Author Topic: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?  (Read 13041 times)

jaxlongtimer

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Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« on: September 07, 2023, 03:38:42 PM »
New project for Downtown... maybe?
Quote
Gateway Jax ‘Pearl Street District’ in conceptual city review
The proposed retail, apartments and office uses could transform five blocks Downtown into a $464.4 million redevelopment.

The Downtown Development Review Board is scheduled to conceptually review the proposed Pearl Street District multiphase site plan, comprising five blocks along Pearl Street between Union and Church streets.

The project is better known as Gateway Jax, which is a transformational Downtown development along Union Street with apartments, retail and other uses that would provide a new gateway vista into Jacksonville’s core.

As of May, records showed the transformation could be a $464.4 million project, one of the largest deals ever done on Jacksonville’s Northbank.

A project description says the Pearl Street District “features a mix of buildings with retail-activated, vibrant streetscapes as well as thoughtfully planned public areas and walkable streets, all within an 18-hour a day environment.”

The site plan outlines Blocks N4, N5, N8, N9 and N11.

They are bordered by Union, Julia, Church and Clay streets and bisected by Pearl, Beaver and Ashley streets.

Plans show Pearl Street would be closed between Beaver and Ashley streets for pedestrian use.

The blocks are:

N4: A building footprint of 57,300 square feet, bounded by Union, Pearl, Beaver and Clay streets.

N5: An existing parking garage to remain.

N8: A building footprint of 59,100 square feet, bounded by Beaver, Pearl, Ashley and Clay streets.

N9: A building footprint of 21,100 square feet, bounded by Beaver, Pearl and Ashley streets, not including the City Place Condominium.

N11: A building footprint of 32,530 square feet, next to the Porter House Mansion, which remains.

The DDRB staff supports conceptual review of the application, 2023-017, with several conditions.

The design team comprises architect Elkus Manfredi; landscape architect Hoerr Schaudt; and engineer England-Thims & Miller Inc.

The Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow law firm is the agent to obtain the DDRB approval for development and related work.

The board is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Sept. 14 in the first-floor Lynwood Roberts Room at City Hall at 117 W. Duval St.

The proposed developer, Gateway Jax LLC, is led by Bryan Moll, a veteran of Strategic Property Partners, which is developing the estimated $3 billion Water Street Tampa, a mixed-use waterfront district of 9 million square feet of commercial, residential, hospitality, cultural, entertainment, education and retail space.

Downtown Investment Authority records show the project could include 1,160 apartments, office and retail space, along with the lighthouse parking garage previously owned by First Baptist Church.

A preliminary “Pearl Street Incentives Summary” spreadsheet by Gateway Jax dated March 22, 2023, shows potential taxpayer incentives of $135.64 million, covering 29% of the project.

The city’s return on public investment is calculated at $1.04 for every $1 invested.

jaxdailyrecord.com/news/2023/sep/07/gateway-jax-pearl-street-district-in-conceptual-city-review/

« Last Edit: September 07, 2023, 03:50:55 PM by jaxlongtimer »

marcuscnelson

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2023, 04:41:41 PM »
There's already an existing thread for this:

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,37628.0.html

I will grant that purely from a fiscal standpoint this is a much better deal than the Four Seasons for about the same cost in incentives. I'd also note that a number of the parcels in this project (such as the warehouse that's currently on Block N9) were originally bought by JWB, so I'm curious how much involvement they have, if any, with this project. And I wonder if the incentives number includes what appears to be a reconfiguration of Pearl St in addition to the narrowing of other streets. I don't think the article is being accurate about actually closing Pearl St, but the rendering suggests it might be designed to substantially slow vehicles through it, perhaps by having the road at the same level as the sidewalk and using bollards to limit vehicle movement, with potentially the option to close the street for special events.

This project looks like it could be pretty nice, so I hope it's factored interest rates. With the Related, Carter, and American Lions projects all likely dead in the water, and the Laura Trio uncertain, it could be just this and the stadium deal as large projects to discuss in the near future.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2023, 05:37:24 PM »
This project, along with the FSCJ Master Plan, both restrict - or close - Pearl Street. What does SPAR think about doing this to one of the primary connections between Springfield and Downtown?

It would also be helpful if the block plan gave a hint as to the proposed uses for each.  When converting "feet" into "floors" is there a standard guideline? How many floors would the 275-foot N8 block have?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2023, 05:40:34 PM by Charles Hunter »

marcuscnelson

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2023, 07:33:47 PM »
Doesn't SPAR have a pretty clearly defined boundary of the Springfield Historic District? What relevance would they have on proposals outside of their district in Downtown?

Two older articles, here and here, provide more context into the specifics of the buildings, including their floor counts, estimated apartment rents, and the breakdown of incentives. Block N8 would be a 22-story mostly residential building at a cost of $232 million, with $65 million of that being city incentives.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

Charles Hunter

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2023, 08:04:26 PM »
Doesn't SPAR have a pretty clearly defined boundary of the Springfield Historic District? What relevance would they have on proposals outside of their district in Downtown?

True, the SPAR boundary is somewhat north of this development - Hogan's Creek.  I am curious if SPAR has taken a position on restricting access via Pearl Street. On the one hand, by limiting through traffic, SPAR may like the idea. On the other hand, they may not like losing a connection to downtown.

Quote
Two older articles, here and here, provide more context into the specifics of the buildings, including their floor counts, estimated apartment rents, and the breakdown of incentives. Block N8 would be a 22-story mostly residential building at a cost of $232 million, with $65 million of that being city incentives.

Thanks, I'll take a look.

fsu813

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2023, 10:44:14 PM »
Doesn't SPAR have a pretty clearly defined boundary of the Springfield Historic District? What relevance would they have on proposals outside of their district in Downtown?

I think you'll find most of the urban core neighborhoods with strong community organizations have weighed in on Downtown projects from time to time, most recently the Dailys gas station in LaVilla and the Southbank parking garage.

Downtown is everyone's neighborhood, as former Mayor Buckhorn so eloquently argued, but especially so for the communities that directly surround it.

This piece by Chris Hand does a good job at describing the relationship:
https://www.jacksonville.com/story/opinion/columns/mike-clark/2017/08/15/guest-column-revitalized-springfield-key-downtown-s-resurgence/15768776007/
« Last Edit: September 07, 2023, 10:50:10 PM by fsu813 »

thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2023, 11:50:26 PM »
Yes, SPAR and other neighborhoods should be very concerned about any proposals to close the few connecting streets that remain. We can easily design projects to maintain our street grid.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2023, 12:07:40 AM »
There's already an existing thread for this:

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,37628.0.html

Noted.  Unfortunately, without a search function for this site (if it exists, I am unaware of it), it is not easy to find and connect to past threads.  It would be really useful given how many thousands of threads and years of posting have accumulated.

thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2023, 07:24:59 AM »
^We'll work on that. There is a way to jump into the old Metro Jacksonville archives. We need to make that easy to find for everyone.

Also, regarding this particular project, it's not closing Pearl Street.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2023, 08:19:11 AM »

Also, regarding this particular project, it's not closing Pearl Street.

Thanks, I think the question arises due to the highlighting of the block of Pearl between Ashley and Beaver (or N8 and N9) on the project graphics above
.
Does the project assume continuing the existing two-way configuration south of Ashley?

thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2023, 08:25:00 AM »
The highlighting illustrates streetscaping of that block into a centralized focal point.
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vicupstate

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2023, 08:55:06 AM »
I know JWB has purchased a lot of property on the Northbank and renovations  are underway at many of them. Has any building been completed and/or occupied yet?

The rents psf in this project seem very high for the JAX market.   
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thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2023, 09:20:29 AM »
The Seminole Club, First Baptist Convention and Federal Reserve Bank buildings are basically complete. There's tenants either already in or lined up for them. I believe half of the apartments are airbnb.
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2023, 09:21:23 AM »
Still zero market-rate new construction on the Northbank. Doro is the only one if you want to count that. Still doing conversions mainly or income-limited new construction. Nothing new above 10 stories.

thelakelander

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Re: Gateway Jax - $500 million for Downtown Project?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2023, 10:49:59 AM »
We're several years away from being able to do market rate construction for mid-rise stick frame buildings, much less buildings above 10-stories. That's commonly known and won't be resolved anytime soon with the large amount of vacant buildings and empty lots dominating the Northbank scene. Lots of subsidies will be needed. However, we will get there faster if things were a bit more strategically clustered, similar to the current approach by several developers in the area NW of city hall.
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