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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jan. 13, 202103:40 PM EST

DIA committee to consider Downtown historic projects

The Florida Baptist Convention Building and the Old Federal Reserve Bank Building are proposed for redevelopment.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The owner of two historic buildings in the Downtown Central Core District is seeking nearly $9 million in forgivable and deferred loans from the city to help finance simultaneous redevelopment of the properties.

The Downtown Investment Authority Strategic Implementation Committee will consider the request at its meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 14 at the Main Library Conference Center.

JWB Real Estate Capital is applying for $8,706,356 to assist with redevelopment of the Florida Baptist Convention Building at 218 W. Church St. and the Old Federal Reserve Bank Building at 424 N. Hogan St.

The redevelopment plan for the Church Street building includes 24 studio and one-bedroom market-rate apartments. In addition, the property is slated to house two restaurant spaces at just over 2,000 square feet each and two retail spaces of 655 square feet and 492 square feet. The restaurant and retail spaces are on the first floor and in the basement. 

The Hogan Street building redevelopment plan comprises two restaurant spaces: 4,500 square feet on the first floor and 2,900 square feet in the basement.

The second and third floors of the property each will offer 4,500 square feet of event space. 

The parking lot between the Federal Reserve and Seminole buildings is proposed as an outdoor courtyard dining space shared by the three properties.

The restaurant operations and event space in the buildings would be complemented by the adjacent Seminole Building, now the home of Sweet Pete’s, also owned by JWB Capital.

The parking lot between the Federal Reserve and Seminole buildings is proposed as an outdoor courtyard dining space shared by the three properties.

The Downtown Development Review Board reviewed plans for the redevelopment of the properties at its meeting Sept. 10 and granted conceptual approval for both plans. 

The staff report included in the meeting agenda recommends approval of $8,624,320 comprising Historic Preservation, Restoration and Rehabilitation Forgivable Loans totaling $3,370,170; Code Compliance Forgivable Loans totaling $3,325,900; and Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program Deferred Principal Loans totaling $1,727,864. 

The forgivable loans would amortize concurrently with principal forgiveness at the rate of 20% annually over a five-year period.

The deferred principal loans are interest only with the rate established at the level of the 10-year Treasury note at the time of funding.

JWB Capital was founded in 2006 by Alex Sifakis, now president, Gregg Cohen and subsequently added partners Adam Eiseman, now CEO, and Adam Rigel.

The company owns or manages more than 4,000 rental homes and is redeveloping the former Town & Country Shopping Center in Arlington.

River City Brewing site

The committee also will consider a proposed revised term sheet for its 99-year ground lease the city signed in 1998 with Maritime Concepts LLC for its property along the Southbank, site of the River City Brewing restaurant and the associated parking lot.

Related Group, a Miami-based developer, has a contract to buy out Maritime Concepts’ interest in the property and the remaining 77 years of the land lease.

Proposed amendments to the term sheet are related to the city’s transfer of right of way and adding a construction schedule for the planned redevelopment of the property.

Related Group intends to build an eight-story, 335-unit apartment building, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor restaurant, a 500-space parking garage and a public marina on the site.

The Downtown Investment Authority board voted 8-0 in November to approve a 20-year, 75% Recapture Enhanced Value Grant capped at $11.9 million for the mixed-used project.

The committee’s meeting, open to the public, will be conducted in-person with COVID-19 protocols in the Multipurpose Room at the Main Library Conference Center and remotely at: 

Meeting ID: 926 2888 2896

Passcode: 284239

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