$4.4M interior work starting on Florida State College at Jacksonville housing and café Downtown

A layout of the apartments planned for Florida State College at Jacksonville students at 20 W. Adams St. Downtown.
A layout of the apartments planned for Florida State College at Jacksonville students at 20 W. Adams St. Downtown.
  • Columnists
  • Share

Work so far to transform the historic Lerner Building Downtown into a restaurant and housing for Florida State College at Jacksonville has appeared to be limited to the outside.

Inside work is about to start.

The city is reviewing a permit application for an almost $4.4 million project to transform the six-story building at 20 W. Adams St. into 20 apartments and a ground-level restaurant.

Danis Construction LLC is the contractor for the project. It also is handling the exterior renovations, shown on a separate permit as a $400,000 job.

Four apartments are planned on each of the top five floors while the ground level is reserved for a “farm to fork” Culinary Café that FSCJ will use to train students in its famed Culinary Arts & Hospitality program.

The apartment units will house 58 students and one director, along with four residential advisers who will live among students in the units.

Spokeswoman Jill Johnson said FSCJ hopes the building is completed by spring and fully occupied for the fall, although it also is looking at a couple of summer bridge programs for high school students.

Rent is based on the term, of which the college has three — fall, summer and spring. Those rates will be $3,300 to $3,700 per term.

Johnson said FSCJ will offer year-round housing, meaning it doesn’t close for the summer or the holidays. The rent does not include a food-service program.

She said FSCJ hopes to provide information online in November about the housing options and start the application process in 2017.

FSCJ said in July it envisioned, but hadn’t decided yet, on breakfast and lunch table service from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday in a café seating about 100 customers.

There would be a separate private dining space for 12 people for small groups. Grab-and-go meals also would be available.

Johnson said FSCJ will advertise for a café director.

Norman Abraham, former owner and operator of Two Doors Down in Brooklyn, consulted with FSCJ to recommend the types of food and service that would be successful at the café.

Abraham did not rule out applying for the job but also did not commit to doing so, saying he has become adjusted to retirement “and it’s just been a lot of fun.”

Naming rights are available for the café, which would focus on healthy eating. The café is designed to break even and be self-sustaining.

The cafe could be open before the housing is ready for occupancy.

Meanwhile, the former Mallard Room, at which students trained, has closed at FSCJ’s North Campus and the program moved to the Downtown Campus at 101 W. State St.

Johnson said the new dining lab should offer lunch Tuesday and Thursday and dinner on Thursday. She said naming rights are available.

Naming rights also are available for the 20 W. Adams St. building.

The former Lerner Building is owned by Phoenix Adams Rising LLC, led by investor Eugene Profit. FSCJ will lease it upon completion of renovations.

The architect is KBJ Architects Inc.

The Downtown Investment Authority anticipates a $6.2 million private capital investment to restore the building.

Through the DIA, the developer was approved for $600,000 from the Downtown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund to restore the exterior and some interior elements.

Another $600,000 is available for FSCJ in zero-interest loans over 10 years to cover any shortfall between the school’s revenues from student rentals and its financial obligations to the developer.

Ikea to break ground Nov. 3 on new store

Ikea announced Thursday it would break ground Nov. 3 on the 290,000-square-foot store it is building on 25 acres at northwest Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway.

Ikea intends to open the furniture and décor store in fall 2017 and employ 250 people. It will include a 350-seat restaurant.

Mayor Lenny Curry and District 11 City Council member Danny Becton will join community leaders and Ikea officials at the 10:30 a.m. event and news conference.

The company will invest at least $36 million into the Jacksonville location.

Westside Industrial Park to expand building

Westside Industrial Park owner Stone Mountain Industrial Park Inc. is preparing to expand one of its buildings by almost 129,000 square feet, taking it to more than 312,000 square feet of space.

The building is at 4601 Bulls Bay Highway. Called 12-C, the building is north of Pritchard Road and east along Bulls Bay Highway.

Peter Anderson, vice president of Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, said Kraft is in the existing 183,500-square-foot building.

He said no tenant has committed to the new portion and the company probably will wait for a lease before starting construction.

Anderson said the company is preparing a number of its properties at Westside Industrial Park for potential additions. “We want to ensure we can rapidly respond to our existing and new customers should they require additional space,” he said.

ULI awards include Arc Jacksonville

The Urban Land Institute of North Florida District Council recognized four projects for its 2016 Awards for Excellence.

Infinity Hall in Gainesville won in the Nonprofit/Public category; The Edison in Tallahassee was the Reuse/Repurpose honoree; and Maritime Park in Pensacola was presented the award for Open Space.

The Judge’s Choice was The Arc Jacksonville Village in Jacksonville, which had been nominated in the Nonprofit/Public category.

As previously reported, the group honored attorney Robert Rhodes as its 2016 Visionary Leader.

The district includes Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Panama City and Pensacola.

Integra River Run lands permits

North Jacksonville is gaining another apartment complex now that the city approved permits for Integra River Run, a 300-unit community at Max Leggett Parkway and Owens Road.

Land, site-clearing and construction costs total almost $21 million for Integra Land Co. of Lake Mary to develop the project.

LandSouth Construction Co. of Ponte Vedra is the contractor for the $16.9 million project.

Integra River Run comprises seven four-story buildings and five two-story carriage units, along with a clubhouse and leasing building and auxiliary structures.

The carriage houses comprise two units above parking garages. There are eight garage buildings.

Integra Land paid almost $3.28 million for 17.75 acres.

The company said in August construction should be completed by year-end 2017, with some opening earlier.

It said rents should range from $950 to $1,395 a month for the 118 one-bedroom, 150 two-bedroom and 32 three-bedroom units.

Integra River Run is near UF Health North and River City Marketplace.

[email protected]


(904) 356-2466