City weighing $7.5 million incentives deal for 1st and Main in Springfield

Corner Lot is requesting a property tax refund and cash grant for the historic rehabilitation and new construction project.

File photo: An artist rendering of Corner Lot's proposed 1st and Main project in Springfield.
File photo: An artist rendering of Corner Lot's proposed 1st and Main project in Springfield.
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The city is considering $7.5 million in property tax and cash incentives to Corner Lot Development Group for its proposed multifamily, mixed-use 1st and Main project in Historic Springfield.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee is scheduled Nov. 21 to consider filing legislation with City Council that would award a 15-year, 75% Recapture Enhanced Value Grant property tax refund capped at $5.5 million for the project.

A Nov. 17 project summary from the city Office of Economic Development says Corner Lot has also requested a $2 million development completion grant that would be paid in two $1 million installments after the estimated $53.6 million project is complete.

The city investment would help fund what Corner Lot says will be a 202-unit market apartment community between First and Second streets, west of North Main Street.

In April, Corner Lot Senior Project Manager William “Billy” Zeits called the property “the gateway to Springfield.”

The site at 1148 N. Main St. is on the southern edge of the Historic Springfield neighborhood north of Downtown.

Corner Lot said Petra Management owns and will preserve the existing Earl Horne Building at 1100 N. Main St. on the block.

The single-story, 12,377-square-foot building could be used for purposes such as a bodega, gym or restaurants. Duval County property records show it was built in 1929. Corner Lot identifies it as the first Chevrolet dealership in Jacksonville.

Corner Lot will develop the remaining 2.7 acres of the block into the mixed-use 1st and Main apartment building with retail along with a parking deck to help ease parking restraints as the area develops, Corner Lot said.

In addition to the mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, Corner Lot’s plan would create 6,000 square feet of commercial retail and restaurant space, as well as a rooftop space with views of Main Street.

According to the summary, Corner Lot says the city construction will cost $45.97 million with the land acquisition at $1.3 million. The project anticipates $5.86 million in other development costs.

Corner Lot expects to begin construction by June 30, 2023, and complete the work by June 2025.

Economic development officials said in the summary that because the development completion grant is not specifically defined in the city’s public investment policy, Council would have to waive those rules to award the money.

According to the summary, REV grant qualifications will need to be waived because the project is not in a targeted industry and it’s unclear whether the project would produce the minimum 10 new full-time jobs.

The Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council, the nonprofit that advocates for historic preservation in the neighborhood, has endorsed 1st & Main.

A memo from Economic Development Director Kirk Wendland requested the bill be filed for the Council to introduce Dec. 13.



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