Arts-focused renovation at historic Armory Building moves to City Council

REVA Development Corp. plans studios, a food court, office space and a 100-unit mid-rise apartment.

The historic Armory Building at 851 N. Market St.
The historic Armory Building at 851 N. Market St.
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REVA Development Corp.’s proposal for a $23 million arts-focused complex at the historic Armory Building and adjacent 3-acre site was advanced by four City Council committees this week.

The full Council likely will take a final vote Oct. 27 on Ordinance 2020-591 that contains a redevelopment agreement and 40-year, $1-per-year lease for the armory at 851 N. Market St.

REVA plans to brand the redevelopment “Made at the Armory” with art studios and galleries and retail, restaurant, performance and event spaces.

Kirk Wendland
Kirk Wendland

Kirk Wendland, city Office of Economic Development director, told the Neighborhoods Community Services, Public Health and Safety Committee on Oct. 19 that REVA plans to convert part of the city-owned Armory Building into “makers’ space.” 

Wendland said the studios will cater to painters, potters, woodworkers and other artists. The second floor could have a gallery, performance space on the armory’s stage and a food court. 

The third floor will be primarily office, which REVA intends to link to the makers’ space. Wendland said it could be open outside tenants who need a workspace.

“I think it would be a great opportunity to repurpose a historic building,” Wendland said. 

All four Council committees voted unanimously to approve the bill.

REVA will have the option to purchase the adjacent site north of Hogan’s Creek for $864,800. It plans to demolish the city maintenance warehouse to construct a $20 million, 100-unit mid-rise apartment building called The Armory Flats.

Wendland said the negotiated sale price is close to fair market value. 

The development agreement requires REVA to invest at least $3 million into the Armory Building, but Wendland said he thinks the investment will be needed to reach the quality REVA has proposed.

The 80,826-square-foot former Florida National Guard armory is on 2.02 acres on the edge of Downtown and has been vacant for 10 years. 

The warehouse on the adjacent parcel at 928 N. Liberty St. is 21,594 square feet. The Armory Building, constructed in 1908, has been vacant for more than a decade.

REVA’s lease with the city would include two 20-year renewal options.

Council member Aaron Bowman asked Wendland if REVA has considered the potential for flooding from Hogan’s Creek. 

Wendland said the developer will include a disclaimer clause in its tenant leases.

“Part of it’s just planning, frankly,” he said. “In the Armory, they’re going to have to notify the lessors that there’s a possibility of flooding at certain times.” 

Wendland added that the mid-rise residential building would be built on top of a two-level parking garage that would mitigate flooding inside the apartments. 

“There could be some issues with cars needing to get out of there, but there shouldn’t be a situation where the units are in jeopardy,” Wendland said. 



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