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

Terry Lorince, DVI executive director

You may have heard about JTA’s Route Optimization Initiative, which is the first major overhaul of the City’s bus routes in 30 years. What does this initiative mean for Downtown? In a nutshell, enhanced walkability, shorter wait times and easier to understand routes beginning December 1.

Bus routes will be concentrated on Jefferson, Broad, State, Union, Newnan, Forsyth, Bay, Water and Beaver streets, where the largest amount of JTA service is in demand. Service will be eliminated on Adams, Julia, Ocean, Church and Laura streets to enhance walkability and pedestrian safety. Riders will never be more than two blocks from JTA service.

Bus service will be more frequent with a maximum wait time between buses at Rosa Parks Station of 10 minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. It will also be simpler to figure out where collections of routes go. Shelters that are no longer in service will be relocated to other stops in Downtown in the coming months.

More information on changes to JTA service, including route maps, can be found here.

Screen shot 2014-12-01 at 3.07.39 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.

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Whether you’re a horrible cook, too busy clipping Black Friday coupons, or looking for an escape from stressful Turkey Day preparation, Downtown Jacksonville has you covered for Thanksgiving dinner! The following restaurants are serving up Thanksgiving meals that will satisfy you and your family and friends, so be sure to call and reserve your spot now!

by: Katherine Hardwick in Marketing & Promotions No Comments  

DMC-shopdtjax-logoThe #ShopDTJax campaign returns this holiday season thanks to the Downtown Marketing Collaborative. This social media campaign will highlight sales, promotions, and unique holiday gifts available from Downtown retailers and organizations, starting with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals and continuing through December 24.

Retro and rockabilly clothes for men and women from Grease Rags Clothing Co., books from Chamblin’s Uptown, tasty dips and rubs from River City Gourmet Shoppe, sports apparel and memorabilia from Sports Mania, and unique candles and lamps from Diversions represent only a small sample of the gifts available from Downtown retailers. Additionally, gift cards to Downtown restaurants, tickets for cultural events, and gift memberships to Downtown museums make thoughtful experiential gifts that support the local economy.

Membership in the Downtown Vision Alliance is another great gift. Membership comes with a “Discover Downtown” card that unlocks more than 40 year-round deals at Downtown restaurants, shops, and attractions. Membership makes great gift and gives people who are passionate about Downtown a way to support the neighborhood, not just during the holidays but all year long.

by: Katherine Hardwick in Downtown Ambassadors No Comments  

Ready to give directions, answer questions, provide assistance, or walk you to your destination, the Downtown Ambassadors are Jacksonville’s Downtown cleanliness, safety and hospitality team. The Ambassadors are an extra set of eyes and ears on the street and work closely with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the city to improve Downtown Jacksonville. Hard at work, here’s just a snapshot of what the team accomplished in October 2014.

We recently had a conversation with Downtown Ambassador Michael, an Ambassador for more than six years, about improvements in safety he’s witnessed Downtown over the years.  Read more here.

October 2014 Ambassador Snapshot

by: Jennifer Hewett-Apperson in Advocacy, Thought Leadership No Comments  

Downtown Vision, Inc. is thrilled City Council recently approved funding for the Downtown Retail Enhancement Program. The Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) will hold a workshop to discuss the application process and terms of the program. Workshop details:

Downtown Retail Enhancement Program Workshop
Monday, Nov. 24
9:30 a.m.
Lynwood Roberts Room at City Hall
View the agenda

The Downtown Retail Enhancement Program is intended to facilitate occupancy of vacant storefronts in the Northbank Core Business District, depicted on the map below.

Screen shot 2014-11-20 at 4.25.35 PMA total of $750,000 is available for costs associated with renovating or preparing a commercial space for occupancy. Projects must have a total project cost more than $10,000 to be eligible for funding. The maximum award allowed is $20 per square foot but cannot exceed 50 percent of total improvement costs. Funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

We look forward to witnessing the transformation and growth of Downtown’s retail scene as a result of this important revitalization initiative. For more information on this program or for answers to any questions, email DIA CEO Aundra Wallace.

by: admin in Events No Comments  

By Kathy Lussier of the Jacksonville Public Library, blog contributor

LargeTruck_DiscoverA not-your-average bookmobile rolls into Downtown Monday, Nov 24.

This 74-foot maxed-out 18-wheeler Digital Bookmobile – available for tours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside the Main Library – will allow readers of all ages to learn about and engage with the Jacksonville Public Library’s digital collections. The traveling exhibit’s multiple sections showcase eBooks, audiobooks and a gadget gallery, including the latest smart phones, tablets and e-readers.

by: Hana Ashchi in Events No Comments  
photo 2 copy

Photos by Downtown Vision, Inc.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, Downtown Vision Alliance held its first networking event, “Downtown After Work.” Hosted at Fionn MacCool’s at The Jacksonville Landing, about two dozen Alliance members, Downtown employees and business owners networked as they enjoyed delicious appetizers, drinks and an entertaining icebreaker. Attendees also heard from guest speaker Vince Cavin, executive director of Friends of Hemming Park, who talked about Hemming Park’s future plans and answered attendee questions.

This is one of several events organized so far for Alliance members and their friends, with more events to come. The Alliance is the 501(c)3 organization that serves as the charitable division of Downtown Vision, Inc. and supports improvements to make our Downtown sustainable, vibrant and prosperous. Alliance members are a grassroots army of Downtown supporters, advocates and doers. You can join us today for as little as $20.