The projects, worth a combined $ 18.55 million, would create a mixed-use block in the downtown core, connected by a courtyard to JWB’s Seminole building, which houses the Sweet Pete candy store. .
A staff report released on May 6 recommends that the review committee approve both designs at its May 13 meeting.
Brooke Robbins’ development plans of Robbins Design Studio have changed little since the DDRB voted 5-0 in September for concept approval.
The design of the five-story Baptist Convention property at 218 W. Church St. includes restaurant space in the basement and downstairs, two mercantile suites at the downstairs entrance and 24 studios and one bedroom apartments on the upper floors.
The redevelopment of the three-story Federal Reserve Bank building at 424 N. Hogan St. includes a restaurant, business and banquet space, and an outdoor courtyard.
The final renderings submitted with the report show more details of the historic facades of the buildings, which will be restored to their original appearance, including the colonnade portico on the Federal Reserve building, according to the DDRB report.
The staff report says the redevelopment’s connecting courtyard for outdoor dining and events meets the city’s design code requirements as a “semi-private urban open space.”
The plans for the project do not include rooftop facilities for diners, tenants or residents and JWB will not construct a surface parking lot or garage for the development.
JWB Real Estate Capital, headed by President Alex Sifakis, purchased the properties in August.
The Baptist Convention building was constructed in 1924 and designed by a prominent architect of the time, Henry John Klutho. The vacant 26,500-square-foot office building is in poor condition, according to JWB.
The 18,000-square-foot Federal Reserve building was completed in 1923, according to staff.
Board member Craig Davisson noted in September that the building was designed by Henrietta Dozier, who was Jacksonville’s first female architect, according to the Jacksonville Historical Society.
Both structures are designated as local landmarks. According to the staff report, the National Park Service and the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission both approved the project. JWB received his certificate of fitness to prosecute.
The Downtown Investment Authority and the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee advanced JWB’s request for $ 8.62 million in city-guaranteed loans to renovate and restore historic buildings earlier this year.
If approved by city council, the DIA would use its downtown preservation and restoration program to provide JWB incentives comprising $ 3,596,630 in forgivable loans; $ 3,299,827 in forgivable code compliance loans; and major deferred loans totaling $ 1,727,864, according to city documents.
The $ 1.727 million loan would be repaid over 10 years, according to Lori Boyer, CEO of DIA.
The budget review committee voted on April 12 to allow the DIA to send a bill to Council to approve the deal, but on May 7 the bill was not tabled.