Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer said she’s encouraged that the RISE CEO has committed to rebuilding in Downtown Jacksonville after the RISE Doro apartments went up in flames Sunday night.
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Boyer said the destruction is a huge setback, but all is not lost for downtown development.
The owners of the Doro Housing Complex were set to receive roughly $6 million in the form of a tax rebate. Boyer also said that the deal is likely off the table.
“Overall, we keep striving for the bigger goals of 10 or 15,000 units downtown, and this was part of the 1,000 units under construction right now,” Boyer said.
Boyer said RISE Doro was the first multifamily product that was going to “deliver” in the Sports and Entertainment District. She said while the fire that gutted the eight-story complex dealt the city a big blow, Doro only accounted for one-fourth of the residential units, being built downtown right now.
“There are still 750 other units in downtown under construction there all these public infrastructure projects, the two-way street conversion, parks along riverfront and riverwalk extensions that are underway and are under construction, so those are happening,” Boyer said.
Boyer referred to major residential housing projects including the Tribridge Development in Brooklyn, the construction of housing complexes called the Lavilla Link of the Emerald Trail, and construction in the Cathedral District, and on the Southbank.
Boyer said housing and improvements to existing infrastructure will eventually spur more private investment and development. She said construction costs have increased since the Doro was first built, but the market is also improving.
“It encourages people when they see the market turn, I had a couple of national companies that were in town a week ago, and they were talking about new sites they could develop downtown so they are starting to think about getting back in after everyone sat on the sidelines for years to watch,” Boyer said.
Boyer remained optimistic about Downtown Jacksonville’s longer-term goals. City Council President Ron Salem also spoke with News4JAX about more pressing issues.
“I talked to the fire marshal myself this morning and they just trying to make sure the blaze doesn’t restart, so they’ll be out there for quite some time,” Salem said. He added that they are looking at various options to secure the building so no one gets into it.
The CEO of Rise, Greg Blais, said that the Doro building is insured, and their company is committed to rebuilding downtown, calling the project a labor of love that they first embarked on in 2019.