The Jacksonville City Council approved $9.8 million in economic incentives to The Molasky Group and SouthEast Development Group to restore downtown’s Barnett Building and the Laura Street Trio structures and the adjacent Barnett Bank building on North Laura Street.
Molasky and SouthEast plan a total of $78 million work of work to build apartments, restaurants, a bank, hotel, and bodega market. The developers would also build an adjacent parking garage.
“We are excited to be part of the Jacksonville community and the effort to redevelop these historic buildings which have remained vacant for years despite efforts to get them occupied,” says Matt Connolly, Senior Vice President – Development for The Molasky Group of Companies and head of its Atlanta office.
Ordinance 2017-403 authorizes the incentives package and economic development agreement between the city, the Downtown Investment Authority and the development group.
It also authorizes a lease agreement between the city and BLT Parking LLC, and a parking sublease agreement between the city and the parking company for construction and use of a parking deck.
Developers would receive a $2 million grant after finishing the Barnett Building. The developers would receive another $6 million grant once the Laura Street Trio is complete. In addition to the grants, the city will rebate half of the property taxes generated by new construction at the Laura Street Trio worth up to $1.8 million over the next 20 years.
The Trio structures, comprising the Florida Life Building, the Bisbee Building, and the old Marble Bank Building, include about 72,000 square feet of general office space and 10,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.
Plans include a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, bodega market, café, restaurant, rooftop bar and retail office space.
The Barnett Bank building will be converted into 50,000 square feet of office space and 100 apartments.
A 550-space, $11 million parking garage also is part of the project and will be built by the developers on property the city owns at Adams and Laura streets.
“These seminal projects will complete the city’s vision for a completely redeveloped and vibrant downtown, adding much-needed quality housing to the downtown core and additional and convenient parking that will help increase visitation to the downtown by locals and visitors alike,” adds Connolly.
The DIA would make lease payments of up to $660,000 per year for 20 years for the use of the garage, with the developer leasing spaces back from the DIA, producing estimated revenue of $300,000 annually.
The group now has 60 months to complete the projects.
The Molasky Group of Companies started in 1951 and is a privately owned real estate development company based in Las Vegas with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Portland, Oregon. It has extensive experience designing, building and financing commercial, office, residential, healthcare and federal real estate developments across the United States. The company, along with its affiliate Ovation Development, has developed more than 10,000 multi-family units.
SouthEast Development Group, LLC is a commercial real estate firm based in Jacksonville, Florida providing a full complement of development services, design-build programming and asset management across multiple market sectors, with a portfolio of work from the Carolinas to South Florida.