by: Admin in Spotlight No Comments  

Riding her bike or strolling down the sidewalk, you might hear a melody hummed or a tune sung from Downtown Ambassador Lydia as she carries out her daily duties. The talented church choir singer and longtime Downtown Ambassador loves her job. Below, hear from Lydia herself, a ROSE award winner for hospitality, about why she enjoys being a Downtown Ambassador and enjoys spending time Downtown.


Ambassador Lydia

How long have you been a Downtown Ambassador, and why did you choose to become one?

11 years. I thought this job would be good for my personality – I like helping others.

What are your Ambassador duties?

To assist the public on the street.

Describe your typical day – your daily work routine.

I start my day with looking for people in need of help finding their way around Downtown and having a smile for them to start their day. I then pop into businesses to let them know I’m in their area if they need any assistance.

Have you seen health benefits from having such an active job?

I’ve lost weight since starting this job.

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What do you love most about being an Ambassador?

Helping people.

Outside of work, what Downtown activities do you enjoy?

Dining and coming to the great events!

What would you say is something really cool about Downtown that a lot of people might not know?

For anyone who hasn’t, you should come Downtown to check out our underground tunnels!

What do you love most about Downtown?

Going to all of those great events.


Downtown Ambassadors are Jacksonville’s Downtown cleanliness, safety and hospitality team. Ambassadors are easily identified in their bright orange polo shirts as they walk and bike throughout Downtown Jacksonville, day and night. They are available to assist you during the following hours: Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Ambassadors’ hours may vary occasionally due to special events.

The Downtown Ambassadors team can be reached by calling 904-465-7980.

by: Admin in Thought Leadership No Comments  
Terry Lorince, DVI executive director

Terry Lorince, DVI executive director

In addition to the festivities of the season, this is time of year lends itself to reflection – to celebrate our successes and the strides Downtown has made over the past year, and to identify ways in which we can enrich our services. You can feel the energy in the air in Downtown, and it’s little surprise with dozens of Downtown projects in the works today. One of our 2014 resolutions is to make sure you are in the loop every step of the way as we continue to be the No. 1 resource for Downtown information.

We will always have our traditional communications, like the comprehensive website, our e-newsletters, our social media and, of course, the amazing Downtown Ambassador staff on the street every day of the week. But did you know we offer a number of more personalized options to inform and educate?

Interested in investing in Downtown, opening or moving a business Downtown, or need to get a better perspective on Downtown? Schedule a walking tour with me for on-the-ground insights into the economic climate and quality of life in Downtown.

Do you have a staff that’s working in or moving Downtown? We offer Lunch n’ Learn sessions to discuss topics like things to do Downtown, Downtown safety, and services we offer so your employees can get the most of the Downtown experience.

Of course, communication is a two-way street. If you have a good Downtown story to tell, we’d love to hear it and are always looking for guest bloggers for our Downtown blog. And of course, we always want to hear your feedback and ideas on what information matters most to you. In the meantime, I wish you and yours a happy holiday season and hope to see you Downtown in the new year!

For more information on the Lunch n’ Learns or to schedule a walking tour, please contact

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 8.44.32 AMRead the full “Downtown Jacksonville Update“ to learn about what’s happening Downtown in the realm of news, initiatives, developments and more. And if you haven’t already signed up for this monthly e-newsletter, sign-up to have all future Updates sent directly to your email inbox.

by: abruno in Uncategorized No Comments  

With Christmas quickly approaching, Christmas trees have popped up all over the urban core. Looks like Santa Claus is going to have a busy trip Downtown on the 24th!

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Bank of America Tower | 50 N. Laura St.

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Florida Theatre | 128 E. Forsyth St.

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Dos Gatos | 123 E. Forsyth St.

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CoWork Jax | 5 W. Forsyth St.

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The Jacksonville Landing | 2 Independent Dr.

It’s not a Florida Christmas without decorated palm trees! These beauties are in front of The Jacksonville Landing.


The Jacksonville Landing | 2 Independent Dr.

Of course, we have to throw in a humble-brag about our very own little tree! Can you spot the pop star?

Downtown Vision, Inc. | 214 N. Hogan St.

Downtown Vision, Inc. | 214 N. Hogan St., Suite 120


Honorable mentions: beautiful Christmas wreaths!

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Bank of America Tower | 50 N. Laura St.

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Elks Building | 207 N. Laura St.

Need something to do for the holidays? From family-friendly events to nights-on-the-town, Downtown Jacksonville has you covered this holiday season and throughout the year. Check out our events calendar, and get Downtown!

by: Admin in Events No Comments  

Photo by Rob Futrell

After spending several days with the family, eating, catching up and running around town to say ‘hello’ to old friends, I’m itching to come back to Jacksonville where I can spend my time in my favorite neighborhood, Downtown (and where I live, Riverside). All of my friends are talking about what we should be doing for New Year’s, and I found there’s a lot to choose from. My head is kind of spinning (in a good way, of course).

Here’s a list of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations:

  • 1904 Music Hall hosts their New Year’s Eve Showcase with live music by The Artist Formerly Known as The Fritz with special guests The Politix, S.P.O.R.E., DJ Chef Rocc, and Vlad the Inhaler in their NYE Prince Tribute Show with two stages, a Champagne toast and a balloon drop.

And I found out that New Year’s Day is not a day to rest because Downtown is still kicking with events.

  • Icon Boutique celebrates New Year’s Day with Mal Jones Presents “The Lyricist Live” from 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Dos Gatos hosts a Black Jack dealing to help you start the New Year off as a winner.

Don’t forget there is no First Wednesday Art Walk. It will resume in February.

And some folks say nothing is going on Downtown? That’s just silly. Keep an eye on more Downtown New Year’s festivities by signing up for our weekly “Things To Do Downtown” e-newsletter, or follow our events calendar at

No matter what you do to celebrate, stay safe, have a ball and Happy New Year from all of us at DVI to you!

by: admin in Business Spotlights No Comments  


The following is an excerpt from Somewhere in the City, a local blog that chronicles Jacksonville culture. Written by four locals passionate about the River City, Somewhere in the City often highlights the many wonderful things Downtown offers. DVI and Somewhere in the City have partnered to share these Downtown stories, and below, you’ll find the first installment of this partnership, the writers’ Christmas Wish List. We’ve specially pulled their Downtown picks for holiday gifts.

Republished from Somewhere in the City

Now that we’ve all recovered from Thanksgivukkah, after overindulging ourselves on turkey and latkes, we have fallen into December and that special chill is in the air (well, at least half the time!). It’s the time of year for parades and holiday lights, warm drinks and cozy sweaters, laughter and cheer. And while many of us may go away to visit family over the Christmas break, many of us have Santa come in our chimneys and through our lanai doors right here on the First Coast. No matter where we are, near or far, Jax is always close to our hearts, especially during the holidays. We did so much shopping supporting local on Small Business Saturday that we realized: All the presents we want this year are right here in Jacksonville!

So we thought we’d put together our wish list to inspire you…or maybe just to give our family and friends a little hint-hint, wink, nudge! Here are our Northeast Florida (Downtown) Must-Haves this season:



A Hand-Made Messenger Bag from Burro Bags

My husband talks about Burro Bags non stop. I didn’t realize how awesome they were until I took the time to read their website. Every product they make is hand-made and durable. They use products strictly from the good ol’ USA. What I’ve heard about non-stop lately is their custom bags. Let’s just say our family has now started saving up to get this as a gift. Durable, long lasting, and a cool city gift to have.


Pink and Aqua Tee from Strght & Nrrw

I had heard of Strght & Nrrw before but didn’t know too much about them. I recently heard its founder, Jay Harris, speak. What he had to say and the way he viewed his business had me on board. I knew I’d want to support him, especially since they’re located right in the middle of Downtown and they’re huge city advocates. They were even a venue in One Spark. If you’re going Downtown any time soon, make sure to stop in and say hello to Jay. He has a ton of awesome stories to share.



A “Dingo Loves Jax” Series Calendar from YLC Art

Yvonne C. Lozano’s work is fun and bright, and I love her commitment to the spirit of community. I was honored to be included in her “I M JAX” project, a database of Jacksonville residents in interactive silhouettes. Her “Dingo Loves Jax” series takes you through highlights of the First Coast, and who doesn’t love the gift of a calendar during the holidays?


Two Tickets to the Pop! 333NYE Bash at MOCA Jacksonville, hosted by The Contemporaries

MOCA boasts one of the hippest young professionals groups in town with The Contemporaries, a group of on-the-rise art lovers who host some seriously entertaining events. Their New Year’s bash is always a hit, but this year is set to be the party of the season with a fantastically on-trend theme: Pop Art. What better way to ring in the new year than in Downtown Jax at a fabulous party with friends, drinks, dancing and a celebration of breaking away from tradition?


A #DTJax T-shirt from Downtown Vision, Inc.

You might not be able to get it off a store shelf, but that makes this one-of-a-kind find all the more special. A #DTJax shirt lets people know several things about you at once: 1. That you know where the movement’s at, 2. That you take pride in your city, and 3. That you understand that technology and our community are evolving together. Using social media as a tool for positivity – now there’s something we could use #MoreofThis holiday season!


A Lil Sparky by Dolf James from One Spark

One Spark left such a remarkable impact on Jacksonville this past year and showed people far and wide what realized potential can look like in our city. What better way to remember this moment in history than a Lil Sparky? Sitting on your desk or coffee table, Lil Sparky reminds you on those tough days to keep pushing- if Jacksonville is going to become the city we all want it to be, we have to keep working on it every day!


RAM tokens to spend at the Riverside Arts Market

The Riverside Arts Market has to be one of my favorite places in Jacksonville. Eating lumpia and drinking fresh lemonade as a cool breeze blows under the bridge and local music acts play in the background… simply heavenly. RAM tokens are a fun way to give someone the gift of the RAM experience… it’s like an arcade for adults! They work like currency with all the RAM vendors and can be spent on whatever the recipient desires. More inventive than a traditional gift card, and it supports local business!


St. Johns River cruise & Symphony Night from Foxy Lady Cruises and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

I’ve had the pleasure of taking a cruise on the Foxy Lady as well as hearing the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra live. The idea of both in the same night? Sounds like a Downtown night made in heaven! This partnership provides an ideal packaged evening of a smooth St. Johns cruise followed by symphonic bliss. The cruise is offered with several different JSO events, but the best option to me sounds like Verdi’s Requiem- the soaring heights of Dies irae is the kind of music symphonies are made for!


Two tickets to the next live recording of Swamp Radio at the Florida Theatre

I went ghosting with the premier of Swamp Radio…and I loved it! Seriously, there is some amazing original programming coming out of Northeast Florida lately (Al Letson’s State of the Re:Union, anyone?), and I’ve even heard rumors of more Jacksonville-based podcasts coming in 2014. Swamp Radio offers a fun look into all things exclusively North Florida and records with a live audience in tow! The marshlands of the Intercoastal never had a better voice than this, and episode two will record in the fabulous Florida Theatre in Downtown.



Tickets to The Nutcracker with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Note: this event has passed.)

Recently speaking with the Jacksonville Symphony’s Bassoonist (Anthony Anurca) has inspired me to give the Symphony a second listen. The way he described the music and how interactive the whole performance is made me want to see the orchestra from a new perspective. Anthony described how every performance is different depending on the night and the feelings of everyone involved. It is a truly unique experience.


Tickets to the Artist Series presents Broadway in Jacksonville, presented by FSJC

The inner drama kid in me did a quick little maniac dance of her own when I saw that Flashdance the Musical was coming to Jacksonville. The Times-Union Center for Performing Arts always brings such great performances so this is bound to be good.


by: abruno in Marketing & Promotions 1 Comment  

In need of some Christmas cheer? No need to wait until Dec. 25 to take a peek at these Downtown holiday windows:

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Jacobs Jewelers | 204 N. Laura St.

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Jacobs Jewelers | 204 N. Laura St.

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“Downtown is on Fire” @ 11 E. | 11 E. Forsyth St.


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“Downtown is on Fire” @ 11 E. | 11 E. Forsyth St.


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The Pink Cupcake | 2 Independent Dr.



“Merry JAGmas” @ Visit Jacksonville | 2 Independent Dr.


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juice. – a Unity Plaza gallery | 1 Independent Dr.

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Adams Class Naval Ship Museum | 2 Independent Dr.


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“A Relaxing Christmas” @ Diversions | 201 N. Laura St.


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“#ShopDTJax” @ Diversions | 201 N. Laura St.


Send us photos of your Downtown Christmas to, and you may end up on our blog!

When luxury taxi service Uber announced its River City debut, a couple of us took the opportunity to get around Downtown in a new way. We decided to take a trip to our Riverside neighbors Bold Bean Coffee Roasters to score high-quality espresso in style. What followed was a photo-worthy adventure.


The Uber app is simple to use, the drivers are courteous, and the cars are always clean. Here’s a few highlights of the service:

  • Each Uber driver and car goes through an approval process and is held to the high standards of Uber.
  • The entire taxi-hailing process is done via app. You can see on a map in real-time where each available Uber cab is located.
  • Once you choose a car for a ride, your confirmation includes information about the driver and car, and the car is not visible to anyone else.
  • Your driver will call when they approach your pick-up location, so there’s no need to wait outside or flag down a car.
  • When it’s time to pay, there’s no need to dig around for cash or hand over your credit card; everything is done securely through your phone.
  • Pricing is based on a base fare of $3, your speed and distance, so no stressing when you get caught in a traffic jam.

While chatting with our driver, Jonathan, he mentioned a couple ways Uber could benefit Downtown residents and workers:

  • Have a meeting on the other side of the urban core, and don’t feel like braving the weather? Uber will get you there quickly and stylishly.
  • Need a ride home from a Jags game or The Elbow after a few drinks? Safety is their No.1 priority; in fact, Uber offered free rides during the Florida Georgia weekend.

1463050_741719053979_862468343_n    Uber
Uber Call    Uber3
Uber DT View     bold bean

Whether you’re on your way to an important business meeting, a Downtown lunch spot or just a coffee run, there’s no denying that Uber is an uber-cool way to go.