The Jacksonville Civic Council's Plans For Downtown

February 14, 2011 75 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville takes a look at the Jacksonville Civic Council's recently released Northbank Redevelopment Task Force Final Report.

What Is The Jacksonville Civic Council?

Jacksonville Civic Council (JCC) is a non-partisan group of prominent Jacksonville, Florida business leaders whose goal is to help resolve community issues by studying the problem, proposing one or more solutions, advocating for change, and providing resources and support. The entity is akin to a brain trust or think tank, but with influence and resources available.

Northbank Redevelopment Plan - Exhibit C

Old City Hall and Courthouse Sites - Convention Center

Although Hyatt has expressed an interest in constructing a 180,000 convention center on these sites, the Civic Council recommends the construction of an 80,000 square foot exhibition hall to replace the 19-story city hall (courthouse annex) building.  This two story exhibition hall would be attached to the Hyatt's existing meeting spaces and include street level retail/dining space along Bay Street.

A mixed use development would be constructed where the courthouse currently stands and the existing parking lot would remain.  In addition, Civic Council plans for this area include demolishing the historic Hermiker Block along Newnan Street for the construction of a 325-space parking garage.  

The Civic Council's report recommends replacing the Hermiker Block with a parking garage.

Shipyards Property

The Civic Council recommends that low and mid-rise residential, office and commercial development take place on the Shipyards site, with development along Riverside Avenue being used as an example.  In addition, they suggest a portion of the property could be used as a small entertainment park.

The report recommends the development of low and mid-rise office structures as a good use for the Shipyards property.

Linkages to Adjacent Sites

To strengthen urban connectivity within the walkable Northbank core, the council suggests exending Coast Line Drive under the Main Street Bridge and reconsidering the role of Metropolitan Park.

Downtown Development Authority

The Civic Council's task force recommends the creation of a new city agency that focus on downtown as its only mission, with a $29 million annual budget.

Laura Street

The council's task force recommends doing what it takes to make the Laura Street Trio project and opening the Landing's courtyard to Laura Street a reality.  

A rendering of the Laura Street Trio project

Northbank Redevelopment Task Force Final Report