JACKSONVILLE, FLa. — Jacksonville’s Morocco Shrine Center is being demolished to become the Village at Town Center. The iconic, 60-thousand square foot + structure that sat on 37 acres on St. Johns Bluff Road, is expected to become luxury, high-end and student housing units along with office, restaurant and retail space.
Describing the day as bittersweet Mark Hudson, the president of the Morocco Shrine Center, said that he was present on the day in 1981 when the building’s first cornerstone was laid.
“Progress has to come,” he said. “It’s better suited for what it’s going to be and we now have a new location.”
Hudson added that the building’s upkeep became a burden as the Morocco Shrine Center’s membership dwindled.
The Shriners present were gifted with the Center’s original cornerstone.
Jeff Klotz, head of the Klotz Group companies who own the land, described the demoltion as a milestone; the first step in one of many.
“We’re very, very excited about the future project and of course the demoliton of the existing structure is a big step in that progress,” he said.
Klotz also expressed his appreciation in being the local real estate developement company chosen to purchase the property in light of the “lots and lots” of local and national estate developers who tried to acquire the property. The Jacksonville native added that along with his excitement in moving forward, he remains “nostalgic” in remembering the community events the Center hosted which included proms, concerts, weddings, lectures and Christmas lights.
The Klotz Group companies along with the KABR Group are expected to complete the demoltion in 45 days. New construction is set to begin later this year.