Review Board Approves Design for Columbia Ventures in Brooklyn | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
Atlanta-based Columbia Ventures LLC is set to launch its five-story, 341-unit mixed-use apartment community project at Park and Forest Streets in Brooklyn.
The Downtown Development Review Board voted 7-0 on July 14 to grant final design approval for the residential and commercial project at Forest and Park Streets that the co-founder and managing partner of Columbia Ventures , Dillon Baynes, said in an email May 9 will be a $100 million investment.
He said the company “loves the Florida story, the Sunbelt story and the Jacksonville story,” Baynes said in the email.
“We’re all in it,” he said. “We have an office in Savannah two hours away and have been in the market for almost four years. We hope to find other great opportunities in time.
The project site is on nearly two city blocks bounded by Forest, Myrtle, Price and Park streets, which Columbia Ventures completed acquiring in November 2021 through Park St. Owner LLC.
The development will close and be built on Chelsea Street west of Price Street, the site plan shows.
The review panel praised the entire project, which includes 8,338 square feet of retail and dining space with no outdoor seating along Forest and Park Street.
To gain approval, Columbia Ventures agreed to council’s request to add public art and seating to the project’s southwest corner and remove six planned street parking spaces on Forest Street.
Columbia Ventures is also working with the Florida Department of Transportation to purchase 0.61 acres that connect to the project site for open green space.
The board voted unanimously to support member Christian Harden’s suggestion that DDRB and Downtown Investment Authority staff write a letter to the department encouraging the state to sell the parcel to Columbia Ventures.
The board’s support for adding the parcel to the project depended on the developer making the green space available to the public.
Columbia Ventures development director Ryan Akin said they wanted to keep some of the space separate from public spaces to give residents of the planned ground-floor units a sense of security.
Akin agreed to work with the council to have some of the space improve the public ROW.
Board member Frederick Jones was absent during the vote.
Bill Schilling had to abstain from voting because he works as an engineer for Jacksonville-based Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., which is working on the project.
Renderings show Kimley-Horn and Studio Architects of Atlanta as the design team for the project.
This would be the second high-density residential project proposed by Columbia Ventures in or near the downtown area.
In May, City Council approved an $8.285 million incentive deal for Columbia Ventures to convert the historic Union Terminal warehouse at 700 E. Union St. into 228 apartments and more than 35,000 square feet of retail space. and “makerspaces” in a $64.37 million project.
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