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John Gorrie Junior High was converted to condominiums and townhomes during a recessionary trough in local condo construction. Just over half of the units have sold.
Neighborhood real estate agents say sales should pick up now that the economy is reco...
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Sep. 10, 201412:00 PM EST

Making old new again

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by: Carole Hawkins

By Carole Hawkins, [email protected]

Buy an old building and repurpose it for modern use –– it sounds like a money-saver.

Turns out, it’s more complicated than that.

Buying the building is typically less than the cost of reconstruction.

“That’s the cost you have to justify to see if it’s worth keeping the building,” said James Sutton, senior manager of Gordon’s Castle.

Sutton knows what he’s talking about.

In 2011 Gordon’s Castle, which specializes in adaptive re-use renovations, converted the old John Gorrie Junior High School into The John Gorrie, a Riverside area condominium.

Buying the property cost $500,000. Converting it was about $12 million.

It was understood ahead of time the deal would only break even once the condos sold. But it was a success, Sutton said, in that it met the owners’ goal of stabilizing Riverside’s Stockton Street neighborhood and preserving a cherished piece of Jacksonville’s history.

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