- October 17, 2017
Laura Street Trio developer SouthEast Development Group LLC submitted its historic renovation project to the Downtown Development Review Board for conceptual review.
The estimated $70.4 million plan to convert the three vacant urban core structures into a 146-room hotel with restaurant and retail spaces is scheduled at the board Feb. 11, according to an agenda and documents released Feb. 4.
A staff report recommends that the board grant conceptual approval for the renovation of the Florida Life, Bisbee and Marble Bank buildings, which comprise the Trio at 51 W. Forsyth St.
Project plans include an addition to the Florida Life Building to be used as hotel and retail space.
The construction is shown on a vacant area of the Trio parcel, north of the existing structures.
Floor plans show a 4,021-square-foot retail space in the hotel addition and a 4,253-square-foot retail shell in the Bisbee Building, both on the ground floor.
The proposed restaurant in the Marble Bank Building is 5,764 square feet and SouthEast plans a 3,350-square-foot bar and restaurant on the hotel’s eighth floor.
The Trio buildings, built between 1902 and 1912, are historic and contributing structures to the Downtown Jacksonville National Register District, according to a presentation provided by SouthEast.
“The buildings of the Laura (Street) Trio have been unoccupied for over 20 years. As such, they have fallen into disrepair,” the SouthEast presentation states.
“The concrete and steel structure of each building is in relatively good condition, although there are areas that need to be addressed regarding concrete spalling, corrosion and damage,” it states.
SouthEast plans an outdoor piazza with shade trees, outdoor seating and public art and a vehicle drop-off zone on the Adams Street side of the development.
According to the Downtown Development Review Board report, the ground-floor retail space will have multiples entrances on Laura Street and all three buildings will maintain their historic entry points.
“This pedestrian entrance will be announced with the reintroduction of the historic street entry canopy,” the report states.
No surface or structured parking is shown in the site plans released Feb. 4.
The project designs are by Dasher Hurst Architects. SouthEast Development has contracted with Danis Construction LLC to build the project.
Renderings also show a Phase II comprising a residential expansion in an adjacent vacant lot along Forsyth Street but it will not be part of the review.
SouthEast representative and lobbyist Matt Brockelman said Jan. 22 that Atkins is negotiating a term sheet with the Downtown Investment Authority for taxpayer-backed financial incentives for the Trio renovation.
Brockelman said SouthEast hopes the deal will be considered by the DIA board at its March 17 meeting.
DIA CEO Lori Boyer said Jan. 14 that the latest Trio deal will use forgivable and deferred loans under the DIA’s Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program.
SouthEast and former development partner The Molasky Group of Cos. lost a $4 million Downtown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund award in 2019 for its Barnett National Bank Building restoration across the street from the Trio.
The grant was rescinded after missing a deadline to complete a parking garage that was part of a deal.
That agreement also included $4 million from the trust fund for the Trio
The Downtown Development Review Board report says SouthEast is working with Florida’s State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service for federal historic preservation certification.
Southeast Managing Director Steve Atkins said Dec. 14 that Marriott Hotels International Inc. is reviewing the adaptive reuse project as a candidate for its Autograph Collection of hotels.
Atkins purchased a Marriott franchise in 2014 and Brockelman said the hotel will be run by third-party operator Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group LLC, based in Cincinnati.
Brockelman is a Downtown Development Review Board member and will have to recuse himself from the vote to be compliant with the city ethics rules.