Work on the Laura Street Trio is finally close to getting started – and now there are new renderings to prove it.
SouthEast Development Group recently released three new renderings depicting its plans for the historic trio of buildings, which were built between 1902 and 1912 and have sat vacant for decades in the heart of downtown Jacksonville.
The renderings show newly-constructed segments added onto the existing historic buildings on each side of the block. The new portions appear to be at least nine stories tall and, when combined with the existing high-rise structures, will create a 145-room, Marriott-branded hotel. Ground-floor units will house retail, bar, and restaurant space in addition to the hotel’s lobby; the old Florida National Bank building will become a restaurant with a bar and event space in its basement. A bodega-style market will round out the project’s expected offerings.
The $65 million development is the second phase of SouthEast Group’s downtown revitalization project. The first phase, the mixed-use redevelopment of the historic Barnett Bank building, was completed early last year.
The Laura Street Trio is comprised of three key historic buildings in downtown Jax. The old Florida National Bank building at Laura and Forsyth streets, also known as the Marble Bank building, was built in 1902 and designed by Edward H. Glidden. The ten-story Bisbee building at 47 W. Forsyth Street was designed by Henry J. Klutho and completed in 1909. The eleven-story Florida Life building at 117 N. Laura Street was also designed by Klutho and completed in 1912. All three buildings have been vacant since the ‘90s.
Reviving and reactivating the trio of historic buildings has long been thought to be a crucial, transformative step toward revitalizing downtown Jacksonville as a whole. Now, as the start of construction approaches, the project has a chance to live up to the hype and take part in catalyzing the area’s growth.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in the spring and should take 24 months to complete.