Baptist Convention Building Adaptive Reuse & Sitework
In 2019, after being abandoned for over four decades, the Baptist Convention building was purchased by JWB Real Estate Capital to transform it into a mixed-use structure. Originally constructed in 1924, the National Historic Landmark Building required extensive renovation. As the last project designed by famed Jacksonville Architect Henry John Klutho, it was purchased by JWB Real Estate Companies for the adaptive reuse into a mixed-use facility. The adaptive reuse design included a future retail space, restaurant spaces on both the basement and first floor levels, and studio and one-bedroom apartments on the upper floors, which can be rented for short or extended stays. When AWC arrived, the building was in a state of complete disrepair. The property had been neglected for so long that windows were missing, and sections of the facade had fallen off or were on the verge of collapsing. There was also substantial water intrusion and vegetation growing inside and on the building. Addressing these issues would require extensive repairs to the building’s structure and the replacement of essential building systems (including HVAC, electrical, plumbing, technology, and fire protection). Given the project’s pursuit of historic tax credits, adherence to the National Park Service (NPS) guidelines for historic renovations was obligatory. This included acquiring approvals from NPS, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and the local COJ Historic Preservation department. It was also one of the first projects to pursue the city’s new Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program incentive. This required numerous Building Code Adjustment Board (BCAB) variances to comply with current code standards while preserving the historic integrity of the existing building. The streetscape was also updated to comply with the City of Jacksonville streetscape standards. This project adds to the legacy of work JWB Real Estate has done to revitalize Jacksonville’s Downtown. Restoring this historic building has preserved a tangible piece of our hometown and ensures that the building’s architectural, historical, and aesthetic value is retained for generations to come.