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merlin

Laura Street Trio Set To Begin Demo

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I spoke with a gentleman from the demo. company on the site this morning as he was flipping throught the demo plans for the Florida Life Tower on the Laura Street Trio site. They are set to get underway with interior demo. So add this project to the list of big downtown projects getting off the ground.

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So is it safe to assume all of the buildings are still structurally sound? The big question at hand, is if the city will help The Fund with the estimated $19 million to completely restore the buildings.

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All things considered, the Marble Bank and Bisbee aren't that bad. Completly disgusting and water-damaged, to be sure ... but no worse than the Carling was.

Now the Florida Life building is just plain scary. Its interior has been totally exposed to the elements for years, and masonry from the crown has already fallen to the ground before. All the historic preservation people talk about how the Florida Life is going to be the one out of the three that's by far the most expensive to fix.

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Personally, I would never want to live in a building that's been renovated unless it's the last resort. C'mon, you never know exactly all the minor things that they might miss w/an older building especially the ones been redone for the Laura Street Trio. I would much prefer they tear down the buildings and build newer ones. At least that way, its more safe & sound than an old, redeveloped building. I know that new buildings too would have problems depending on how their built but at least you have the added comfort that everything in it is new. I'm sure there's plenty of mold & other things of that nature in those 3 buildings. How much more is it to build a newer building of the same size & such anyways?

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vlad: I have a lot of experience renovating (and living in) historic multi-family properties from the same era as the Laura Trio and I believe that the older structures were built more soundly than most houses today. Now, I cannot speak to the construction of highrises, but I would not be surprised to see that it is true with these too. Either way, gutting the buildings allows the architects to look at the bones of the structure and make sure it is structurally sound. I really doubt that any of these buildings are unsound and I think they will need mostly cosmetic upgrades and new electrical and plumbing. Of course, the contractors can make any structural improvements needed at the same time. Do not fear.

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Just to add to that, have you ever read of a reconstructed building having major structural integrity loss after people have move din?

It's as rare an event as it is for a newly constructed building.

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Personally, I would never want to live in a building that's been renovated unless it's the last resort. C'mon, you never know exactly all the minor things that they might miss w/an older building especially the ones been redone for the Laura Street Trio. I would much prefer they tear down the buildings and build newer ones. At least that way, its more safe & sound than an old, redeveloped building. I know that new buildings too would have problems depending on how their built but at least you have the added comfort that everything in it is new. I'm sure there's plenty of mold & other things of that nature in those 3 buildings. How much more is it to build a newer building of the same size & such anyways?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Working in the construction/architecture field, I personally would much rather live in something like the trio, residential standards for new construction is quite poor. This will have to adhere to stricter codes and regulations than a new single-family residnece. Tha is not to mention that given the buildings were designed way back when there used to be overage tolerances built into the structure. Also the program for the buildings will be much less dense so your live loads and dead loads will be less. thus the structure should be able to handle more of the new program.

The entire building will have to be brought up to current FLorida Building Code. Also, once the windows are in the they will be pressure tested to make sure they don't leak. Those are just a couple things that will take place to make sure the structure is sound and watertight.

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from today's Jax Daily Record

According to Police and Fire Pension Fund boss John Keane, internal demolition at the Laura Street Trio will start soon. Plans are to block off the sidewalks on the east side of Laura Street from Forsyth to Adams and a portion of the north side of Forsyth Street.

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=43644

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Im a little giddy about this :)

Cant wait to see these guys up and running.

I know this has been metioned before, but which bildings are to suit what type of zoning.. residential, Commercial.. etc...

Cheers...

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Residential use is by far the best use for these buildings because the floorplans are outdated for most commercial use. I wonder where tenants will park though. Either way, these are significant buildings worth saving though and I too am excited.

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The Bisbee and the FL Life are each only a couple of armbreadths wide and will make fantastic living spaces. I did a project for this site in Grad School and always wanted to see each floor of the buildings be turned into single units where one tenant would occupy each floor, maybe 2 tenants per flor for the first couple floors to densify the buildings a little more. But I am anxious to see what the units are to become.

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Although this would probably never be done, I'd like to see the Marble Bank become a building that would be accessible to the general public, like a Marketplace, similar to this one in Cleveland, given how impressive its interior is.

clevelanddowntownmarketplace4i.jpg

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that would be fantastic. Although the scale of the bank is somewhat smaller. I always had the thought that it would make a great restaurant with it's balcony that wraps around, or a great nightclub similar to the old Limelight in NY. The old Presbyterian Church on Hemming Plaza would be a good fit for both of those as well IMO.

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^ Ugh! maybe it's me, but I think Maggiano's is the most overrated restaraunt in SJTC. I've been both to this one and the one in Atlanta, and they both suck, IMO. As much as I think it is great to get new chains to town, I'd take Buca di Beppo or Carabba's over Maggiano's any day of the week.

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^ Ugh! maybe it's me, but I think Maggiano's is the most overrated restaraunt in SJTC. I've been both to this one and the one in Atlanta, and they both suck, IMO. As much as I think it is great to get new chains to town, I'd take Buca di Beppo or Carabba's over Maggiano's any day of the week.

respectfully disagree...Carabbas is a McDonalds compared to Maggiano's IMHO...just keeping the conversation flavorful

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La Cena.

Its finer dining than those mentioned but is the best and truest Italian in the city. And its in the actual town center on actual St Johns. I can say this because I had Maggianos this weekend. It was fair. Many extra points for me on design and atmosphere. I was not going to wait two hours so we ate at the bar which was comfortable and fairly fast. I digress.

Of course why would La Cena open two blocks south so how about Smith & Wolensky. We've got plenty of great steak and sizzle on the Southbank. Lets bring some steak to the NB. I'm getting hungry just blogging about it.

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I agree. A steakhouse on the northbank would be awesome. Especially one in an historic, renovated building. As for Maggiano's, I agree the food is a little disappointing but I still love the place for the old school design of the interior. It feels like you are transported to New York when you go inside the place. La Cena in downtown is definitely the best upscale Italian in Jacksonville. I highly recommend it. I love the spaghetti carbonara. Just like in Roma...

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^While it would be better to have a steakhouse on the Northbank, I think we have our steak bases covered as it is. We already have Ruth's Chris and Mortons. And they're like practically next to each other.....

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Yes... if you think Carrabba's is better than Maggiano's, you probably think McDonald's is better than Ruth's Chris.

Well, that's pushing it a little, but perhaps Burger King vs. Fuddrucker's? Come on.

I think the northbank could use a good restaurant, though...

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I'm sorry but I definitely think Carabba's is way much better than Maggiano's. Maggiano's is nothing but hype b/c it's brand new but I think the food there is fair.

We went there on our first visit, and talk about mishaps.

The order my mom had was wrong plus she was served after the whole group had already received their food. I had the chicken fettucine alfredo and it doesn't taste anywhere as good as Carabba's.

The waiter there sucked too b/c she was pushing to make us order fast unlike in Carabba's where they're patient with you (as far as my experience goes).

This is for all those other restaurants too in SJTC, I've never tried P.F. but I've always eaten at Cheesecake Factory and that's a little bit overrated also. I like their cheesecakes but most foods there you can find elsewhere.

Although I do here that Boca De Pepe near the Avenues Mall is pretty good though. Anyone ever eaten herer?

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