Hines along with South Shore Group Partners, is proceeding with plans to develop Northeast Florida's tallest residential tower and the tallest building in the Southbank area of downtown Jacksonville.
The St. John will contain 261 spacious condominium units within 43 stories and will rise 478 feet with the building's west facade twelve feet from the edge of the river. The tower will be located off of Prudential Drive, adjacent to the Aetna Building, owned and operated by South Shore Group, and the main campus of Baptist Hospital.
Hines' Senior Vice President Michael Harrison said, "We are seeing a sustained trend towards urban living in all major U.S. cities, including Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. Empty nesters and younger professionals in particular are looking for a change in lifestyle and are moving back into downtowns where cultural and entertainment activities are plentiful. Within walking distance of dining and shopping in San Marco square and office locations on the Southbank, The St. John offers them a housing choice that has not previously existed downtown."
Naomi Lumley, Hines' director of sales for The St. John added, "Jacksonville enjoys a lower cost of living and a much lower risk of hurricane impacts than other metropolitan regions in Florida. We believe that this area is poised to capture an increasing share of the net migration to Florida, as well as draw current Florida residents from other markets."
Designed by the world-renowned architecture firm Arquitectonica, all units will have floor-to-ceiling, tinted-glass exterior walls and clear-glass balcony railings that will frame spectacular views of the length of the St. Johns River as it winds its way through Downtown. Arquitectonica has earned international acclaim for the creative use of building forms to sculpt dramatic and timeless shapes that transform skylines. Hines has worked with such legendary architecture firms in major cities around the world in developing more than 205 million square feet of real estate.
Preliminary plans call for one to three bedroom units ranging from 1,080 to 2,800 square feet and 15 penthouses up to 3,750 square feet. Interior finishes in the public and private areas will be sophisticated yet warm and inviting. The developers currently expect to offer pre-construction pricing from $380,000 to $1.3 million, excluding the penthouses.
Hines and Arquitectonica are preparing to present the project to the Downtown Development Review Committee in December and anticipate a ground breaking in the second quarter of 2006 with construction completion scheduled for 2008. A sales office will open on site in early 2006, however, in the interim, potential buyers and realtors can obtain additional information or be added to the growing interested party list via the project web site, www.thestjohnjax.com.
Hines' resumé of high-rise residential developments includes: the 16-story luxury condominium Madeira on Marco Island in Florida; the 30-story, twin-tower Del Bosque in Mexico City by Cesar Pelli; the 32-story Embassy House in Beijing by HOK; and the five-phase residential towers of Diagonal Mar comprising 1,400 units in Barcelona. In addition, the firm has developed 16 hotels with more than 7,200 rooms, and 10 master-planned and residential communities in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Montana, Tennessee and Texas. Hines has worked with world-class architects such as Philip Johnson, Robert A.M. Stern Architects; I.M. Pei & Partners; Frank Gehry & Associates; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and Kohn Pedersen Fox for its urban projects.
Hines' entrance into the Florida real estate market began 23 years ago with the development of the Southeast Financial Center (now Wachovia Financial Center) in downtown Miami. In addition to the Madeira on Marco Island project, the firm recently completed 2525 Ponce de Leon, the 12-story, Mediterranean-style office tower in Coral Gables. Hines is widely known in Northeast Florida for its award winning, master-planned, golf course community, Palencia. Locat