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The John Gorrie Adds Priceless Value to Riverside Neighborhood

June 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Since The John Gorrie a condominium first opened, there has been a lot of talk about the economic value it has added to the Riverside/Avondale area. Certainly, the historic restoration of the former John Gorrie Junior High School undertaken by Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver has breathed new life into its immediate Stockton Street neighborhood. But more importantly, say business owners and community advocates, the unique project sets a precedent for future development, investment and involvement throughout the city of Jacksonville that is difficult to define.

“We had a tremendous amount of faith in this project from the beginning,” said Eddie Sewda, the owner of Tres Leches Eatery, a popular restaurant and bakery located in the community. “The recent condominium sales and community growth speak for themselves, and you can’t put a price tag on the overall impact that this project, and the Weavers in general, have had on the city. We are impressed by what they continue to do for Jacksonville.”

The Weavers undertook the project, which sits at the gateway to the Riverside/Avondale area, in 2009. By 2011, the school was transformed into 68 historic residences, all maintaining the history and elements of its unique Mediterranean Revival architecture while being upgraded with contemporary amenities.

“Delores Barr Weaver’s commitment to this vision is admirable, and she lives in and is passionate about our historic neighborhood,” said Jim Love, Jacksonville City Council member for District 14. “Offering this historically renovated housing option is critical to the growth of our area, and it improves not only the quality of life but also property values.”

Whereas before the abandoned school buildings’ condition had stifled growth and business in that particular corridor, the renovation has encouraged growth and inspired economic development.

“The priority of Delores Weaver was not only to renovate the building but to encourage revitalization in the area as a whole,” said Carmen Godwin, Executive Director of the Riverside/Avondale Preservation (RAP). “There is now a vibrant mix of establishments serving area residents and contributing to overall economic growth, including a tapas restaurant, bakery, hair salon, custom bike shop and local roaster/coffee shop in the historic commercial buildings across the street from The John Gorrie. We continue to see and experience the positive effects from the Weavers’ bold effort, vision and tireless work.”

Weaver has received numerous awards for the work on The John Gorrie, most notably receiving a prestigious Urban Land Institute North Florida Award for Excellence in the Reuse/Repurpose category. Recently, the Weavers partnered with RAP to offer a $50,000 match toward a much-anticipated dog park, suitably named The John Gorrie Dog Park, at Riverside Park. The two-acre site will be within walking distance of the condominium homes and is expected to open in the fall of 2014.

The John Gorrie offers studios, one- and two-bedroom residences and two-story townhomes. Amenities include a custom fitness center, a private courtyard, elevators, gated parking and a resident reading room with Wi-Fi Internet access.

For more information about The John Gorrie community, call (904) 383-3688 or visit www.TheJohnGorrie.com.

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