Jacksonville City Council named the historic Union Terminal Warehouse in the Eastside Area at 700 E Union St. a local landmark at the request of owner East Union Property Owner LLC.
The council voted 19-0 on April 13 to approve the landmark’s designation, making Atlanta-based Columbia Ventures LLC’s plans to convert the structure into apartments eligible for urban incentives and federal historic tax credits.
The final vote will come after the 7-0 approval by the Council’s Land Use and Zoning Committee on April 6th.
East Union Property Owner, a subsidiary of Columbia Ventures, purchased the 7-acre property near TIAA Bank Field and north of the Arlington Expressway for $ 4.6 million on December 3, 2018.
The development proposed by the company includes up to 750,000 square meters of residential and non-residential use in existing or new buildings. The mix allows up to 473 residential units.
Suggested non-residential uses include retail, offices, galleries, childcare, hotels, warehouses, veterinary, restaurants, nightclubs, breweries, factories, churches, and pharmacies.
Staff at the City’s Heritage Preservation Department for Planning and Development found the warehouse meets five of the city’s seven criteria for landmark status under Council Regulation 2021-0139.
The staff’s February 24 report said the Union Terminal Warehouse was significant to its contribution to Jacksonville trade as a successful wholesale, grocery, and goods warehouse from its completion in 1913-1934.
According to the employee report, the building’s architecture is a “rare and intact” example of one of the largest reinforced concrete loft buildings of its time in Jacksonville.
Columbia Ventures’ subsidiary purchased the 7-acre property near TIAA Bank Field and north of the Arlington Expressway on December 3, 2018 for $ 4.6 million.
Turner Construction Co. built the Union Terminal Warehouse from 1912 to 1913 and was only empty for a short time in the 1970s, according to the report.
The property documents show that the location in E. Union St. 640-648 was expanded until 1990.
The city’s historic monument protection commission recommended that the council approve the designation on February 24th.
Ward Architecture + Preservation of Savannah, Georgia prepared the owner’s application according to the documents presented to the city.
Columbia Ventures’ co-founder and managing partner Dillon Baynes signed the application through subsidiary East Union Holdings LLC, according to records.
The main building housed creative loft spaces for artists, woodworkers, manufacturers and manufacturers. The other buildings have office space, car repair services and rented storage space.
Baynes said in January he plans to keep as many of these creative tenants as possible as Columbia Ventures adapts the space for commercial, retail, and residential use.
Baynes said the renovations could create dining and entertainment options as well.
The main warehouse, which has a basement, is rented for loft space for artists and for manufacturing. The other buildings are used for storage, office, internet car sales and car repair.
The company received a $ 4.5 million mortgage from the Jacksonville office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as part of its acquisition pre-development loan program.
In January, Baynes said he would apply for historic federal tax credits to offset construction costs.
He said that residential buildings will not be the main use for the main building, but that labor will be included.
Columbia Ventures is affiliated with Atlanta-based housing and real estate management company Columbia Residential, which has community and senior living facilities in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
In May 2019, the council approved the Jacksonville Planning Commission’s recommendation to reclassify and change the land use of the property at 648 E. Union St. for mixed-use development, including residential, commercial and compatible light industrial uses.
These plans indicated that the 7.35 hectare property included the main warehouse as well as six other warehouse and office buildings.
The website columbiaven.com states that Columbia Ventures is planning its adaptive reuse “as a vibrant, mixed-use community using historic tax credits and opportunity zone equity as key components of the capital stack.”
The city granted WPC – Winter Park Construction – permission on Jan. 6 to complete the demolition and concrete restoration of the four-story, 365,434-square-foot mixed-use building, valued at $ 2.7 million.
Columbia Ventures partner Jakob von Trapp said in an email dated May 5 that the demolition was scheduled for initial repairs inside the building in preparation for the adaptive reuse project.