Preston Hollow Capital breaks ground on the rebranded project and announces a deal with Toll Brothers for 39 town houses.
Preston Hollow Capital LLC is rebranding its 32-acre Downtown Southbank development, previously called The District, to “RiversEdge: Life on the St. Johns” and has contracted with Toll Brothers for 39 town houses — the site’s first confirmed vertical construction.
Representatives from Dallas-based Preston Hollow, Mayor Lenny Curry, Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer and other city officials released details May 25 at a groundbreaking ceremony.
“Preston Hollow’s mission is not just to invest prudently for financial return, but rather to invest strategically where their funding will have the greatest impact,” Boyer said.
Boyer said a completed RiversEdge could have up to 950 residential units, 147 hotel rooms, 200,000 square feet of office space, 134,000 square feet of retail and a 125-slip marina.
Preston Hollow took over as master developer for the project in October from landowner Elements Development of Jacksonville LLC, previously owned by RummellMunz Equity LLC.
Former Elements owners Peter Rummell and Michael Munz spent years trying to start the project, obtaining a $20 million mortgage from Preston Hollow in 2018 to buy the site and securing $82 million in city incentives.
Preston Hollow Managing Director Ramiro Albarran said after the event RiversEdge should be ready for Toll Brothers to begin construction by the first quarter 2022.
Another 750 multifamily units on two central parcels next to a future city park also could start next year.
Albarran said at the May 25 event that after improvements to the St. Johns River bulkhead are completed, the nearly 4 acres of city parks, a Downtown Riverwalk extension, roads, streetscapes and site infrastructure will begin construction by summer 2022 in one phase.
Toll Brothers Division President Steve Merten and Land Acquisition Manager Jeremy Hampson said after the presentation that the Jacksonville-based homebuilder “chased” a spot at RiversEdge for nearly four years.
Merten said the three-story luxury town houses will feature two-car garages and rooftop terraces.
Preston Hollow is working with Downtown Development Review Board staff to allow the town houses to face the site’s southeast marshland. Toll Brothers has not determined prices and Merten declined to estimate the total cost of its RiversEdge project.
Albarran said the RiversEdge rebranding will help Preston Hollow market the remaining parcels to vertical developers.
He said the investment firm has a lot of interest from multifamily developers, but he would not disclose their identities.
“Now that we have a name change, now that we have an identity, we’ve hired a broker and we’re going to be putting together an offer and memorandum detailing all the sites,” he said.
Albarran said RiversEdge will be a “major aggregate investment” of “hundreds of millions of dollars” by the firm and its eventual development partners.
“I think it’s important for the market to believe this is happening and today was an important day — the first step in that,” he said.
Preston Hollow and DIA also announced international artist and architect Marc Fornes and his firm THEVERYMANY will build a 50-foot “interactive” sculpture centerpiece for the public park.
Albarran said the sculpture shown in the renderings released May 25 will not be its final look.