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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 21, 202111:58 AM EST

New Laura Street Trio renderings show redevelopment in two phases

The designs provided by SouthEast Development Group show the full renovation of the historic Downtown site.
by: Mike Mendenhall Associate Editor

Laura Street Trio developer SouthEast Development Group LLC released its latest designs for a two-phase redevelopment of the Downtown property.

The renderings and site plan for the estimated $70.4 million first phase of the project likely will go before the Downtown Development Review Board for conceptual review in March, Southern Group lobbyist and SouthEast Development representative Matt Brockelman said Jan. 21. 

The designs show the restored former Florida Life, Bisbee and Marble Bank buildings at 51 W. Forsyth St. Those historic structures comprise the Trio. 

Southeast Managing Director Steve Atkins plans a 145-room Marriott hotel with a full-service restaurant and bar, a 4,000-square-foot boutique grocery store and an additional 4,000 square feet of retail space at the Trio.

Atkins said Dec. 14 that Marriott is reviewing the adaptive reuse project as a candidate for its Autograph Collection of hotels.

Atkins purchased a Marriott franchise in 2014 and Brockelman said the hotel will be run by third-party operator Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group LLC, based in Cincinnati.

A rendering of the Laura Street Trio site shows new construction on a vacant lot on the north side of the property.

The designs obtained Jan. 21 also show the second phase of construction comprising a residential expansion in an adjacent vacant lot along Forsyth Street. 

Brockelman said the residential addition still is conceptual and he has not seen a cost estimate.

The project designs are by Dasher Hurst Architects. SouthEast Development has contracted with Danis Construction LLC to build the project.  

Project plans submitted to the city in 2017 included new construction on the vacant lot to the north of the Trio, also shown in the latest renderings.

Steve Kelley, Downtown Investment Authority Downtown real estate and development director, told a DIA committee Jan. 14 the Trio renovation likely will come before the full board in March. 

Brockelman confirmed that March is SouthEast Development’s target to complete a term sheet with the DIA. The lobbyist said the developer has a meeting with DDRB staff next week to set a timeline for design approval.

Brockelman, a DDRB member, said he will recuse himself from votes on the Trio designs.

The site of the second phase is on a parcel owned by Laura Trio LLC, according to the Duval County Property Appraiser’s Office.

The new construction is planned for the second phase of the Laura Street Trio project.

City Council approved $9.8 million in June 2017 for SouthEast and development partner Las Vegas-based The Molasky Group of Cos. to renovate the Barnett National Bank Building and the Trio.

Atkins said in December that Molasky is not involved in his latest plans for the Trio. 

The deal included $8 million from the Downtown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund and a Recapture Enhanced Value Grant up to $1.8 million to be paid out over 20 years.

After SouthEast missed a deadline to complete a parking garage that was part of a deal to redevelop The Barnett, Boyer announced in September 2019 the DIA and project developers were renegotiating the city agreement to ensure the Trio is renovated.

The parking garage along Laura Street is under development by VyStar Credit Union. 

According to the DIA and Council Auditor’s Office, the Barnett project will not receive $4 million of the incentive deal because of the default on the garage.

A Council Auditor’s report showing the balance and financial commitments of the city historic preservation trust fund was attached to four Council committees agendas’ this week for a project unrelated to the Trio. 

It said the $4 million for the Barnett was not available for other historic renovation projects Downtown.

DIA CEO Lori Boyer said Jan. 14 that the latest Trio deal will use incentives under the DIA’s Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program approved by Council in October.

The Laura Street Trio site as seen from The Barnett in December.


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