Draft term sheet for Laura Street Trio deal includes $87.23 million in city incentives

SouthEast Development Group says the total cost of the mixed-use redevelopment is $190.62 million.

  • By Ric Anderson
  • | 5:30 p.m. May 31, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
SouthEast Development Group plans to transform the historic Laura Street Trio into a hotel, apartments, restaurant and bar.
SouthEast Development Group plans to transform the historic Laura Street Trio into a hotel, apartments, restaurant and bar.
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A new financial proposal to resurrect the Laura Street Trio of historic buildings in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville includes $87.23 million in city incentives, according to the most recent draft term sheet delivered by the developer to the Downtown Investment Authority.

The draft from SouthEast Development Group calls for the city to provide $42.48 million in completion grants, $22.03 million in historic preservation grants, a $14.42 million senior construction loan and $8.3 million in economic development loans. 

Along with an adaptive reuse of the historic properties, SouthEast plans to add in new construction to create a mixed-use development that would include a hotel, apartments and a restaurant and bar.

The draft term sheet lists the project’s total cost at $190.62 million, divided between $99.2 million for the hotel and $91.42 million for the apartments.

The draft is dated May 24. The city provided it to the Daily Record in response to a records request. 

The proposal is the latest to emerge from a yearslong string of negotiations between the DIA and SouthEast over the Trio, which SouthEast principal Steve Atkins bought in 2013.

The Laura Street Trio at Laura, Forsyth and Adams streets Downtown.
Photo by Monty Zickuhr

In January, the Jacksonville City Council opted not to vote on a proposal that included a $22 million “city participation loan” that served to guarantee a construction loan from Capital One for the project. After hearing concerns that the city guarantee was unconstitutional, could expose the city to potential indebtedness of up to $265 million and could trigger a downgrade of the city’s credit rating, Council directed the DIA to negotiate a new agreement with Atkins.

The total incentives package in that deal was $60.5 million.

Council, citing the historical significance of the Trio, encouraged the DIA to stretch the guidelines of its incentive programs if necessary to craft a workable agreement.

Steve Atkins, owner of the Laura Street Trio buildings.
Photo by Mike Mendenhall

In April, DIA staff proposed a resolution to end negotiations with Atkins, saying the two sides had hit loggerheads after SouthEast rejected three options from the DIA and instead returned with a proposal that again included the city-guaranteed loan. 

At the direction of DIA board members, that resolution was amended to keep the door open to more negotiations and the board approved it April 17.

Atkins is seeking a redevelopment deal with the city for the third time on the project. In September 2021, the Council approved a $26.67 million incentives deal that at that time was a hotel-only renovation. 

The first proposal came to the DIA in 2017 and would have provided $9.8 million from the city for renovation of the Trio and the Residences at Barnett, also co-owned and operated by SouthEast. 

The Trio comprises the Florida Life Insurance, Bisbee and Marble Bank buildings at northeast Laura and Forsyth streets. The buildings, which have been vacant for decades, were among the first built after the 1901 fire that destroyed much of Jacksonville.



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