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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Sep. 27, 200112:00 PM EST

Shipyards: sheds will come down

by: Mike Sharkey

The massive riverfront Shipyards project is one step closer to being full steam ahead, construction-wise.

Wednesday, the Downtown Development Authority’s Design Review Committee approved the conceptual proposal presented by the Spence family for Phase I of the $860 million project. The next step, and last before construction can begin, is to receive final approval from the DRC. That approval is expected within the next few weeks.

Phase I calls for a 100-unit residential condominium complex that will consist of three, six-story buildings and occupy the space where the shipyard’s sheds currently sit. The project’s original plans called for the sheds to be incorporated into Phase I, but that idea has been scrapped because of costs and structural issues.

“We will not reuse the sheds. It’s not economically feasible,” said Richard Graham, the architect for Sandy & Babcock, International of Miami, the firm that will design Phase I.

“We will use the same footprint and we will keep the spirit of the shipyards and that warehouse look and feel.”

The mixed-use complex will have several two-story loft apartments as well as several flats. Residents will park underneath the complex, which will actually be a story above ground level.

“Every unit will have a water view and the units will be made of brick and precast with standing seamed metal roofs,” said Graham.

On Monday, those interested in owning one of the units can put down the required $5,000 deposit. Around mid-October the sales office for The Shipyards will open and in late October there will be, if more than 100 people put down deposits on the units, a lottery-style drawing to see who actually gets to purchase one of the riverfront condos.

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