Home Street apartment complex sports new name

Home Street apartment complex sports new name
Rendering of the new SoBa Apartment community being built on property adjacent to Home Street, Kipp Avenue, and Louisa Street on the Southbank.

The land has been cleared and construction has begun on the Southbank property that was once a vacant lot behind Clara’s Tidbits Restaurant and Catering.

SoBa Apartments, a new 147-unit, four-story luxury community located on land adjacent to Home Street, Kipp Avenue, and Louisa Street is being developed by Catalyst Development Partners, a residential developer headquartered in Atlanta. The residential compound will be positioned with its front entrance along Home Street, adjacent to Kipp and Hendricks Avenues.

The apartment complex, which was formerly known as  or Home Street Apartments, has recently been rebranded as SoBa – a name taken from the first two letters of South and Bank, to denote its Jacksonville location. It is Catalyst Development Partner’s intention that the new apartment complex become a landmark in Jacksonville’s Southbank District, said Rachael Abt, director of marketing for Catalyst.

“We are developing SoBa because we see tremendous need and demand for apartments this close to the Central Business and Hospital Districts,” said Jorge Sardinas of Ponte Vedra, principal of Catalyst Development Partners. “Right now, most Downtown office workers need to commute 20-30 minutes to and from work. We want to provide an alternative for people to walk, ride their bikes, or take the Skyway back into work.”

The SoBa housing project is designed to be urban and eclectic and will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 612 to 1,151 square feet. The apartments will include gourmet kitchens with table-sized islands, granite counters, subway-tile backsplashes, two-tone cabinetry, wood-inspired plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, walk-in showers, spacious closets, full-size washers and dryers, plus balconies and outdoor patios to maximize views from most units.

The community will also offer ultra-high-end amenities including a 24-hour fitness club with Peloton bikes, interactive cardio equipment, top-of-the-line cross training equipment, indoor yoga/spin room with Fitness On Demand classes as well as comfortable co-working spaces for collaborative meetings, media, entertainment and gaming opportunities, and an onsite coffee café, according to a Catalyst press release. Outside there will be a resort-style swimming pool, summer kitchens with gas grill stations, pub-style dining areas, a fire pit with cozy seating, garden daybeds, and outdoor yoga.

“SoBa was designed for the tech-friendly, pet-loving, and health-conscious urbanite,” Sardinas said. “SoBa is the front door of the Southbank, which is transforming from a 9-to-5 office-centric environment to a 24/7 urban/millennial neighborhood close to all the major points of interest Jacksonville has to offer.”

The property at the corner of Home Street and Kipp Avenue on the Southbank is being developed into a 147-unit, four-story luxury apartment community.

The property at the corner of Home Street and Kipp Avenue on the Southbank is being developed into a 147-unit, four-story luxury apartment community.

Catalyst Development Partners broke ground on its property in late June after receiving approval from the city June 27. SoBa’s first residents are projected to move in next summer, and construction is scheduled to be complete in the first quarter of 2020.

Summit Contracting Group, Inc. plans to build the residential complex and its three-story parking garage at a construction cost of $15 million. The architect is Fisher Koppenhafer.

On May 15, Catalyst Partners purchased the 1.92-acre parcel at 1444 Home Street from San Marco Professional Building LLC, a company owned by Dr. Robert Bass, a gastroenterologist from Jacksonville Beach, for $1.6 million. That same day they also closed on a .81-acre parcel owned by Prudential Insurance Company of America for $850,000.

Bass’s company purchased a 1-acre parcel located at 1444 Home Street for $1.43 million in 2004 from Southbank Partners. According to records from the Property Appraiser’s office, the land was valued in 2016 at $964,622. In January 2016, Bass told The Resident he planned to develop the property into a five-story, 50-unit apartment building with a rooftop lounge and secured surface parking.

Since then, other parcels have been added in the one-square block and the residential development has tripled in size.

In September 2017, The Resident reported that to accommodate the development’s size increase, the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) approved an Allocation of Development Rights to the developer, converting approximately 1.43 acres of general office development rights to a multi-family development right, during its meeting Aug. 23, 2017.

Also, on Aug. 23, 2017, the Community Redevelopment Agency board approved a $2.53 million REV (Recapture Enhanced Value) Grant, which represents 75 percent of the property taxes to be collected and paid out over 15 years.

In exchange for the grant, Catalyst Development Partners, also known as CDP Home Street LLC, was to allocate 10 percent of the units for workforce housing – housing that is affordable for households with an earned income which is insufficient to secure quality housing within a reasonable proximity to a workplace, such as Downtown Jacksonville, The Resident reported.

Collectively, the project will result in the investment of approximately $24.8 million for the construction of the rental apartment facility and associated improvements, according to the resolution approved by the DIA.

A small .3-acre parcel at 1411 Louisa Street, adjacent to the SoBa development, is not included in the plan. Purchased by SRJ Ventures, Inc. for $283,500 in 2004, that land is currently used as a parking lot.

By Marcia Hodgson
The Resident Community News

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