DIA Board Approves $41M Deal for The Hardwick with Design Changes | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

The Downtown Investment Authority will send the terms of an almost $41 million incentive agreement to the Jacksonville City Council for Atlanta-based Carter to build The Hardwick, a mixed-use residential skyscraper on the waterfront. River Bay Street on the former site of the Duval County Courthouse.

Before approving the deal on May 18, the DIA board of directors questioned Carter executives about changes to its design for the estimated $150 million project that includes retail space and of restoration.

Carter’s Executive Vice President David Nelson showed the board a side-by-side comparison of the original and two design alternatives that have a pedestal and a 22-story tower or a pedestal with two towers at 19 and a 22 floors.

The changes allow for an increase in the number of residential units from 38 units to 360, but a smaller outdoor raised plaza/green space and the replacement of the ground floor courtyard with an open-air plaza.

The original Hardwick design and the alternative.

Nelson said some of the design changes resulted from the need to bypass underground piles that Carter knew nothing about at the time of the initial design.

“We still have to go and inspect the site to confirm everything. So we expect things to continue to evolve and change a bit,” Nelson said.

“But, hopefully what you’ll see, and as we get to the end, the intention is to stay as close to the RFP as possible and have that mid-century modern design, and to have a first floor enabled as well as upper floors. »

Converting the proposed courtyard to an open-air plaza would make it less “cavernous,” Nelson said.

Nelson said a proposed 1,500 square foot restaurant on the second and third floors would also have rooftop patio space.

He said this will allow retail tenants to program the space. The 100 foot setback from the St. Johns River remains the same.

Nelson told the board that Carter is still committed to mid-century modern architecture inspired by the work of the late Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick. The commitment impressed the ratings committee in January.


A rendering of The Hardwick’s alternate design.

Some board members were concerned that Carter had submitted his latest design for The Hardwick instead of the original bid, this could have affected his overall score and ranking.

Carter earned the highest score among six companies in the city’s request for proposals to redevelop the site at 330 E. Bay St.

DIA CEO Lori Boyer said the plan meets the requirements of the request for proposals.

Board member Stephanie Burch, who was also on the ratings committee, wants to make sure that stormwater resiliency is still factored into the project. She said the changes wouldn’t have changed her mind that Carter was the best fit for the site.

The May 19 vote was 9-0.

The property developer didn’t go for a definitive look, but executive Carter showed two alternatives to the board that impact the size of the tower and pedestal.

Nelson said Carter has hired real estate broker Colliers and will work with its senior Jacksonville manager, Matthew Clark, to find retail tenants for the ground floor and upper level restaurants.


Another potential redesign of The Hardwick’s original plan.

The final term sheet includes a decrease of $180,000 from the total incentive amount included in the draft term sheet.

In the final agreement, the Council will consider:

• A 75% property tax refund over 20 years for the enhanced value recovery grant capped at $26.77 million.

• A lump sum completion grant of $9.6 million paid at the end of the project.

• A $4.61 million rebate on the 2.4-acre property valued by the city at $9.54 million.

The agreement maintains a deadline of April 30, 2024 for groundbreaking and a completion date of December 31, 2026.

But it extends the date Carter must have her building permit in hand from July 31, 2023 to September 30, 2023.

The developer will have 120 days to carry out a due diligence of the site and “to determine its suitability for the project, and to investigate the quality and merchantability of the title it will receive from the City”.

The previous deal gave Carter the exact date of May 31, 2023, as the deadline to terminate his redevelopment deal.

Boyer said Carter will need to meet the city’s approval criteria to avoid default, and the city will retain ownership of the property until the developer is ready to break ground.

Carter would pay the city $4.93 million for the property, $2.5 million of which would be considered a donation to build the Northbank Riverwalk near the development.

The entire incentive package, project schedule and benchmarks will be submitted to the mayor’s budget review committee for final approval in order to file legislation with council to approve the agreement with Carter.


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Rozella J. Cook