$90 million Downtown redevelopment project getting underway

Jacksonville, FL — A long time in the making, the first phase of redeveloping the Barnett Building and Laura Street Trio in Downtown Jacksonville gets underway this week.

WOKV first told you about the redevelopment plans in January. The $90 million project includes adding parking and a signature hotel, converting the historic buildings to office space, residential space, dining, retail, and more. The City of Jacksonville has committed to $10 million in incentives for the completion of the entire project.

Now, the SouthEast Development Group of Jacksonville and The Molasky Group of Companies of Las Vegas say they’ve contracted local construction management firm Danis to get the project in motion. We’re told the early work won’t be visible to the public, because it will be concentrated on interior remediation and improvements.

The Barnett Building is slated to open during the last quarter of 2018. A new parking structure housing at least 550 secure spaces and retail space will also open at that time. The Laura Street Trio- collectively the Bisbee Building, Florida Life Building, and Marble Bank Building- will be developed in a later phase of the project.

“After years of planning and preparation, the transformation of Jacksonville’s Central Business District is at hand. Rehabilitating these irreplaceable historic structures and bringing the properties back into service is a tangible example of how private investment and public commitment can achieve great things when leveraged together,” says a statement from SouthEast Development Group’s Principal and Managing Director Steve Atkins.

The CFO and President of Covernment Projects for The Molasky Group of Companies, Bradley Sher, believes this project will be “the crown jewel of downtown”.

The Jacksonville Historical Society tells WOKV the current plans embrace the historic elements of the complex, while bringing in more life.

“More people Downtown, more restaurants Downtown, a more vibrant Downtown- and that corner is the heart of that story,” says Jacksonville Historical Society Executive Director Emily Liskka.

When combined with other redevelopment projects underway in Jacksonville, like the Cowford Chophouse poised to open in the old Bostwick Building, Liskka says Downtown has an energy like we haven't recently seen. She says it's "fortunate" this revitalization is coming with new life for historic buildings.

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