Jacksonville's Ten Major Missed Opportunities

October 27, 2014 39 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Parts of Jacksonville would look completely different if the opposite decisions were made on these ten missed opportunities.

9. Hey UNF! You Don't Really Need To Be Downtown

The construction of UNF. Image courtesy of http://www.unf.edu/library/archives/.

Today, the University of North Florida (UNF) is home to more than 16,000 students, offers approximately 200 different degrees, almost 200 clubs, 25 Greek chapters, and covers nearly 1,400 acres in total.

One can only imagine the impact the school would have on Downtown Jacksonville and the surrounding areas if it were located near the heart of the city, similar to what Florida State University and University of Florida have done for Tallahassee and Gainesville.

When UNF was originally established, it appeared that the school's main campus would be located near what is now the UF Health medical complex in Springfield or near McCoys Creek. After being given a generous land donation miles from the city in what would become Jacksonville's Southside, the current campus site was selected in September 1969. Today, sites originally considered for UNF's campus decades ago look like war zones while the Butler Boulevard corridor flourishes with UNF as a major destination.

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