With Mayor Alvin Brown, public, and private sector leaders making downtown revitalization a true commitment, here are five projects that could stimulate additional life in downtown in 2012.
1. EverBank Center
The entrance to EverBank Center Mall at Forsyth and Julia Streets.
EverBank's plans to add 1,500 employees, a fitness center, Wi-Fi hot spots, a food court, and a national vendor coffee shop in downtown by mid 2012 will provide downtown with a significant economic boost.
EverBank Coming Downtown
2. Duval County Courthouse and Courthouse Green
The Duval County Courthouse (background center) will bring additional business opportunities to small establishments like Big Pete's Pizzeria (bottom right).
Mid 2012 will see the completion and the opening of the long delayed Duval County Courthouse. Along with it will come a courthouse green, 500 employees, and 500,000 users on an annual basis. With EverBank and the courthouse coming online at the same time, expect to see this area become the hot spot for downtown small business growth by year's end.
Duval County Courthouse Renderings
3. Laura Street Facade Improvement Program
Well Fargo Center's recently completed Wells Fargo Store on Laura Street.
2011 brought the completion of the Laura Street streetscape project. The facade grant program will result in ten Laura Street properties enhancing their sites at the pedestrian scale level in 2012. Expected improvements include awnings, banners, pedestrian signage, landscaping, exterior lighting, and sidewalk café furniture.
Laura Street Facade Improvement Program
4. Laura Street Trio
The preservation and conversion of four of Jacksonville's most historical significant buildings into hotel, loft, retail, and dining space has been discussed since 2010. With the extra focus on downtown and economic development, 2012 should be the year this project finally moves forward.
Laura Street Trio Renderings
5. Riverside Avenue - Brooklyn
Former Brooklyn Park development site plan
On November 30, 2011, Pope & Land Enterprises, Inc., an Atlanta real estate company specializing in mixed-use developments purchased the site of Miles Development's failed Brooklyn Park project. Pope & Land plans to develop this property into a mixed-use development. The feasibility of this project will receive a huge boost with EverBank Center and the Duval County Courthouse both being a potential Skyway ride away.
Mixed-Use Development Coming To Brooklyn
Article by Ennis Davis