The company offered the site to city officials and homeless service providers this week as a temporary shelter.
JWB Real Estate Capital continues to increase its Downtown property portfolio with a $652,500 warehouse buy at 331 W. Ashley St.
According to records filed with the Duval County Clerk of Court, JWB purchased the property from the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville through 331 Ashley St Warehouse LLC.
The company closed on the purchase March 8, records show.
JWB President Alex Sifakis said March 11 that the company purchased the 22,035-square-foot warehouse and a portion of the land parcel which is adjacent to the Residences at City Place apartments.
In the last year, JWB purchased on completed work on multiple Downtown properties including the Ashley Street Container Lofts at 412 E. Ashley St.; the Porter Mansion at 510 N. Julia St.; the historic Seminole and Federal Reserve buildings at 400 and 424 N. Hogan St.; and the Baptist Convention Building on the same block at 218 W. Church St.
The City Rescue Mission and the nonprofit Changing Homelessness started using the warehouse this week as a temporary shelter for the homeless. Sifakis said the company has been working with homeless service providers Downtown.
JWB discussed the 331 W. Ashley St. site with Sulzbacher President and CEO Cindy Funkhouser which led to the temporary shelter, according to Sifakis.
The site opened while the city worked to clear a nearly 200-person homeless camp at nearby Union and Jefferson streets.
City crew closed the encampment March 9, according to Daily Record news partner News4Jax.com.
The real estate company will allow the city and Changing Homelessness to use the warehouse as an emergency homeless shelter for 30 days until other accommodations can be found for the residents, according to Sifakis.
He said the warehouse has a 150-person capacity and the facility housed 80 people the day it opened.
After the temporary shelter is no longer needed, Sifakis said the company plans to repurpose the warehouse as a Downtown amenity space.
JWB has not started conversations with operators or tenants, but Sifakis said uses could range from a food court to a bowling alley. Sifakis said JWB is still open to ideas.
“We’re not going to lease it out as a warehouse. We’re committed to having it be an amenity for Downtown,” he said.