RISE Doro was set to open this weekend to residents. But not all of its permits were in place

RISE Doro, the downtown Jacksonville apartment complex that was mangled in a multi-day fire, was planning to open this weekend, even though all its permits were not in place.

According to the city, the apartment complex would not have been allowed to open unless it had a certificate that gives the OK for people to move in. That certificate would have meant it passed its last inspection which was supposed to take place this week.

MORE: Structural engineer ‘concerned’ over RISE Doro emergency demolition, believes investigative work could be compromised

The $60-million project was supposed to be the first apartment complex to help bring more people to the sports and entertainment district. It’s been in the planning for years and during a news briefing just after the fire, the owner said it was expected to open its doors to the first residents this weekend.

“We had eight residents who were due to move in this coming weekend. We’ve contacted each of them as [Jacksonville Mayor Donna] Deegan said. Most families have been offered places at RISE properties throughout the greater Jacksonville community, and some took us up on that already,” said owner Greg Blais.

For some sources who spoke to News4JAX, the idea that the complex was set to open at all was a surprise. It had not received what is called a “certificate of use or occupancy.” That certificate means it meets zoning ordinances, building codes and fire prevention codes.

RELATED | A brief history of RISE Doro apartments, the $67M downtown complex that caught fire before opening | RISE developer says he ‘absolutely wants to see a rebuild’ after fire destroys Downtown apartment complex

Sources told News4JAX RISE Doro was to get that final fire inspection this week.

Apartments like RISE Doro have been popping up all over Jacksonville recently, and News4JAX has been checking on permits.

Across the river in San Marco, The Station at San Marco apartment complex is beginning to lease. It’s similar to RISE Doro.

The Station has a certificate of occupancy for half of its building. On the other side of the complex, it’s still doing construction but it has been doing testing and owners expect to get the certificate for occupancy shortly.

As for the RISE Doro, the permits now are to tear it down and more will come as they try to resurrect the complex from the ashes.

News4JAX reached out to the Jacksonville fire department and the state fire marshal to talk about the permitting process, but they, along with the city’s permitting department, declined to answer any questions.

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