JWB Real Estate Capital’s request for nearly $ 9 million in forgivable and deferred loans to help fund the redevelopment of two historic structures will be transferred to the board of directors of the Downtown Investment Authority.
On January 14, the DIA’s Strategic Implementation Committee voted 4-0 to support $ 8,706,356 for the developer’s proposal for the Florida Baptist Convention Building at 218 W. Church St. and the former Federal Reserve Bank. Building at 424 N. Hogan St.
The draft is slated for a full vote by the DIA board of directors on January 20. From there it goes to city council for final approval.
“Once completed, it will be a very good thing for our downtown area,” said DIA President Ron Moody. “It’s a great location. The synergy of the three buildings shown here this morning, not to mention the other developments nearby, is exactly what we’re supposed to do.
The money will come from DIA’s enhanced historic incentive program – the Downtown Preservation and Restoration Program – approved by Council in October. It is the first project to use the DIA program, designed to boost historic projects.
JWB, headed by President Alex Sifakis, is planning 24 studio and one bedroom apartments at market rate for the Church Street building.
It will also house two dining areas of just over 2,000 square feet each and two commercial spaces of 655 square feet and 492 square feet on the first floor and in the basement.
The redevelopment plan for the Hogan Street building includes two dining areas: 4,500 square feet on the first floor and 2,900 square feet in the basement.
The second and third floors of the property will each offer 4,500 square feet of event space.
The plans for the two historic buildings link the development to the adjacent Seminole building with an exterior courtyard. JWB Real Estate Capital owns all three structures.
DIA staff reports show the incentives including forgivable loans totaling $ 3,370,170; Repayable code compliance loans totaling $ 3,325,900; and Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program Deferred principal loans totaling $ 1,727,864.
Council members were hesitant on Jan. 14 about the city’s expected return on investment for the project – 50 cents for every dollar of taxpayer money.
Sifakis said its 10-year projection of development net operating income filed with the DIA shows a return of $ 81,000 in the third year and $ 120,000 in the fourth year.
He said this makes its return on JWB’s $ 3.2 million capital investment of 3.75% by the fourth year of operation.
Sifakis added that JWB could invest the money in other areas of Jacksonville for a higher return.
“We choose to take money that we could invest at 30% and invest in downtown at 3.75% because we believe in it,” he said. “We believe that in the long term this will be successful and we want to be part of this revitalization.”
The forgivable loans would be amortized along with the repayment of principal at the rate of 20% per annum over a period of five years.
Deferred principal loans bear interest only at the rate established at the level of the 10-year Treasury bill at the time of financing.
According to Steve Kelley, DIA’s downtown development manager, JWB is to begin construction within six months of the completion of the redevelopment agreement and complete work within two years.
Kelley said JWB reached a deal to cancel two $ 1.4 million municipal liens on the Church Street property.
The committee voted 4-0 in favor of a 10-year, $ 1,556,000 Enhanced Salvage Grant for the Vista Brooklyn Apartments located at 200 Riverside Avenue.
The developer, HP-DBG 200 Riverside LLC, comprising Hallmark Partners and Bristol Development Group, told the DIA that the additional grant would mitigate the negative effect on retail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If approved by the DIA board of directors, the REV grant would modify the city’s 2017 economic development agreement for the mid-size apartment building of 308 units.
DIA CEO Lori Boyer said retail losses from COVID-19 are pushing staff to consider a new retail incentive in 2021 to keep developers interested in retail as the market grows. straightens.
She said the REV grant requested by HP-DBG could be a model for this.
The project includes a wellness studio and fitness center on the first floor, a latte lounge on the second floor, an indoor-outdoor pet spa on the eighth floor, and a rooftop pool and club with an outdoor cafe and play areas on the 10th floor.
The design also includes nearly 13,000 square feet of retail space overlooking Riverside Avenue.
The initial deal requires HP-DBG to build no less than 295 residential units and no less than 12,750 square feet of retail space, supported in part by a 20-year, $ 9 million REV grant authorized by the order 2017-0101-E.
Associate editor Max Marbut contributed to this report