City may fund $1.5 million toward renovation of historic downtown hotel

Jacksonville's first upscale apartment building vacant for over decade


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A St. Augustine developer is asking for a $1.5 million incentive to renovate the former Ambassador Hotel and adjoining space into luxury apartments, hotel rooms and retail space.

A bill was introduced to Jacksonville City Council Tuesday night to approve the funds for the project to redo the 1924-era six-story hotel at the corner of Julia and Church streets.

The Ambassador Hotel was the first upscale apartment building in downtown Jacksonville. The building was constructed of brick and limestone in the Georgian Revival style and designed so every room had a window view. The building, which was condemned in 1998, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

At least two previous attempts to renovate the property have failed.

VIEW: Photos and more history of the Ambassador Hotel

The developer said LaQuinta would occupy the hotel space. 

The project would also a 200-unit luxury apartment building and 15,000 square feet of retail space on the same block in space currently occupied by an old bank building.

The developer would also get a tax break and the project would take two years to complete.



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