Old offices into housing: Arlington Apartments now in civil engineering review

The former FBI building and a proposed amenity center are the first phase of the Arlington Expressway redevelopment.

The former FBI headquarters at the Arlington property.
The former FBI headquarters at the Arlington property.
Photo by Karen Brune Mathis
  • Real Estate
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Baker Design Build filed civil engineering plans with the city June 26 for the Arlington Apartments, also known as the former FBI and Offshore Power Systems buildings along the Arlington Expressway.

Ownership has been working with the city toward negotiating assistance in turning the more than 16-acre site into up to almost 800 apartments, including 285 units among the first three buildings, to comprise affordable, workforce, moderate-income and market-rate housing.

The plans filed this week are for the site of the former FBI headquarters, whose redevelopment is well underway, along with a clubhouse/amenity center to serve residents in that first building and those expected in the next two structures.

The project is for the proposed 95-unit apartment building, parking, amenity center, pickleball courts, and dog walk area along with additional parking. 

Plans call the project the 7820 Arlington Residential Development, also with the address of 7960 Arlington Expressway.

Axia GeoCapital LLC of Kitchener, Ontario, is the shown as the property owner. Jacksonville-based Group 4 Design Inc. is the architect; Baker Design Build is the civil engineer; and Janet O. Whitmill is the landscape architect.

Allen Company of Winter Garden is the surveyor.

Plans call the project the 7820 Arlington Residential Development, also with the address of 7960 Arlington Expressway.

The decades-old structures are at 7820-8000 Arlington Expressway, west of Southside Connector.

The site area in review is 12 acres. The almost 12,000-square-foot clubhouse/amenity center will include indoor uses along with four pickleball courts, a dog walk area and a recreation lawn. 

The site is close to the Arlington Expressway service road and appears to be where the closed Jim’s Place nightclub awaits demolition.

The FBI relocated to Gate Parkway in 2009.

Owners previously told the city the amenity space would feature a full-size gym, game room, work-from-home office spaces, community event room, pool, green space and a walking trail along with the dog park and pickleball courts.

The site plan for the Arlington Apartments project.

“The thoughtful incorporation of these amenities aims to foster a sense of community and well-being among our residents,” the owners’ project profile says.

The site along the south side of the Arlington Expressway has been fenced off as redevelopment begins.

The eventual entrance to the property is shown as an entry drive with a guard house, security gate and visitor call box.

Property owner and developer Marc Kozman, through Arlington Florida LP, acquired the four properties in separate deeds totaling $8 million from 2022-24.

Pending negotiations, approvals and market conditions, the three office buildings and a second phase could create 779 apartments.

The first three buildings and the amenity center are projected at a $79 million construction cost by the developer.

“It is a project that could bring a significant amount of affordable housing and workforce housing to the Arlington area,” said city Affordable Housing Administrator Joshua Hicks in May of the first phase that comprises the office buildings and Jim’s Place.

Hicks is with the Jacksonville Neighborhoods Department.

Affordable and workforce housing rents are tied to the percentage of area median income earned by the renters. The unit mix and rental rates of those apartments will be determined as negotiations progress.

Hicks anticipates a completion date of late 2025 to early 2026 on the first three buildings and the amenity center. 

The closed former Offshore Power Systems buildings are part of a 16.2-acre site along the south side of the Arlington Expressway that a developer wants to convert into apartments. The property is about 5 miles east of Downtown.
Photo by Karen Brune Mathis

The next phases would follow after the first 285 units are leased, further city approvals and economic factors.

Arlington Florida also outlined “the ask” for city support.

“The proactive initiative to commence construction on the first 95 units, undertaken amidst challenging economic conditions, requires strategic assistance to bridge the financial gap and bring the entire vision to fruition,” the profile says.

While specifics depend on negotiations with the city, Arlington Florida LP proposes a Recapture Enhanced Value Grant for a 75% rebate of the increase in ad valorem taxes over 20 years; a low-interest loan; a completion grant; and leveraging the statewide Live Local Act, which provides recurring funding for housing low- to -income households. 

“As the project progresses, we remain vigilant in exploring avenues for financial support and investment that align with our mission and vision,” the profile says.

Hicks said he was working with the developer to “see where the city can help.”

The former FBI headquarters under renovation and the Jim’s Place nightclub buildings at the Arlington property.
Photo by Karen Brune Mathis

He said the first phase would be affordable and workforce housing with rents marketed at or below rates deemed affordable by a market formula.

The next phases could be market-rate housing. 

In April 2021, the Council agreed to grant up to $820,000 in city property tax rebates to help turn the former FBI building into about 118 market-rate apartments.

Hicks said the city amended the agreement in December 2021 to extend the completion deadline to Dec. 31, 2024, for the first building, or the city will proportionally reduce the REV grant payout.

Hicks said the developer is on track to complete the first building during the fourth quarter of 2024. The city budgeted $74,000 for the grant payment for the next fiscal year.

Arlington Florida’s LP’s general partner is 8000 Arlington LLC, which was renamed Geo Acquisitions LLC as of April 30, 2024.

AxiaGeoCapital LLC is the manager of Geo Acquisitions LLC of Fort Lauderdale.

Axia GeoCapital LLC’s managers are based in Ontario.



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