Jacksonville board may halt discussions on renovating Laura Street Trio

Downtown Investment Authority Staff Recommends Ending Negotiations with Owner of Historic Laura Street Trio

The future of the historic Laura Street Trio in Downtown Jacksonville hangs in the balance as the Downtown Investment Authority staff is recommending the city to end negotiations with the current owner, SouthEast Development Group. The recommendation comes as a result of concerns over the lack of equity from the owner for the redevelopment project.

SouthEast Development Group, which has owned the Trio since 2013, was taken aback by the staff’s conclusions and has raised objections to the findings in the report. The company has been given a short window to challenge the recommendations before the board votes on Friday.

The Trio, built after the Great Fire of 1901, is a significant part of Jacksonville’s history and is considered endangered by preservationists due to its deteriorating condition. SouthEast’s proposal aims to restore the buildings and add new structures to the block, but the lack of equity has hindered the progress of the project.

The proposed resolution calls for a halt in negotiations until SouthEast can secure more equity or bring in a partner with the financial capability to attract commercial real estate lending. The resolution also highlights the importance of protecting public investment and responsible leveraging of city funds.

If approved by the DIA board, the resolution would put a pause on further negotiations until SouthEast meets the requirements set forth by the staff. The company is seeking more time to address the concerns raised in the report and provide additional information on their financing plans.

The fate of the Laura Street Trio remains uncertain as the city grapples with the best course of action to preserve this historic landmark. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.

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