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Jax Daily Record Monday, Feb. 28, 202205:00 AM EST

Demolition permit issued for former Florida Times-Union property

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Developer expects the site to be cleared by July for redevelopment into apartments, retail, restaurant and park space.

It’s -30- at 1 Riverside Ave.

The journalism term indicates the end of a story, which describes the former Florida Times-Union structures.

On Feb. 25, the city issued a permit for Pece Of Mind Environmental Inc. of Orlando to start razing the property at a cost of $1 million for redevelopment into riverfront apartments, restaurants, retail and park space.

Property owner Jeff Fuqua said Feb. 27 the demolition and clearing should be completed in July.

The permit is for the demolition of the existing buildings and infrastructure of the Times-Union building and site. 

Work includes the five-story glass and granite office building, the neighboring three-story masonry production building and all of the support buildings, according to the permit. The project will restore the site “to clean, level, and graded.”

Workers surround the former Florida Times-Union property with fencing. (Photo by Scott Simpson)

The total square footage is 373,173 square feet.

Atlanta-based Fuqua Development paid $25 million on Feb. 4 for the 18.84-acre former Times-Union campus along the Downtown Northbank riverfront that it will redevelop into the mixed-use One Riverside.

Jeff Fuqua, principal of Fuqua Development, said then, three weeks ago, that demolition would start quickly for what he estimates will be a $250 million redevelopment of the property, which is at the foot of the Acosta Bridge.

Fuqua said that work would start “almost immediately” on demolition of the five-story, 55,500-square-foot office building and the three-level, 223,000-square-foot production building that included the newsroom, advertising offices and printing press. 

There also is a parking lot and deck and some small structures.

The structures have been vacant and vandalized.

Crews have installed fencing and mobilized on the site.

There are seven structures to be removed: The five-story office building, which is seven floors including the basement and penthouse; the three-story production building; an equipment storage building; two prefabricated sheds used for storage; and two small concrete gatehouses.

Pece Of Mind prepared a demolition and site-specific health and safety plan for the buildings for Fuqua Development LP.

It covers the collection of salvaged wire, piping and conduit; the placement of steel, fasteners and structural steel; and the loading of construction and concrete debris.

The Times-Union campus was built in 1967.

A truck from EGS Environmental and Geotechnical Services probes the parking lot outside of the former Times-Union production building where the newsroom and pressroom was located. (Photo by Scott Simpson)

Fuqua bought the property from 1 Riverside Property LLC, affiliated with the Morris family of Augusta, Georgia.

 In 1982, the Morris family bought the property and the newspaper. It sold the paper in 2017. The paper moved in April 2019 to Wells Fargo Center Downtown.

Fuqua sold 4.3 acres to TriBridge Residential for $15.5 million and 4.95 acres to the city for $6.04 million. TriBridge Residential is Fuqua’s partner in the apartment development. The city will restore McCoys Creek and develop a park.

One Riverside is designed in two phases.

The first phase comprises 270 apartments, retail space and a restaurant. 

A satellite image of the former Times-Union property along the St. Johns River at 1 Riverside Ave. in Brooklyn. (Google)

There also is an eight-level parking garage.

Fuqua said the retail portion of One Riverside will include a 40,000-square-foot grocery store that will be announced soon. 

The retail space – the grocer and an additional 7,000 square feet – will be developed on the site of the office building. The park will go where the production building is.

The residential development and the restaurant will be along the river.

A second phase will provide 115 more apartment units and 15,000 square feet of retail space fronting the restored McCoys Creek.

Fuqua said he also has submerged land. He said he was looking at how to develop that for a dock. 

City Council approved a $31.59 million incentives package Nov. 23 for the redevelopment.

The One Riverside development planned at the former Times-Union site.

 

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