Construction Update: The Union Terminal Warehouse

At the time of its completion in 1913, the Eastside's Union Terminal Warehouse Company was the largest commercial building to be constructed in Florida.

An architectural anomaly in the region, the building’s original design exemplifies many early 1900s technological advancements in fireproofing including: reinforced concrete structural systems, a sprinkler system fed from a rooftop 50,000 gallon water tank, steel-clad doors, and concrete stairwells and elevator shafts. The 330,000-square-foot warehouse was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Florida’s first Historic Tax Credit project in a Federal Opportunity Zone. In addition, the $72 million historic renovation is the state’s largest Historic Tax Credit project by square footage.

Will Brown of WJCT interviews Leo Baker. Baker’s Vantage Point Coffee Company is located on-site and will open a Black-owned coffeehouse in the development when it is completed.

Intended to be a catalyst for economic development and revitalization in the Eastside, when complete, the adaptive reuse project will include 228 apartment units, 20,233 square feet of community commercial space, 24,607 square feet of maker/artist studio space, and 4,205 square feet of restaurant and coffee shop space. Of the 228 apartment units, 12 affordable units will be sub 80 percent AMI and 191 work-force units (includes the 12 affortable units) will be sub 100 percent AMI.

High Costs of a Historic Rehab

  • Concrete restoration and piles - $3.2 million
  • Selective demolition of non-historic components - $1 million
  • Interior environmental remediation - $700,000
  • Soil remediation - $2 million
  • Window replacement - $2.1 million
  • Elevators and hoist-ways - $750,000
  • Roof replacement - $1.2 million
  • New HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems - $13.5 million
  • Cost escalation from Dec 2021 to June 2022 - $6 million

Courtesy of Dasher Hurst Architects

The project is an example of the significant economic impact that could be made through a statewide historic tax credit that could be implemented in Florida. Currently, 36 states already have this option, and it has been proven to be a huge incentive for historic preservation when coupled with federal and local preservation incentives. House Bill 499/Senate Bill 288 are on deck for this legislative session.

Recently, the Jaxson had the opportunity to tour the construction site as a part of a hard hat tour organized by the developer Columbia Ventures and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Many members of the Florida legislative delegation and the Secretary of State also attended the tour. Here is a look inside one of the largest redevelopment projects to ever take place in Jacksonville’s urban core.

Basement Level

The basement level will include a mix of commercial space and covered parking. In addition, a segment of the Emerald Trail will be constructed through the east side of the building’s basement level.

First Floor

20,233-square-feet of community commercial space for upstarts, entrepreneurs, and small businesses will be integrated into the structure. The first floor will also include a restaurant and coffee shop. The coffee shop will be operated as a storefront for the Vantage Point Coffee Company. Vantage Point currently has a coffee roasting operation on-site. When complete, the project will house an estimated 226 permanent jobs.

Third Floor

The upper floors of the structure will contain 228 apartment units. With affordable housing being a major need in the area, 191 work-force units (sub 100 percent AMI) will be included. At completion, the project could add as many as 375 residents to Jacksonville’s Eastside.