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Jax Daily Record Monday, Nov. 26, 201804:58 PM EST

Construction on the Vista Brooklyn to begin soon

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Developers secured a $52 million mortgage for the property on Monday.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

Construction of the Vista Brooklyn high-rise apartment project will begin in the next two months now that developers have secured a mortgage for the property.

Bristol Development Group LLC and Hallmark Partners Inc. are developing the 10-story, 308-unit tower at 200 Riverside Ave., between 220 Riverside and the Brooklyn Station on Riverside retail development.

The group secured a $52,475,360 mortgage with Citizens Bank through HP BDG 200 Riverside LLC.

The mortgage was recorded Monday in Duval County.

“We’ll begin working on things within the next 30-45 days,” said Bristol Development Group Principal Sam Yeager.

“We’ve been doing things on the property for some time, but you’ll start seeing construction equipment and that sort of thing soon.”

The Franklin, Tennessee-based company acquired the 1.75-acre property in October 2015 for $2.1 million.

In October, the group applied for a $55 million permit to begin construction. Birmingham, Alabama, construction and engineering company Brasfield and Gorrie LLC is listed as the contractor along with architectural firm JDavis Architects.

Bristol Senior Vice President Scott Black said monthly rents will range from about $1,300 to $3,500. That’s more than the surrounding Brooklyn apartment developments.

According to the permit application, the community will comprise 219 one-bedroom and studio units, 81 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units.

“It will be the nicest multifamily project in Jacksonville when it’s completed,” Black said. “By a fairly large margin.”

Black said Vista will include 14,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor facing Riverside Avenue.

He said Bristol is bullish on Brooklyn given the success of surrounding apartment complexes and the viability of the Brooklyn Station on Riverside retail development that is anchored by The Fresh Market.

“We really like Jacksonville and we think Brooklyn is a great location,” he said.

Black said Vista will offer new amenities for Jacksonville renters, with a rooftop pool and beer garden.

“We’re going to have the best views of Downtown from our amenities deck,” Black said.

An eight-story parking garage is planned for the southwest side of the project facing Magnolia Street and will feature a top-floor dog park along with 450 parking spaces for residents and retail customers.

Black said construction will take about two years. He estimates a total capital investment of more than $60 million.

The development was announced in 2016.

The Downtown Development Review Board approved final building design along with deviations for reduced parking and for exceeding a 60-foot height limit in June 2017.

When complete, it will be the first new multifamily project in Brooklyn since The Brooklyn Riverside apartments were completed in 2015.

Vista’s 10 stories is double that of The Brooklyn Riverside. 220 Riverside is seven stories tall.

Vista also could be the first of many mixed-use developments to come online in Brooklyn over the next decade.

While restaurants have failed to take root at 220 Riverside, retail at the Brooklyn Station development has.

The Ferber Company Inc. is developing 12,000 square feet of dining and retail next to Brooklyn Station, at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Leila Street, in 2019.

Miami-based Riverside Lodging LLC recently closed on a $2.4 million property purchase along Oak Street at Forest Street. The company plans to build a 135-room Residence Inn by Marriott next year.

Meanwhile, The Vestcor Companies recently was awarded $17 million in tax credits from the state to build a $29 million workforce and affordable housing complex in the neighborhood.

The Lofts at Brooklyn will be a five-story complex with 133 units when completed at the end of 2019.

Another group, connected to 13 property owners, has spent more than $4.5 million since 2014 acquiring 11.6 acres in the Brooklyn area. Their plans remain unclear.

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