Out-of-state financing comes through for early closing on The District

Three days ahead of schedule, the partners behind The District Jacksonville — Life Well Lived (The District) closed July 13 on property owned by the Jacksonville Energy Authority (JEA). Financing for the $18.5 million acquisition was provided by Dallas-based Preston Hollow Capital, LLC.

Jumping the July 16 closing date to begin the development process as quickly as possible on the 30-acre site adjacent to property owned by the Duval County School Board, Elements of Jacksonville LLC is almost ready to put shovels in the ground – but not before more i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.

Before any work can begin on horizontal construction, however, Elements will form a Community Development District (CDD), whose board will issue up to $30 million in bonds. The bonds will be repaid through a portion of tax rebates granted to the project. The rebates will kick in after vertical construction begins, estimated in late 2020, so there is ample incentive to turn the vacant property into an income-producing development as soon as possible.

Should the debt repayment on the bonds fall short, property owners in The District, such as AC Marriott Hotels, may be charged a fee to make up the difference.

Michael Munz, a partner in the development with Peter Rummell, said a purchase and sales agreement was in place for the hotel parcel, and they are in talks with a number of retail users as well as multi-family, and other types of vertical development users.

The property closing came just a few weeks after the Jacksonville City Council approved the project’s Redevelopment Agreement that had been previously approved by the Downtown Investment Authority and endorsed by Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration. The $82 million incentives package will help build public infrastructure and parks, including 3.5 acres earmarked for three riverfront parks, a boardwalk, kayak launch, and bulkhead.

“The path from being awarded the RFP by JEA to closing has been a planning, regulatory and detailed approval process that we are glad is behind us as we look forward with great anticipation to begin the real work of actual development,” said Rummell, in a prepared statement.

The District is designed for what Rummell has called “Generation H, a generation defined not by age but by the common belief that the most fulfilling, most productive of lives are achieved by healthy living.” Beyond the bike paths, fitness centers and daily activity, The District will feature the innovative Base Camp to offer a wealth of services, including yoga classes and personal health counseling to community gardening and a health concierge.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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