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DIA Approves $ 182.2 Million Times-Union Sitemap With First Phase Restaurant | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

By September 2, 2021December 21st, 2021Site plan

Atlanta-based Fuqua Development LLC’s plans for a $ 182.2 million project at the former Florida Times-Union site in Brooklyn will include a riverside restaurant in the first phase.

The downtown investment board voted 7-0 on September 2 to approve a $ 31.59 million incentive package for the project after delaying the vote for two weeks to push the developer to add the restaurant.

Council members David Ward and Craig Gibbs were absent.

Fuqua wants to demolish the TU building and replace it with One Riverside Avenue, a residential and commercial project along the Saint John River.

The project proposes to develop the western portion of the property, approximately 13.42 acres, in two phases. It includes a grocery store, retail stores and 271 apartments in two multi-family buildings.

The plan would also restore McCoys Creek and add a public park to the east side of the property.

The DIA board of directors tabled resolution 2021-08-01 on August 18 to negotiate the size, location and city-supported funding of the restaurant.

“This is not a facility operating three hours a day,” said Lori Boyer, CEO of DIA.

“We require it to be open six days a week, two meal times a day… to make sure this is truly the full service restaurant we were looking for. “

The Times-Union helipad is on the west side of the property.

The DIA lobbied for a riverside restaurant to open on the site as soon as possible.

The second phase includes a restaurant, but construction won’t begin until at least 2025 and is dependent on the city to complete the restoration and relocation of McCoys Creek.

The DIA agreed to grant the promoter a forgivable loan of up to half the cost of developing the riverside restaurant.

The loan cannot exceed $ 750,000, according to the term sheet negotiated by DIA and Fuqua.

Board member Oliver Barakat, who advocated for the phase one waterfront restaurant on August 18 with board member Bill Adams, said leaving the restaurant in phase two would have been “a huge deal. missed opportunity “.

The deal requires city council approval, but the addition of the restaurant increases the city’s incentive program for both phases from $ 30.84 million to $ 31.59 million.

Including:

• A 75% property tax refund on 20-year enhanced recovery of value, not to exceed $ 28,419,169.

• A completion grant not exceeding $ 1,719,320.

• A Restaurant Completion Grant not to exceed $ 750,000.

• Dedication of municipal rights-of-way valued at $ 545,000.

• A mobility expense credit of $ 160,651.

Fuqua plans to hire an apartment developer for the multi-family project.

According to the list of conditions, project developers will not receive the REV retail or residential grants if the restaurant is not built.

As part of the deal, the city would buy the proposed park from the developer for $ 6.04 million.


A riverside restaurant could be located at the property’s helipad.

Restaurant requirements

DIA conditions require that the restaurant can accommodate at least 100 people.

Fuqua offered two options.

If located on the property’s former helipad, the restaurant will have a minimum of 2,500 square feet of indoor space and no less than 500 square feet of outdoor service area.

If Fuqua decides to build it as part of a residential building, the conditions sheet states that the restaurant must have 3,000 square feet of enclosed space and no less than 500 square feet of outdoor waterfront service area. river.

The city will cancel the loan at 10% per annum if the restaurant operates at least eight hours a day and six days a week, according to the list of conditions.

If the restaurant changes operators, the city will allow it to close for up to 60 days before it affects the loan.

The deal requires the developer to receive final restaurant design approval from the Downtown Development Review Board within six months of purchasing the land with a deadline of April 30, 2022.

Fuqua and the DIA agreed to remove a damages clause from the deal that would have allowed the developer to earn up to $ 1,000 a day if the city failed to complete the McCoys Creek and site preparation for phase two by September 2023.

Instead, Fuqua will have the option of requiring the city to purchase the phase two land if the work is not completed within six months of the deadline.

The condition sheet states that the city must complete the design and receive all permits to relocate the creek within 12 months of purchasing the park, but no later than December 31, 2022.


A site plan for the Times-Union property with a park to the east.

Design issues

In a written statement, former American Institute of Architects president Ted Pappas of Jacksonville asked the DIA to reconsider Fuqua’s conceptual site plan that will replace the mid-century modern-style TU building, which was built in 1967.

Pappas criticized the plan as a “congested cluster of suburban structures”.

“The developer is seeking plentiful taxpayer funding for this project,” Pappas wrote.

“The whole city expects a lot from an iconic design solution for this project, which is positioned as the gateway to our city center. “

Nancy Powell, executive director of nonprofit advocacy group Scenic Jacksonville, read the statement to the board.

Barakat, board member Carol Worsham, and chairman Braxton Gillam agreed architectural quality is important for a downtown waterfront development, but said it was too early to judge Fuqua’s plans.

The developer hasn’t posted any renderings for One Riverside Avenue.

Worsham and Boyer noted that the quality of the design will be reviewed when the project is transferred to the Downtown Development Review Board.

“We see a sitemap that’s probably not final, it’s very conceptual, and those of us as designers, architects or engineers or landscape architects look at it and think, ‘I want more. “I think the devil is in the details,” Worsham said.

Barakat said he agreed that what Fuqua presented “looks like a high-density suburban site plan,” but said the site has constraints such as the necessary corridors with views of the river and McCoys Creek.

Gillam said he was frustrated with public criticism of a “conception that has yet to happen”.

He said the development takes “unused and dilapidated-looking buildings” and redeveloped part of the site into a public park of at least 4.5 acres with improved community access to the St. Johns Creek and River.

The deal goes to the mayor’s budget review committee before Boyer files legislation with council for a final vote on incentives.