Extra reasonably priced housing opens for seniors in Downtown Jacksonville

Extra reasonably priced housing opens for seniors in Downtown Jacksonville

It was a godsend for 77-year-old Jacqueline McLean: She discovered a brand new condo for a lot lower than the $1,500 per thirty days she was going to need to pay at her former condominium on St. Johns Avenue.

That’s what she tearfully informed an viewers gathered Thursday for the official opening of Ashley Sq., the Cathedral Basis of Jacksonville’s newest reasonably priced senior condo facility at 650 N. Newnan St.

“We discovered about this place and we bought in right here fortunately, as a result of had been had been so down on our luck,” McLean stated later, hugged by neighbors she met when she moved there in December. “We had been simply so behind on all the pieces, virtually.”

Turning an empty car parking zone right into a six-story condo home is one other step in the correct course for Downtown, stated Lori Boyer, CEO of the Downtown Funding Authority. Attending Thursday’s ribbon slicing, she stated it is a part of an even bigger plan to redevelop Downtown as extra residences are opened in new or historic buildings to affix the nonprofit Cathedral Basis’s three different senior high-rises.

“The Cathedral district has a imaginative and prescient for this space as being not solely senior housing, however this complete household pleasant neighborhood,” Boyer stated. “The factor that we like Downtown is the truth that we will be house to a various array of residents. We will have younger millenials which can be working in company places of work in Brooklyn. We will have seniors who stay on this neighborhood. We will have all various kinds of residents who stay downtown.”
Constructed over two years at a value of $28 million, greater than $8 million of that got here from the state and one other $1.54 million from the town and its Housing Finance Authority.

Ashley Square kitchen.JPG

Ashley Sq. affords one- and two-bedroom residences.

Ashley Sq. affords two-bedroom items for a mean of $1,000 and one-bedroom residences for about $900. And people making use of to stay there need to be 62 or older. Together with an underground parking storage, the power has an train facility, boardroom for conferences, a pc heart and a big exercise room with flat-screen TV’s, pool desk, kitchen and a number of dialog areas. It is just two blocks from a Harvey’s grocery store.

In a video message earlier than Thursday’s ribbon slicing, Florida Division of Elder Affairs Secretary Michelle Branham, a Jacksonville resident herself, stated she is happy with the venture.

“I’m so grateful for 120 new items for seniors which can be reasonably priced housing,” she stated. “That has turn into such a essential situation as we celebrated our thirtieth anniversary of the division. Now we have traveled throughout Florida, and (the necessity for) senior and reasonably priced housing, residing within the locations you’re selecting for so long as you need to, is one thing that we hear echoed everywhere in the state.”

The five-story facility is throughout the road from the 17-floor Cathedral Tower and blocks from the 21-story Cathedral Terrace and 18-story Cathedral Townhouse. These are all a part of the Growing older True system, the brand new identify for the Cathedral Basis. Now offering well being, housing, monetary, instructional and dietary providers for seniors, it was based 60 years in the past by a gaggle of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral parishioners involved in regards to the well being and welfare of Jacksonville’s aged. 


Ashley Sq. sits at 650 N. Newnan St. in Downtown Jacksonville.

Discussions to construct the muse’s fourth reasonably priced housing advanced started in 2015, instantly eyeing a mud and asphalt car parking zone throughout from the Cathedral Tower that Growing older True CEO Teresa Barton stated had turn into an eyesore.

“We had been coping with JSO, complaining that this (car parking zone) was a horrible place and we would have liked to do one thing about it,” stated Barton, CEO since 2007. “It was not solely the homeless however the of us over right here consuming, smashing bottles and bothering our residents. It was not a superb factor. However look what we constructed! Oh my gosh, this place is gorgeous!”

The condo constructing was constructed by Blue Sky Communities, a St. Petersburg-based actual property developer fashioned in 2012 that focuses on reasonably priced and workforce housing. With 22 condo communities in Florida, 5 of these for senior residents together with the Cathedral high-rises, Blue Sky CEO Shawn Wilson stated changing the “eyesore” car parking zone with a brand new senior condo was an thought he and Barton favored.

“We knew we nonetheless wanted extra reasonably priced housing in Downtown Jacksonville, so we thought, nicely, we are able to resolve plenty of issues if we put a model new constructing on this lot,” Wilson stated. “Nearly the entire items are beneath $1,000. A whole lot of these items have the power of the residents to get a voucher or different kinds of help to get that hire even decrease.”

Blue Sky additionally sought out non-public financing to construct Ashley Sq. after it renovated the three different high-rise Cathedral Residences, combining to supply greater than 700 reasonably priced senior residences.

There are 96 one-bedroom and 24 two-bedroom items within the constructing, with some remaining obtainable for hire. For extra data on how apply for a unit, go to ashley-square.com.