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Terry Lorince, DVI executive director

Terry Lorince, DVI executive director

Downtown advocates,

We need your help! After a year and a half of discussion and 50 public meetings to gather input on Downtown growth and development and a market feasibility study, the DIA board has approved the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Plan and accompanying Business Improvement and Development Plan, which will drive economic growth in Downtown for years to come. These plans have been introduced to City Council (Bill 2014-560), which will be discussed and voted on by City Council in the coming weeks.

What You Can Do

  1. Send an e-mail to the members of City Council asking them to pass Bill 2014-560. In the subject line, simply write “Pass Bill 2014-560” along with a one-or-two-sentence heartfelt comment about the impact this legislation will have on Downtown Jacksonville. A cut-and-paste-ready list of emails can be found here.
  2. Attend the City Council Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 9 a.m. to show your support for this bill.
  3. Attend the City Council Recreation and Community Development Committee meeting Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. Both meetings will be held in City Council Chambers.
  4. There is strength in numbers. Please share this call to action with your colleagues, networks and other Downtown advocates.

I can be reached at 904-634-0303, ext. 223, if you have any questions about this legislation.

Screen shot 2014-10-31 at 2.55.58 PMRead 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: admin in Events No Comments  

By Amy E. Pittman, DVI Intern

One Spark 2014

It’s been six months since Downtown Jacksonville was flooded with hundreds of excited Creators presenting more than 600 projects during One Spark. The spark has grown, the energy has continued, and the 2014 One Spark winners have been busy. DVI caught up the 2014 winners to see where they are now and how their projects are progressing:

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Relive your childhood on Halloween for our second-annual Trick or Treat on the Street. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., participating businesses and restaurants will be set up either inside or outside their storefronts handing out candy, coupons and other promotional goodies. Grab a costume and a friend, and be sure to partake in this sweet treat!


Twenty-six businesses will participate this year for our biggest Trick or Treat on the Street yet. DVI has a bigger sweet tooth this year and always encourages costumes.

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This is a great opportunity to get out of the office, snag some Halloween treats, and meet some new Downtown neighbors! For more information, visit

Be sure to check out other great Halloween events happening Downtown:

Halloween Party at the Casket Factory

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Pirate-Themed Halloween Camp-In

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By Amy E. Pittman, DVI Intern

Annie 10.21.14Yesterday evening in Downtown Jacksonville following the opening night of ANNIE: The Musical, smiling kids from 2 to 92 flooded the sidewalks in front of the Times-Union Center holding plush red-headed dolls and singing their favorite tunes like “Tomorrow” and “Easy Street.” The FSCJ Artist Series hosted an hour of face painting, games, crafts, and other kids activities before the show, and then the extraordinarily talented and lovable cast, directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin, delivered an exciting performance to hundreds of Jacksonville families.

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flameThe following is part of the Downtown is on Fire “Firestarters” series, spotlighting people who light up Downtown. They are musicians, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs and Downtown enthusiasts just like you. Learn their stories and find out how you can blaze a trail by building your business in Jacksonville’s hottest neighborhood.

Screen shot 2014-10-17 at 5.57.09 PMMuralist and illustrator Shaun Thurston leaves his mark on Downtown, one blank space at a time.

Since moving back to Jacksonville in 2010 after a three-year stint in Atlanta, Shaun has created a portfolio of work that lives beyond the pages of a portfolio. His vibrant creations — which range from colorful crystals that attracted thousands of visitors to MOCA Jacksonville, to ethereal islands full of natural wildlife that float above Chamblin’s Uptown, to a frog extending its hands to cradle a fisherman on an Adams Street building — are part of a movement to embrace public art as a vital part of the city’s placemaking efforts.

“When I moved back from Atlanta, I started thinking about doing art Downtown,” says Shaun. “I hope that my work reminds people what it’s like to be in a specific space. When you look at a mural on a city block, it becomes part of your life. That doesn’t happen with a single piece of art on a wall.”

Shout-out to our friends and cohorts at Downtown is on Fire for allowing us to share this “Firestarters” series with our readers.

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Screen shot 2014-10-16 at 2.26.47 PM

The installation of Jacksonville Children’s Chorus window shades on Duval Street. Photos by DVI.

Downtown Jacksonville has experienced an explosion of art on buildings over the past 18 months. Beginning with Shaun Thurston’s “Floating Islands” on Chamblin’s Uptown, property owners, decision makers and the general public have come to realize that art need not be limited to museums and gallery walls – buildings can be a canvas in their own right.

The latest public art installment took place today at the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus headquarters at the historic 1922 Education Building, owned by Downtown’s First United Methodist Church. The Chorus received a donation for window shades depicting chorus members, as photographed by Laird Myer. The shades are intended to beautify building, keep the interior offices cool from the afternoon sun and increase Chorus brand exposure.

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Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 11.53.59 AM

The first level of MOSH’s new shipwreck-themed exhibit. Photos by DVI.

Downtown’s Museum of Science and History is excited to unveil its latest educational treasure this weekend: Odyssey’s Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure.

Spanning two floors of the museum, this exhibit from Tampa is the largest traveling exhibit ever at MOSH. Features include authentic shipwreck artifacts, life-size shipwreck excavation equipment, historical displays about pirate life and interactive activities. The “Blue China” ship, sunk off the coast of Jacksonville in the mid-1800s, is one of several shipwrecks highlighted in the exhibit.

“It truly expresses our mission,” said MOSH executive director Maria Hane at a special preview tour Thursday. “It brings to life the history of our area.”