Made in Jacksonville: Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc.July 31, 2013 6 comments Print Article
West Beaver Street is a major economic center of activity in Jacksonville that most urban core advocates tend to overlook. In our desire to expose and promote this economic asset, here is a behind-the-scenes look at one of the corridor's major employers: Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc.
The Jacksonville Farmer's Market in 1938.
Beaver Street is one of the area’s oldest thoroughfares, known to many as US 90. The roadway is an original segment of the Old Spanish Trail, which connected Jacksonville with Tallahassee and Pensacola, and for a while, was named Enterprise Street. After the Great Fire of 1901, this corridor became a critical focal point during Jacksonville's era of industrial might. While many local turn-of-the-century urban core industrial and wholesale districts have become obsolete and largely abandoned, Beaver Street continues to live with major operations such as BSF, CSX, Winn-Dixie, Load King, Main Metal Recycling, Preferred Freezer Services, White Wave Foods and others that significantly contribute to the city's tax base and economic might.
Despite continued private sector investment, as seen with BSF's recruitment of Preferred Freezer Services, and its role as a downtown gateway from the west, the current condition of Beaver Street creates a negative perception of the area that doesn’t match reality but is enough to discourage many from seeking opportunities in one of the best locations in the region, given its proximity to the convergence of two of the nation’s top two transportation corridors, I-95 and I-10.
From Pittsburgh's Strip District to Detroit's Eastern Market area, corridors similar to Beaver Street in peer communities throughout the country are promoted to the outside world as economic assets, directly leading to more economic opportunity for their respective communities. As we continue to navigate the puzzle of downtown, urban core revitalization, diversity and connectivity between walkable neighborhoods, Beaver Street should play a critical and prominent role in that process.
Looking west down Beaver Street near the intersection with King Street in 1953.
Article by Ennis Davis