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Jax Daily Record Friday, Apr. 13, 201804:23 PM EST

Two Downtown housing projects, digital marquee at Daily's Place face DDRB scrutiny

Both housing projects would include some units with rents based on income.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

The Downtown Development Review Board will review two housing projects and a new digital marquee at Daily’s Place on Thursday.

Ashley Square senior housing

Tampa-based Blue Sky Communities LLC and Jacksonville nonprofit The Cathedral Foundation of Jacksonville Inc., doing business as Aging True, want to develop a six-story senior housing project in the Downtown Cathedral District called Ashley Square.

Shawn Wilson, the registered agent for Blue Sky Communities, seeks conceptual approval to build 120 units on 1 acre between 127 E. Ashley St. and 116 E. Beaver St.

PQH Group Design Inc. is the architect and Eisman & Russo Inc. is the engineer. Janet Whitmill is the landscape architect.

No contractor is listed on Blue Sky’s application with the DDRB.

The estimated $15 million project is proposed to comprise 96 one-bedroom, 650-square-foot units and 24 two-bedroom, 900-square-foot units.

A 160-space parking garage is planned for the first floor, with residential units built above it.

The development is for people age 62 and older.

According to Blue Sky’s DDRB application, 90 percent of the development’s units are for those who qualify for affordable housing, with 10 percent set aside for low-income residents. 

Monthly rents are $725 for a one-bedroom unit and $870 for a two-bedroom unit for those who qualify for affordable housing. Their incomes would be up to 60 percent of Jacksonville’s average median income.

Individuals who qualify as low income, or who make less than 33 percent of the average median income, will pay $398 for a one-bedroom unit and $478 for a two-bedroom unit.

Ashley Square includes other residential services, such as health screenings, voter registration, and activities.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also will sponsor programs.

Blue Sky needs DDRB approval to build beyond the 45-foot height limit imposed in the underlying zoning district because the project’s final height will be 70 feet.

For the project to move ahead, Blue Sky needs to obtain development rights from the Downtown Investment Authority and, in the coming months, final design approval from DDRB.

Lofts at Jefferson Station is proposed between West Bay and Water streets next to the Lofts at LaVilla.

Lofts at Jefferson Station

In LaVilla, TVC Development Inc., a subsidiary of The Vestcor Companies, seeks final design approval for the Lofts at Jefferson Station, its third apartment project in the neighborhood.

The 133-unit, five-story project is proposed for 1.7 acres between West Bay and Water streets next to the Lofts at LaVilla, which TVC completed in December.

The DDRB is considering approving two deviations from the zoning overlay so the project can proceed.

TVC needs a deviation to exceed the 60-foot building height restriction because the project is 64 feet tall. The company also requests a reduction in the number of parking spaces from 256 to 150.

The four-story building will comprise one-, two- and three-bedroom units above a one-story parking garage, along with a leasing office, fitness center and other amenities.

Eighty units are set aside for affordable housing for residents with incomes at 60 percent of Jacksonville’s area median income, capped at $51,000 for a family of four. Another 53 units are reserved for workforce housing, or those making up to 140 percent of the average median income, or $91,000 for a family of four.

The Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority approved in November a $225,000 low-interest loan to be paid over 15 years to offset costs for the affordable housing units.

On Oct. 31, the Downtown Investment Authority approved financial incentives and development rights for the estimated $28 million project, including a $400,000 loan from the Downtown Economic Development Fund and a Recapture Enhanced Value grant for 75 percent of the ad valorem tax increment generated over 15 years, worth $2.89 million.

TVC intends to break ground in August as it complete construction on its other project, Lofts at Monroe.

A 60-foot-6-inch tall digital marquee is proposed next to Daily’s Place amphitheater along Gator Bowl Boulevard.

Sports and Entertainment District marquee

The city of Jacksonville and SMG, the company that manages the city’s sports and entertainment venues, wants to place a 60-foot-6-inch tall digital marquee next to Daily’s Place amphitheater along Gator Bowl Boulevard.

The structure includes a 26-foot-4-inch wide, 15-foot-6-inch tall video display 40 feet above the street.

The double-facing sign is oriented to north and southbound traffic along Gator Bowl Boulevard.

SMG will advertise events only at TIAA Bank Field, Daily’s Place amphitheater, the Dream Finders Home Flex Field at Daily’s Place, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Atlantic Engineering Services is listed as the engineer and Daktronics is the contractor.

According to the DDRB application, the estimated $650,000 project will take 90 days to build after permits are issued.

City Council approved changes Feb. 27 to the city’s sign ordinance to allow the exclusive promotional programming.

The DDRB meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at City Hall at 117 W. Duval St.





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