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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Nov. 8, 201803:04 PM EST

Land sold for Lofts at Baymeadows

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Buyer Stratford Management wants to convert a closed hotel into 103 apartment units.
by: David Cawton Staff Writer

A shuttered Baymeadows motel is nearing redevelopment into apartments now that the property has sold.

According to the Duval County Clerk of Courts, Lofts at Baymeadows LLC paid $2.9 million Oct. 31 to acquire the 4.79-acre site at 8050 Baymeadows Circle W. from Alunity Investments Inc. M&T Bank of Buffalo, New York, issued a $4.73 million mortgage.

Boston-based Stratford Management Co. is listed as a manager for Lofts at Baymeadows LLC, according to state corporate records.

“We’re thrilled to have closed and to begin bringing this property back to life,” said Ilene Forsythe with Stratford Management.

The property is behind the proposed Baymeadows Park redevelopment project that fronts Baymeadows Road, near Interstate 95.

Forsythe said Stratford Management will begin work soon to transform the six-building motel property into about 103 one-bedroom and studio apartments. The units likely will range from 400 to 600 square feet.

An artist's rendering of the Baymeadows Park project.

The complex will be called Lofts at Baymeadows.

 Forsythe declined to specify rental rates. “We’re really just getting started here,” she said.

Alunity bought the property in 2013 for $500,000. Aqeel Momin with Alunity could not be reached for comment.

Forsythe said the company soon will begin working on exterior upgrades and then convert the motel rooms into apartments.

The project should take about a year.

“They’ve been vacant for some time, and it’s kind of an eyesore right now,” Forsythe said.

“We want to get it cleaned up for the neighborhood because we want to be good neighbors,” she said.

Stratford Management Co. developed other apartment complexes in Alabama, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York and Wisconsin.

Forsythe said Thursday the company should have renderings in the coming months.

Jacksonville City Council members approved legislation in September to rezone the property to allow for multifamily housing use.

The six buildings were constructed between 1982 and 1984.

These guys are definitely filling in a major piece of the puzzle for the redevelopment of the Baymeadows area,” said council member Danny Becton, who represents the area.

“The neighborhood is really on board with this, because this property has been a code enforcement challenge to say the least,” he said.

The motel site is just one part of an overall effort to redevelop that part of Baymeadows.

In September D.R. Horton Inc.-Jacksonville sold 5.79 acres in front of the motel site to Baymeadows Park LLC for $2.4 million for a mixed-use development.

The Baymeadows Park project is planned for part of the former Baymeadows Golf Club.

The $15 million, 95,000-square-foot office, hotel and retail center will comprise five buildings along Baymeadows Road between Baymeadows Circle east and west.

D.R. Horton plans to develop single-family and townhomes at the former golf club.

Along with Baymeadows Park, Becton said the new apartments will bring a much-needed amenity to the area.

“It’s just an icing on the cake.”

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