Demolition of the fire-damaged Rise Doro apartments is expected to take eight to 10 weeks, the developer said in a post dated Jan. 31 on the building's website.
Rise: A Real Estate Company said in the post that demolition equipment was being moved to the site and that the company is working with the city of Jacksonville on details of the demolition work.
ELEV8 Demolition began tearing down the building early Feb. 2. At 10 a.m., the Rise Doro sign near the southwest corner of the structure came down, falling through apartments that had been exposed earlier with the removal of exterior walls.
In units that would have provided residents with views of the St. Johns River, kitchens visible to passersby on Bay Street. White and gray kitchen cabinetry, tiled backsplashes, microwave ovens and refrigerators were visible.
Rise’s post came shortly after city Chief Communications Officer Phillip Perry said the city had approved an emergency demolition permit to allow ELEV8 Demolition to take down wood-framed portions of the structure.
The project includes a concrete base, or podium, above which are five stories of wood-framed construction.
There is a seven-story concrete parking garage with rooftop amenities, including a swimming pool and lounge area.
Rise said city engineers had determined that the parking garage portion of the structure was sound.
Fire burned more than 24 hours
The fire was reported the evening of Jan. 28 and burned for well over 24 hours. No injuries were reported and the cause has yet to be revealed.
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers said crews initially entered the building to fight the flames floor by floor but ran into obstacles, such as unfinished stairwells.
Firefighters instead poured water onto the building from ladder trucks, using drones with heat sensors to determine where to aim the streams. The fire demolished the roof of the wood-framed portions and blew out a portion of the west wall.
The permit for ELEV8 to demolish the structure says the project cost is $1 million.
ELEV8 told the city it would use at least one crane with a boom likely over 100 feet to do the demolition.
The company will dispose of the debris in the Otis Road Landfill in the Baldwin area of West Jacksonville.
In 2020, the Downtown Investment Authority board approved a $5.75 million Recapture Enhanced Value grant for Rise to build the $65 million project. Plans called for 247 residential units and a 284-space parking garage, with upscale amenities such as a pet spa, creative lounge and private balconies.
The city’s incentive was to be paid out after the project was completed. The DIA reports that none of the funding was paid.
Property is insured
Greg Blais, president of Rise, said the building was nearing completion and that leases had been signed with eight people. He said the property was insured.
While Rise is developing the building, it is leasing the land from Safehold Inc. of New York City. A Safehold spokesman said Feb. 1 that the company had no comment on the fire and directed questions to Rise.
Rise, through Jacksonville Properties I LLC, bought the 1.6-acre site for $5.2 million on Sept. 30, 2020, from 102 A Phillip Randolph LLC, a local ownership group led by Jacksonville investor Paul Grainger.
On June 1, 2021, Rise sold the property for $5.2 million to Safehold, which bought it as 102 A Philip Randolph Blvd Ground Owner LLC.
In its Feb. 1 post, Rise thanked firefighters and said, “Our attention now turns to the work of demolition, debris removal, and rebuilding.”
Rise said it would provide regularly scheduled updates to media outlets and post the information on the Rise Doro site.