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The Towers of Jacksonville
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jun. 6, 201412:00 PM EST

Towers to get $8.5M makeover


The Towers of Jacksonville, a senior living community on the St. Johns River in San Marco, is planning an estimated $8.5 million renovation.

“It’s the real first big thing we’ve done here at the Towers in 42 years. It’s a complete makeover,” said administrator and CEO Michael McClernon.

Previously known as Baptist Towers, the 12-story affordable senior living center at 1400 LeBaron Ave. is slated for remodeling by The FaverGray Co., which is listed on a building-permit application as the contractor.

The project is described as renovation of 194 senior-living apartments, associated common areas and mechanical, electrical and plumbing improvements. The Towers of Jacksonville serves seniors of low to moderate income.

McClernon said the renovations include new kitchen cabinets, bathrooms and more. He said the building was constructed in 1972 at a cost of $3.5 million, illustrating the magnitude of the renovation investment.

McClernon said about 220 residents live at the building. The renovations will take place one floor at a time.

Displaced residents will move into 22 unoccupied units that were set aside for use during the remodeling.

Once begun, renovations should take up to 18 months, he said.

In the community’s May newsletter, McClernon wrote that the Towers of Jacksonville’s new partners from California visited and discussed the renovations.

The Towers of Jacksonville Inc. is a nonprofit organization that serves low-income seniors, age 62 and older, and operates under the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide affordable housing for the elderly.

McClernon said the board of the nonprofit decided to partner with the Retirement Housing Foundation of Long Beach, Calif. McClernon said a partnership agreement is in place but not fully implemented.

McClernon said the Florida Housing Finance Corp. in Tallahassee is reviewing the documents. Retirement Housing Foundation provides housing and services for older adults, people with disabilities and low-income families.

It operates communities in 28 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In Florida, it operates five communities.

The Florida Housing Finance Corp. is reviewing an application for a State Apartment Incentive Loan for The Towers of Jacksonville L.P.

Towers of Jacksonville Inc. President Jack Mitchell explained that the proposed change of ownership and new financing is part of a complex transaction for the purpose of renovating the building.

He said the renovations will be funded with low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bonds and other sources of financing.

“After more than 40 years of use, it is now in need of a major rehab in order that we can continue to fulfill our mission of providing safe, decent, affordable housing for seniors,” he said by email.

He said The Towers of Jacksonville Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. In order to use low-income housing tax credits, the building must be owned by a for-profit entity.

Mitchell said The Towers of Jacksonville Inc. formed a development partnership with Retirement Housing Foundation to assist with the transaction.

He said The Towers of Jacksonville Inc. and Retirement Housing Foundation jointly created the new for-profit Towers of Jacksonville L.P. to acquire title to the land and building.

Investors who buy the tax credits will be limited partners and will own 99.9 percent of Towers of Jacksonville L.P., he said.

The Towers of Jacksonville Inc. and Retirement Housing Foundation will jointly own the rest and serve as the managing general partner, he said.

The property will continue to be known as The Towers of Jacksonville and current residents will not be displaced.

Because the facility is regulated by HUD, the change of ownership and refinancing is subject to HUD approval.

“We expect to finalize the financing within the next eight weeks,” he said.

Mitchell anticipates the transaction will close in the fall and renovations will begin in October.

Bethelite Conference Center sold again

The Bethelite Hotel & Conference Center has been sold again, this time by the buyer who acquired it May 9.

TIE 2009 Investments LLC, of Miami, sold it Wednesday to Arlington Expressway Corporate Buildings LLC of North Miami Beach, according to the deed recorded Thursday with the Duval County Clerk of Court.

Arlington Expressway Corporate Buildings LLC was not found in Florida corporate records, but its mailing address on the warranty deed is that of lawyer Valeria Schvartzman in North Miami Beach. Schvartzman’s office could not provide information Thursday afternoon about the buyers’ plans.

The property, at 5865 Arlington Expressway, is the former Thunderbird Dinner Theatre and Thunderbird Motor Hotel and later was the Ramada Inn Conference Center. A Bethel Baptist Institutional Church group bought it in 2003.

Bethel Baptist sold the property to TIE 2009 Investments LLC for $1.25 million. TIE, whose manager is AR Real Estate Developments Inc., sold it this week, less than a month after buying it, for almost $1.32 million.

Property records show the 18.8-acre site comprises 11 buildings and almost 300 hotel rooms. The hotel property is 50 years old.

The property is at northeast Arlington Expressway and University Boulevard North, next to the Town & Country Shopping Center.

Wekiva Springs adding beds in $5M expansion

Wekiva Springs applied for a building permit to add a $5 million, 60-bed expansion at its Southside facility.

Wekiva Springs operates at 3947 Salisbury Road in the Southpoint area. The expansion is next to it at 6575 Charing St. Brasfield & Gorrie LLC is the contractor.

Wekiva Springs is a behavioral health hospital. Previous plans showed it wanted to add 52 beds but the permit application lists 60 beds.

Site development plans show Wekiva Springs would expand the hospital and add a new 4,700-square-foot outpatient building at its almost 10-acre site.

The existing building area of almost 44,000 square feet would increase to almost 67,000 square feet.

Plans show the existing facility includes a 60-bed hospital and a 5,000-square-foot outpatient building. The additional structures are planned on almost 6 acres of the site, at northeast Salisbury Road and Charing Street. There also will be more parking and infrastructure improvements.

For more information, visit

Konica Minolta buys Copytronics

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. announced Wednesday it has acquired Jacksonville-based Copytronics Information Systems to expand Konica Minolta’s Florida business.

Copytronics will keep its Florida locations in Jacksonville, Rockledge, Ocala, Daytona Beach and Winter Park along with its more than 85 sales, service and administrative staff.

As part of the acquisition agreement, Copytronics’ executive management will report directly to Tim Marshall, president of CopySource Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. is based in Ramsey, N. J.

Begun in June of 1972 by entrepreneur Paul Shields, Copytronics serves more than 10,000 customers with office equipment and document management solutions. Copytronics became a Konica Minolta dealer partner in the late 1970s.

David Shields was named president following the death in February of his father, Robert “Bob” Shields, 59, who was president for 14 years.

The company’s headquarters and warehouse are in Southside at 2461 Rolac Road. The product showroom is nearby at 3728 Philips Highway, near Emerson Street.

Retail notes

• CVS/pharmacy is renovating its Arlington store at 3634 Rogero Road to include new retail health-center rooms. It’s a $101,648 project.

• Yankee Candle filed plans to open at St. Johns Town Center in the new Nordstrom wing. It’s a $120,000 construction job. The store will build-out 1,438 square feet at 4818 River City Drive, No. 104.

• Mattress Firm intends to renovate space for a store in Southwest Jacksonville at 9660 Argyle Forest Blvd., No. 2.

Make that $3.7M

Casework of America Inc., a company backed by Shad Khan’s Stache Investments, paid $3.7 million for the 1030 Ellis Road N. warehouse May 30, not $7 million as reported in Thursday’s Daily Record.

The Duval County Clerk of Court posted the price as $7 million on its website and recorded the date Tuesday. The warranty deed includes the correct price of $3.7 million.

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