Elements Closes on The District Site Ahead of Schedule
— Former JEA Site to be Transformed into Catalytic Development Project–
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – July 13, 2018 – The partners behind The District Jacksonville — Life Well Lived (The District), an approximately 30-acre master-planned development on the St. Johns River, announced today that they have closed on the property with JEA ahead of the July 16th scheduled closing date in order to begin their development process as quickly as possible. This announcement comes within weeks of the Jacksonville City Council’s recent approval of the project’s Redevelopment Agreement that had been previously approved by the Downtown Investment Authority and endorsed by Mayor Curry’s administration.
“The path from being awarded the RFP by JEA to today’s closing has been a planning, regulatory and detailed approval process that we are glad is behind us as we look forward with great anticipation to begin the real work of actual development,” said Peter Rummell, developer of The District project along with partner Michael Munz. “The hardest thing to do is start, and we look forward to starting now and being part of the great upturn in Jacksonville’s future that is taking place – for both downtown and all of the City.”
Preston Hollow Capital, LLC (Dallas, TX) provided the acquisition financing for the District. “We embrace this opportunity to be part of this important and transformational project for the City of Jacksonville,” said Ramiro Albarran, Managing Director of Preston Hollow Capital. “The City’s visionary support and the strong sponsorship of The District’s partners were essential elements for us.”
To begin the horizontal development process, Rummell and Munz, as previously announced, have contracted with Kitson & Partners to execute the development plan for The District. Kitson will help bring the vision for the unique master-planned community to life and oversee all aspects of The District’s development, which includes coordinating with contractors for all horizontal and vertical development phases.
“JEA commends the partners behind The District for their steadfast belief and determination in bringing their forward-thinking concept to the Southbank. This project is important for downtown development and the community. It also demonstrates JEA’s commitment and value by ensuring the property and the proceeds are used to benefit the community,” said JEA interim CEO Aaron Zahn.
Before construction begins, Kitson will ensure that all permits, entitlements and plans are complete, and will develop the overall project budget and work schedule. This includes securing bids from general contractors as well as managing any other necessary agreements and contracts on behalf of The District’s partners. Once construction commences, Kitson will be responsible for overseeing all work conducted on the site through completion of the project, including securing inspections and approvals, monitoring costs and managing any project changes.
Based in Palm Beach Gardens, Kitson & Partners is known for innovative, sustainable development including Babcock Ranch, the nation’s first solar-powered town near Fort Myers that welcomed its first residents earlier this year.
“The District is unlike any other project we have seen, which is exactly what drew our interest from the first time Peter and Michael discussed it with us,” said Tom Hoban, President and CIO of Kitson & Partners. “We see a lot of cross-over between our work at Babcock Ranch and the unique aspects of The District and we are honored to be a part of it.”
The District is designed for Generation H, a generation defined not by age but by the common belief that the most fulfilling, most productive of lives are achieved by healthy living. This applies to personal habits and the entire live, work, play environment that The District is creating to promote health and happiness. Beyond the bike paths, fitness centers and daily activity, The District will feature the innovative Base Camp to offer a wealth of services, including yoga classes and personal health counseling to community gardening and a health concierge.
“To date, we have a purchase and sale agreement in place for the hotel parcel, an AC Marriott Hotel, and are in talks with a number of retail users as well as multi-family, and other types of vertical development users,” said Munz. “Now that we are past the closing process, we anticipate a high-level of activity as we move into the next stage.”
About The District—Life Well Lived Jacksonville
The District evolves the amenity offerings of a development to create a new pattern of community that responds to the emerging lifestyle desires that so many seek today and will in the future. It is responsive to multi generations and a market phenomenon that requires a new way of thinking by the development community. The District will have 1,170 residential units, which will be a mix of for rent and for sale (loft apartments, townhomes and mid- to high-end condos); 200,000 square feet of office space; over 200,000 square feet of retail; riverfront restaurant and bars; a 4-acre riverfront park and the extension of the Riverwalk; a 125-slip marina; and a 200-room hotel. For more information, please visit http://thedistrictjax.com/.
About Preston Hollow Capital
Preston Hollow Capital (www.phcllc.com) is the leading solution provider in municipal finance. Headquartered in Dallas, Preston Hollow Capital is an independent municipal finance company with over $1.3 billion in permanent equity capital and over $2.6 billion in investment capacity from a diverse investor base comprised of founding management, institutional investors including funds managed by Stone Point Capital LLC and HarbourVest Partners, and several prominent family offices. Since being founded by Chairman & CEO Jim Thompson in 2014, Preston Hollow Capital has closed nearly $2 billion in transactions across a variety of sectors of the municipal bond market including real estate, senior living, education, infrastructure, general government and economic development. Preston Hollow Capital differentiates itself with its ability to deliver capital with speed, certainty and flexibility.