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.

10. Neither Do You, Florida Coastal School of Law

Florida Coastal School of Law relocated to Deerwood Center near Baymeadows in 2006.

Attracting colleges to invest and anchor in urban environments has become a common practice in many cities across the country. 10 years ago, Jacksonville had an opportunity to land a downtown school of its own. Established in 1996, Florida Coastal School of Law (FCSL) had already overgrown its Beach Blvd. campus by 2002. In 2004, FCSL publicly announced that they were hoping that a suitable downtown location could be found for its new campus. Despite, Florida Coastal's desire for a downtown location, the school would ultimately end up purchasing a 220,000-square-foot Baymeadows office building and 1,400-space parking garage in 2006.  According to school officials, a downtown location was nixed because of a lack of available parking. Considering we have more parking spaces downtown than people, it seems like parking challenges could have been overcome if everyone was on the same page.

If given the same opportunity and conditions, one can't help but wonder if local officials in cities like Charlotte and Orlando would have settled for the same result? So we've struck out with landing UNF and FCSL in downtown. Who knows? Maybe third time's a charm.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com
Contributions by Stephen Dare.  Contact Stephen at stephendare@gmail.com

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