Grocery store, rooftop restaurant & 140 apartments planned for old downtown Jacksonville building

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Old Independent Life Tower sat vacant for close to two decades.

Inside there's an outdated cafeteria and what use to be JEA’s headquarters.

It sits on West Duval street, built in 1956, at one point Florida’s tallest building.

It was designed by a world renowned German architect.


Developer Augustine Development Group purchased the building with plans to turn it into 140 multifamily unit apartments, along with a swanky rooftop bar and restaurant and a rooftop pool.

There are also plans for a ground level grocery store, something downtown lacks.

Augustine Development says it is in talks with multiple national grocery chains.

“Right here would be the grocery store; we have a small leasing office here for the multifamily and this elevator bank that will stay the same to take customers up to the rooftop for the 19th floor," said Bryan Greiner, President of Augustine Development.

Construction is scheduled to begin January 2020 and last  14 months.

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The building will also be the most energy efficient building in downtown, feeding off JEA’s chilled water line.

“We are seeing a vacancy rate of only about 4% so there is definitely a demand for nice units in downtown,” Greiner said.

Across the street, Augustine Development Group is also working on renovating the old Ambassador Hotel, adding a parking garage and a mixed-use apartment building.

The two sites would change the face of downtown dramatically, adding 340 apartment units in total, and millions in renovations to buildings that would otherwise sit in disrepair.