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Jax Daily Record Friday, May 11, 201802:28 PM EST

Final designs for hotel, parking garage; conceptual design for Jones Brothers Furniture Co. Building going before DDRB

Developer plans to redevelop the Life of The South Building into a Hotel Indigo.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

The Downtown Development Review Board on Thursday will consider conceptual and final construction designs for three Downtown projects.

Those are a redevelopment of the former Life of the South Building at 100 W. Bay St. into Hotel Indigo; a six-story parking garage with ground floor retail to service the Laura Street Trio and Barnett Bank Building projects seeks final design approval; and the initial conceptual designs for redevelopment of the vacant Jones Brothers Furniture Co. Building at Church and Hogan streets.

The DDRB is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

Hotel Indigo

Developer Eugene Profit seeks final design approval for the 100 W. Bay St. redevelopment project that will add 89 hotel rooms to the urban core.

The 55-year-old, 79,000-square-foot, seven-story building at Bay and Laura streets will include a Hotel Indigo and separate ground-floor retail space.

The ground floor will feature a 92-seat restaurant, bar and lounge along with the hotel lobby. Plans submitted to the DDRB show a 540-square-foot conference room for the hotel on the first floor and other amenities.

Hotel rooms with king and double-queen layouts will occupy floors two through seven, with a fitness center on the fourth floor.

A 190-seat restaurant and bar is planned for the rooftop terrace.

Profit also plans to lease 2,159 square feet on the street level for additional retail space. Peterbrooke Chocolatier is the current tenant and is expected to return after construction is completed.

Profit is a former NFL player whose investment business, Profit Investment Management, is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

He bought the Life of The South building through 100 West Bay Street 1 LLC in 2013 for $3 million. Profit’s company also is renovating 20 W. Adams St. into student housing and a restaurant for Florida State College at Jacksonville. The restaurant is open.

Hotel Indigo is operated by United Kingdom-based IntraContinental Hotel Group PLC, which has a franchise agreement with Profit to bring the hotel Downtown.

Robbins Design Studio is the architect and Danis Construction will serve as general contractor. Atlantic Engineering Services is providing structural engineering with TLC Engineering for Architecture listed as the mechanical engineer. 

Connelly & Wicker Inc. is the civil engineer.

Jax Design Group Inc. is the food service provider, although Profit has not disclosed the restaurant concept that will operate on the ground floor or rooftop areas.

Profit is not seeking financial incentives from the Downtown Investment Authority.

The vacant Jones Brothers Furniture Co. Building could be transformed into apartments, retail and restaurant space.

Mixed-use planned for Jones Furniture Building

ACE JAX LLC brings the first conceptual designs for the redevelopment of the vacant Jones Brothers Furniture Co. Building at 520 N. Hogan St. and the Western Union Building at 502 N. Hogan St. for DDRB review.

The project includes retail, office and restaurant space for both buildings along with 28 apartments in the Jones Brothers Furniture Co. Building.

The seven-story, 39,000-square-foot Jones Brothers Building was constructed in 1926.

ACE JAX, led by managers Elias Hionides and Christian Allen of Atlantic Beach, plans to convert the first floor into a residential lobby, a 1,105-square-foot restaurant or coffee shop and another 918 square feet set aside for a commercial office tenant.

Plans submitted to the DDRB show a second-level fitness center at 556 square feet, with two one-bedroom apartments ranging from 791 square feet to 851 square feet, and another 1,014-square-foot two-bedroom apartment.

The plans show floors three through seven with a mix of one-bedroom apartments ranging from 671 square feet to 851 square feet.

The rooftop deck features seating options and a fire pit.

The Western Union Building was constructed in 1915 as a parking garage and converted to office space around 1950. Plans show 9,600 square feet split between two restaurant spaces and an office tenant.

Hionides has not disclosed potential tenants.

The project also includes 59 parking spaces.

ACE JAX seeks three deviations to address reduced required parking, building transparency, and to exceed building height standards for that area of Downtown.

The former Jones Brothers Furniture Co. Building is owned by O U R Properties Inc.

Mandarin Emporium Inc. owns the Western Union Building.

Robbins Design Studio is the architect and interior designer, Danis Construction is listed as the general contractor, and GAI Consultants will handle civil engineering services.

Atlantic Engineering Services is providing structural engineering and TLC Engineering for Architecture is listed as the mechanical engineer. 

ACE JAX plans to invest $11.1 million in the renovation and hopes to begin construction by next year.

The Downtown Investment Authority in March approved $2.25 million in incentives for ACE JAX to proceed with the project.

Incentives include a $1.5 million grant from the Downtown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund, pending approval from The Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission. Funds would not be disbursed until the last Certificate of Occupancy is obtained.

The DIA also approved a $750,000 loan from the Downtown Economic Development Trust Fund, payable over 20 years at 1.5 percent per annum. ACE JAX plans to make interest-only payments for the first 12 months, with the rest amortized over the next 240 months according to a term sheet.

The city will have the second position on the mortgage.

Additionally, the city will sell ACE JAX an adjacent 1.7-acre parking lot along West Ashley Street for $1. According to the Duval County Property Appraiser, the land is valued at $120,670.

Those terms need approval from City Council.

ACE JAX also needs to secure development rights from the DIA before construction can continue.

The company will come before the DDRB again for final approval of its construction plans in the coming months.

A six-level, 696-space parking garage includes 7,730 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space facing Laura and Forsyth streets.

Forsyth and Main parking garage

DDRB will consider final design approve for a six-level, 696-space parking garage.

It is the last piece of the $90 million urban core project for SouthEast Development Group and The Molasky Group of Cos.

The project includes the redevelopment of the Barnett Bank and Laura Street Trio buildings.

The parking garage is proposed for what is now a city-owned, street-level parking lot along Forsyth Street between Main and Laura streets.

Dasher Hurst Architects and Danis Construction are overseeing the project.

The garage includes 7,730 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space facing Laura and Forsyth streets.

At the request of the DDRB, the development group also designed 6,037 square feet of space facing Main Street to be converted into retail shops.

SouthEast and Molasky have not announced tenants.

The developers expect to complete the project in late 2018 or early 2019 to coincide with the completion of the Barnett Bank Building.

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