A brief history of Rise Doro apartments, the $67M downtown complex that caught fire just weeks before opening

Before a brand new luxury apartment complex set to open near the downtown sports complex in March caught fire Sunday night, there was controversy over a historic building demolition and major cost overruns.

The city issued a permit in December 2021 for the developer, Jacksonville Properties LLC, to build the Rise Doro Apartments.

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The plans called for a 247-unit, five-story wood frame building to be constructed at 960 E. Adams St., right next to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and 121 Financial Ballpark. Firefighters said Monday morning the wood frame is what fueled the fire and made it harder to fight.

According to News4JAX news partner the Jacksonville Daily Record, the project had an original construction cost of $35.56 million. The final cost nearing completion was $67 million.

According to Rise Doro Apartments’ website, units in the apartment were available for leasing, with some available starting March 1. Apartments.com listed rent for $1,475-$3,200 with units ranging from studios to two bedrooms.

The owners promote the apartment complex as having great views of downtown and within walking distance of EverBank Stadium. Plans called for 7,527 square feet of combined ground-floor and rooftop retail, outdoor patio and public gathering spaces.

Crews installed one of the finishing touches, a rooftop pool, late last year.

The project did not come without some controversy.

The Georgia-based developer demolished the 107-year-old George Doro Fixture Co. building in March 2021 to clear the site for the mixed-use project and a seven-story parking garage at 102 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.

The Jacksonville Historical Society fought against the project hoping to save the building. It placed the building on its list of endangered buildings.

According to the Daily Record, demolition was allowed to move forward because the George Doro Fixture Co. building was not part of the Downtown National Register District.

“A lot of us grew up with the Doro building right there and it was a fixture in Jacksonville for so long,” Deegan said, saying she was eager to see its transformation into the luxury apartments. “Truly this is heartbreaking to see because we were so close. This place was supposed to open up in a month.”

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