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Jax Daily Record Thursday, May 14, 202001:20 PM EST

Vestcor to demolish Edgewood bank building to prepare for apartments

The Lofts at Murray Hill will comprise 117 units for rent to residents meeting income guidelines.

Jacksonville-based Vestcor Inc. intends to demolish the former Bank of America office in August on Edgewood Avenue and start construction of the Lofts at Murray Hill apartments.

Ryan Hoover, president of Vestcor’s TVC Development Inc., said May 14 he expects construction to be completed at year-end 2021.

He estimates a total investment of almost $25 million.

“We are still a year from starting to lease units,” he said. 

The 117-unit Lofts at Murray Hill will be developed at 840 Edgewood Ave. S. It will provide 11,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

The Lofts at Murray Hill will have 117 apartments.

Hoover said it will include resident amenities that include a fitness center, game room, hospitality room, internet cafe and a four-row, 24-seat movie theater to show videos of residents’ choices at movie nights.

The Lofts will comprise 17 studio, 58 one-bedroom and 42 two-bedroom units.

Hoover said the project is a mixed-income community with rents based on resident incomes at 30%, 60% and 70% of the area median income and also will have market-rate units.

He said 15% of the units will be for renters with income up to $15,750; 30% will be for those up to $31,500; 46% for incomes up to $36,750; and 9% will be at market rate.

While rates are tied to income levels, the average rents are $654 for studio units, $780 for one-bedrooms and $935 for two-bedroom units.

Unit sizes vary, but will average 476 square feet for studios; 654 to 762 square feet for one-bedrooms; and 948 to 1,002 square feet for two-bedrooms.

Murray Hill is a 114-year-old neighborhood west of Riverside and Avondale.

Vestcor Inc. intends to demolish this former Bank of America office to make way for the apartments.

Vestcor, an apartment developer with several projects Downtown and many in the area, paid $2.1 million in September for the 3.69-acre Edgewood Avenue site at Talbot Avenue and Kerle and College streets.

The city is reviewing a permit for construction of the four-story, 127,322-square-foot building at an estimated $14 million.

Summit Contracting Group is the contractor. Group 4 Design Inc. is the architect.

The Jacksonville Planning Commission approved a zoning exception Aug. 22 for the mixed-use development that includes apartments.

Vestcor bought the land through VC Murray Hill LLC. TVC Development Inc. sought the exception to redevelop the former Bank of America property and parking lot.

Plans call for the demolition of two existing bank buildings and construction of a four-story structure.

A companion application sought an administrative deviation to reduce the required off-street parking from 248 to 196 spaces and to remove the requirement for loading spaces.

Murray Hill has been undergoing renewal as property values rise and retailers, restaurants and taprooms move in.

The proposed project’s construction would be partially funded by workforce housing tax credits for developers to build affordable units for workers who earn at or below 60% of the average median income.

Vestcor paid $2.1 million for the 3.69-acre Edgewood Avenue site at Talbot Avenue and Kerle and College streets.


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