The city issued permits Feb. 7 for Lofts at Cathedral at 325 and 327 E. Duval St. Downtown, an overall $39 million project designed to provide affordable workforce housing.
The Vestcor Companies Inc. is the developer of the 120-unit apartment community.
It intends to renovate the former Community Connections/YWCA building and add another apartment structure in the Downtown Cathedral District.
Summit Contracting Group Inc. is the contractor for the renovation and construction at project costs of $19.62 million.
Vestcor said total construction costs will be $26 million.
Jacksonville-based Vestcor plans to construct 92 units and redevelop the Community Connections building into 28 units.
Ryan Hoover, president of Vestcor affiliate TVC Development Inc., said completion is expected in summer 2024.
The 120 units will comprise 20 studio; 74 one-bedroom, one-bathroom; and 26 two-bed, two-bath apartments.
Vestcor will reserve about 18 units for tenants earning up to 30% of area median income; 45 units for tenants earning up to 60%; 21 units for tenants earning up to 80%; and 36 market-rate apartments at 100%.
For example, units at 100% of the area median income would be for single tenants making up to $58,000 per year and up to $86,000 for a household of four.
Built in 1949, the Community Connections building was part of the Florence Davis YWCA. City Council awarded the building local landmark status in June 2017.
Vestcor paid $1.4 million for the building and adjacent property in September 2019 and February 2020 from Billy Goat Hill Inc., a subsidiary of the nonprofit Cathedral District-Jax Inc.
Vestcor bought the 1.25-acre property through VC Cathedral LLC, according to Duval County Clerk of Courts records.
The developer will add the new building at the site of the historic structure to add density to the project.
Vestcor’s core business in the Downtown Jacksonville market in the past six years is low- to moderate-income housing that includes the Lofts at Brooklyn, Lofts at Jefferson Station, Lofts at LaVilla and Lofts at Monroe.
The Downtown Investment Authority board voted 5-0 on Dec. 21 for $2,398,400 in historic renovation incentives.
DIA says it is filing the incentives legislation with Council.
The DIA resolution and term sheet show Vestcor will receive $26.18 million in public financing for the mixed-income housing project. That comprises:
• The majority of the financing, $22,789,721, will be generated by equity from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the Florida Housing Finance Corp.
• The DIA and city issued Vestcor a $625,000 Local Government Support Loan to make the project eligible for the tax credits.
• Vestcor also assumed $235,200 in City of Jacksonville HOME program funds and $134,280 from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership program when it bought the building.