For a little over a decade, the Edward Ball Building has served as a main annex building for Jacksonville’s city hall.
But the building actually has a history that dates back over fifty years.
The Ed Ball Building was originally constructed in 1961 to house Florida National Bank. The bank was relocating from its building a few blocks away, best known as the marble building that makes up one-third of the Laura Street Trio.
The new 11-story building at 214 N. Hogan Street was designed by locally-based Saxelbye & Powell. It featured a flagship branch location on the ground floor, with the bank’s operations hosted in the building’s other floors.
Florida National Bank was among the stronger statewide banks at the time. But in the ‘70s, an anti-trust suit would force the sale of the company’s assets.
By the early ‘80s, First Union Bank had taken control of FNB – along with fellow local bank Atlantic National Bank.
In 1986, a six-story parking garage was added next to the building.
In 2004, First Union – by then known as Wachovia, and soon to become Wells Fargo – sold the building to First States Investors 3300 LLC for $23.2 million. Two years later, the new ownership group sold the building to the city for $23 million.
The city renamed their new property the Edward Ball Building in honor of the local businessman who successfully ran the Alfred I. duPont Trust and founded St. Joe Paper Company. It then started moving some of its departments to the building.
The planning department and building inspections department were among those to relocate.
$1.3 million in renovations began in 2012, after which a few more city departments moved into the building.
In addition to the city government, the Ed Ball Building hosts VyStar Credit Union and a few other ground-floor retail tenants including Quizno’s and The Brick Coffee House.
Its use as an annex for the city hall building has allowed it to live on long after its original occupant left.