The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has contributed to twenty-eight projects in 2018, twenty-four of which are in Frenchtown/Southside and four of which are downtown. At a recent CRA Board Meeting, the Executive Director, Roxanne Manning, summarized the status of the large projects approved over the last two years.
The first project, and the largest one by far, is located at Cascades Park. The CRA completed the sale of the property in October, with $4 million in funding for the project. They have completed demolition, besides the one building being preserved, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2019. The project includes an AC Hotel by Marriott that would “hopefully boost tourism” and allow for larger conventions.
The front of the building contains a public event space useable for a variety of functions. Underneath, there is space for storage and support for the amphitheater, which would in turn bring in larger performances. There are also 250 covered public parking spaces. A plaza will be constructed with a design tied to the historical monument that is located on Jefferson Street. See picture above.
Completion of this project is planned for late 2020. There is even a second phase to the project, with planned construction of townhomes and apartments and a refurbished health facility. The completion of this phase is anticipated by 2021.
The second project, located across from Hotel Duval on 440 N Monroe, is a “companion project to the refurbishment of the Envision Credit Union” that the CRA helped to fund. It will include 224 apartments, with about 1300 square feet for retail. The developers plan to submit construction plans in early January and anticipate start of construction in mid-2019, with completion roughly two years after that.
The third large project is a LOEWS Hotel that is currently under construction behind the Leon County courthouse. Labeled the Washington Square, the redevelopment will include 18,000 square feet of meeting space and 267 rooms.
The construction, which commenced on August 6th, began with demolition and site clearance. Construction of a parking lot, footing, and foundations began at the end of November and will continue for approximately 2 years, with anticipated completion in 2020.