Property deal closes, demolition ahead for former Times-Union HQ

1 Riverside Map

The demolition, expected to start this month, at 1Riverside Ave., will start a new chapter at the riverfront property that was home to The Florida Times-Union for 50 years.

The newspaper, which was sold in 2017, now has offices in the Wells Fargo Center. The Morris family of Augusta, Ga., retained ownership of the property, which has recently sold to Fuqua Development of Atlanta. Fuqua paid $25 million for the 18.5 acre site, including about seven submerged acres and two buildings that have been vacant since 2018.

TriBridge Residential bought approximately 4.3 acres for $15.5 million to develop 270 apartments along the river. The apartments are part of a $250 million multi-use development that Fuqua plans to build in two phases. In addition to the apartments, Phase 1, which is expected to be completed by summer 2024, will include a grocery store, restaurants, retail and an eight-story garage.

Last year, the Downtown Development Review Board signed off on the design, and the City Council approved a $31.59 million incentives package. The demolition also means the beginning of the restoration of McCoy’s Creek, part of the Emerald Trail project. The city bought about five acres along the eastern side of the property for $6 million.  The city, in partnership with GroundWork Jacksonville, plans to restore the creek, which now runs under one of the buildings.

1 Riverside Rendering

Kay Ehas, executive director of GroundWork, said the creek will be daylighted and moved closer to its original location.

“McCoy’s Creek was totally straightened and bulkheaded in the 1920s. It was moved to higher ground, which isn’t natural and exacerbated flooding,” Ehas said.

The plan is to move the creek closer to the railroad track and widen it from 40 to 80 feet. A new 2.5-acre city park will be developed between the creek and the CSX tracks.The project now moves into the design phase.

Meanwhile, the first link in the 30-mile Emerald Trail is under construction on Park Street and is expected to be completed by fall, Ehas said.   

By Lilla Ross
Resident Community News

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