spread out at random locations of each site. The retail is pushed to Julia in the Marine National Bank, the Ambassador and the Independent Life Building. If we zoom out a bit, this also aligns with the clustering of retail along Julia with the JEA headquarters and the redevelopment of the Porter House block. By the same token, if we zoom out and look at the surrounding area, Pearl is more of a service street. What's happening here is something the DIA should have attempted on a much larger level through the core of downtown. Identifying retail vs service corridors.

You bring up fair points. Julia has the dead block of the State Attorney Office and the back of the Federal Courthouse. But the rest of the nearby blocks are good.

I get that you need "service" blocks - just would have liked to see SOMETHING more on Pearl. Residents is good though

thelakelander

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2020, 12:27:55 PM »
^It (the ground floor of the State Attorney Office) could be something. It used to be the downtown post office. Now it's just empty shell space:



If security concerns could be overcome by design, it would be a great spot for something like a museum or restaurant, considering its publicly owned and already dried in.
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Steve

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2020, 12:45:38 PM »
^Forgot about that space....good point. That actually would be a good spot for something. To you point, plumb in Restrooms and make a completely separate entrance where you couldn't pass into the rest of the building.

thelakelander

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Re: Mixed-use project proposed for Ambassador Hotel block
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2020, 01:05:16 PM »
Great project, and big props to the DIA for pushing through the legislation to uncap the Historic Preservation Trust.

Different use cases and objectives obviously, but it will be interesting to see how much public subsidy goes into what's essentially Augustine Development Group's version of Lot J in the true urban core:

~400 residential units (vs. 400 at Lot J)
~127 hotel rooms (vs. 150-200 at Lot J)
~500 structured parking spots (vs. 700 at Lot J)
~35,000 sf of retail (vs. 175,000 at Lot J)

^I'd add these to the mix as well. All combined likely take up about the same or less amount of land than Lot J:

Porter House block - TBD
Florida Baptist Convention Building - 24 apartments, xx sf of retail/dining
Old Federal Reserve Building - 9,000 sf restaurant/office/event space
Jones Brothers Furniture Company - 28 apartments, 10,000 sf of retail
Old FBC/Gulf Life buildings on Hogan (Jim and Ellen Wiss) - 200 apartments, ?? sf of retail
JEA Headquarters - 153,000 sf office, 10,690 sf retail, 650 structured parking spots
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali