Authentic Jacksonville: The Hardwick at Ford on Bay

Authentic Jacksonville: The Hardwick at Ford on Bay
A rendering of the proposed Hardwick at Ford on Bay. Design architect for the project is Shulman + Associates. Renderings courtesy of Carter.

The proposed project for the Hardwick at Ford on Bay is moving on to the next stage of its process.

In January of this year, the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) voted to award the project to Atlanta-based developer Carter and in May approved the project’s terms and conditions. The Jacksonville Office of General Counsel is currently drafting the contracts and documents.

Carter’s plans for 330 E. Bay Street — a 2.4-acre parcel on the former site of the old Duval County Courthouse — includes a mixed-use plan for residential apartments in a “19- to 20-story tower” with retail and restaurant space both on the riverfront and along the Bay Street corridor, according to DIA CEO Lori Boyer.

“The building really focused on resiliency, it incorporated some green roof features, it keeps a wide-view corridor from Bay Street down to the marina, so you can see the marina from Bay Street and know there’s something there,” Boyer said. “It sets back 100 feet from the riverfront bulkhead so there’s a wide river walk area there. There were a lot of features to this particular proposal that we thought really benefited the public.”

The project is named for Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick, whose most notable works include the Haydon Burns Library — now the Jessie Ball duPont Center — and Friendship Fountain. Boyer said Carter made “a real concerted effort” to design a building unique to its city rather than a “run-of-the-mill 2022 residential building,” and pays homage to Hardwick by incorporating design features from some of his downtown buildings into their design.

“It was a real effort to be authentic to Jacksonville,” she said. “It wouldn’t be a building you could take and plop down in Nashville and have it have the same import. It’s here. It’s ours.”

Carter Executive Vice President David Nelson said the developer is currently in the design process and will present a conceptual design to the Downtown Development Review Board in December per the conditions of the term sheet.

“The next step is to finalize the redevelopment agreement and once the redevelopment agreement is done, it’ll be full-speed ahead,” he added.

The Hardwick at Ford on Bay is one of several projects either proposed or already underway in downtown Jacksonville as the city’s urban area continues to see “tremendous momentum,” Boyer said. The downtown area, she said, is “kind of taking off.”

“I think [the Hardwick at Ford on Bay] will be a real addition to the area and I love not only the historical and authentic nod to Taylor Hardwick but also the real focus on the pedestrian experience on Bay Street and the experience along the waterfront,” she said. “I think those are important features of the design.”

Per Nelson, the project is expected to break ground in Spring 2024.

By Michele Leivas
Resident Community News

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