LaVilla Place

525 West Beaver Street

Located at 525 West Beaver Street, the Lawton L. Pratt Funeral Home was established by Lawton Pratt in 1900. Pratt was the second licensed Black mortician in Florida. The building, originally designed by Black architect Joseph Haygood Blodgett and is one of the last surviving commercial examples of his work.

In July 2021, 525 Beaver, LLC. acquired the former Lawton Pratt Funeral Home. Affiliated with Jacksonville-based Silver Street Capital, 525 Beaver, LLC. development team is in the process of converting the former funeral home into thirteen apartments and a retail space that could potentially become a restaurant, coffee shop or wine bar. The developer also plans to add a courtyard, swimming pool and parking lot just west of the building.

Phoenix Arts & Innovation District

2320 North Liberty Street

Established in 1884, the Telfair Stockton & Company developed many of Jacksonville’s most prestigious streetcar suburbs, including San Marco and Avondale during the early 20th century. The firm was also responsible for rapid development in Springfield and New Springfield after the Great Fire of 1901. During the 1920s, the company developed the Springfield Warehouse District along the junction of the Seaboard Air Line (SAL) and St. Johns River Terminal Company (SJRT) railroads.

Early 20th Century companies in the district included Swisher International, Pic N’ Save, Fisk Tire Company, Inc., Studebaker Corporation, Chevrolet Motor Company, Aetna Iron & Steel Company, American Bakeries Corporation, Dorsey Company Bakery, Coca-Cola Bottling Company and the Mavis Bottling Company (Pepsi). Over time, the warehouse district became a center of obsolescence as technological advances led to massive change in modern industrial architecture design.

In recent years, Future of Cities has acquired ten properties across 8.3 acres, including 120,000 square feet of warehouse space. The developer is now in the $14 million first phase of rehabilitating former industrial buildings into coworking space, office space, event space and a restaurant called Naked Kitchen.

Union Terminal Warehouse Company

700 East Union Street

At the time of its completion in 1913, the Union Terminal Warehouse Company was the largest commercial building to be constructed in Florida. The building was the brainchild of C.B. Gay. After his syrup manufacturing plant was destroyed by fire, Gay decided to organize the terminal company to cater to wholesale grocery firms in town. He envisioned a facility that would save its tenants money by reducing their insurance rates, drayage bills, and transportation costs.

Now, Atlanta-based Columbia Ventures is in the process of renovating the 330,000-square-foot warehouse into 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. Recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the project is Florida’s first Historic Tax Credit project in a Federal Opportunity Zone. In addition, the $72 million historic renovation is Florida’s largest Historic Tax Credit project by square footage.

Editorial by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at