A pair of vintage buildings in Downtown Jacksonville are a step closer to being revived after City Council committees approved incentive packages for them on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6.
With the approvals from the Neighborhoods and Finance committees, incentives for the Greenleaf & Crosby Building at 208 N. Laura St. and the Jones Bros. Furniture Co. building at 520 N. Hogan St. advance to a vote by the full Council.
That vote, expected on Feb. 13, would be for final approval of the projects.
Both committees voted unanimously to provide $4.9 million in incentives for the Greenleaf & Crosby Building and $6.03 million for the Jones Bros. building.
The Greenleaf & Crosby project, developed by JWB Real Estate Capital LLC, would build-out 44,000 square feet of office space along with 11,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space in the 96-year-old building. Incentives include Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program (DPRP) loans, of which $3.97 million are forgivable.
The incentives are contingent on JWB launching construction within six months of the effective date of its redevelopment agreement with the city. Construction must be completed within 18 months under the agreement. The DPRP funding is subject to repayment within five years of disbursement if the property is sold or used for a different purpose than currently planned.
The 12-story building is the previous home of Jacobs Jewelers from 1930 to 2023. JWB plans to use the restored building as its headquarters, which are currently at 7563 Philips Highway in Deerwood Center.
The developer of the Jones Bros. building, Corner Lot Development Group, plans to renovate and repurpose the seven-story, 38,000-square-foot structure as a 28-unit apartment building with at least 1,700 square feet of co-work office space.
Built in 1926, the building operated as a retail furniture store until the late 1980s. The project is featured in a Corner Lot-sponsored video series, “Building a City,” which is posted here.
City incentives for the project would come in the form of DPRP loans, of which $4.8 million is forgivable.
Under terms of the redevelopment agreement between Corner Lot and the city, construction work must start within six months after the agreement becomes effective and must be completed within two years.
In late 2022, the Downtown Development Review Board approved a version of the Jones Bros. project that included a 145,000-square-foot, 148-apartment addition to the historic building. That portion of the project never materialized.
Lori Boyer, CEO of the Downtown Investment Authority, said Corner Lot still has plans for the new construction but has not submitted a new application for the project through the DIA or Council.
She said the agreement before the committee only applied to the historic building.
The incentives are calculated on the amount of increased tax revenue the buildings will generate once rehabilitated. They are payable upon completion.