Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOVING UP: SHOWHOUSE GOES CONDO; the Two Models - One Traditional, One Modern - Open Today for Tours

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOVING UP: SHOWHOUSE GOES CONDO; the Two Models - One Traditional, One Modern - Open Today for Tours

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW ZANGRE

Designers and volunteers from the Jacksonville Symphony Guild have been working for months to put together this year's Designer Showhouse, which opens today for public tours.

The showhouse consists of two model condominiums at Ortega Landing, at 4238 Lakeside Drive on the Ortega River. It will be open through Sunday, June 7.

Susan Kelley is chairing this year's event. This is the 34th showhouse the Guild has presented. Proceeds help support the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

"This is not just another old condo," Kelley said as she toured the construction going on inside one of the showhouse condos last month. The condos are a showcase for the work of 21 local designers, including students from the Art Institute of Jacksonville. One is decorated in a traditional style, the other in a modern style. Visitors can stroll through the rooms to gather ideas for redecorating their own homes.

When the showhouse event wraps on June 7, Ortega Landing will prepare to sell the eight units inside the completed building. Two other buildings, offering another 28 units, are planned for construction in the near future.

Amy Schmid, office manager at Ortega Landing, said she was excited to have her location chosen for the showhouse after touring last year's project. "I can't wait to see what the designers do with it."

A variety of events are planned for the showhouse, including guest speakers and a weekly wine tasting.

In addition, this year's event will capitalize on the proximity to the Ortega River, with an emphasis on its accessibility to boaters.

"People here have this jewel of a river, and some don't even know it," said Kelley. "They don't realize how wonderful this water access is."

The showhouse condos offer clear views of the Ortega River.

"When the sun is out, it feels like you're out of the country," said Kelley, who has helped open showhouses "all over town" with the Guild since 1989.

For nearly 60 years, the Guild has been the largest single volunteer contributor to the Jacksonville Symphony Association. Since its inception, the Guild has raised more than $3.6 million for the symphony.

IF YOU GO

Where: 4238 Lakeside Drive.

When: 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday; 10 a. …

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