by: Admin in Placemaking, Spotlight No Comments  
Cafe seating at a Hemming Park cafe demo Dec. 19.

Hemming Park during Vagabond Coffee’s Pop-Up Holiday Market Dec. 19.

Downtowners will soon have more places to dine al fresco under oak trees weekdays when Friends of Hemming Park launches its cafe Jan. 5.

Open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Charlie’s Cafe will feature a rotating selection of food vendors, from restaurants to food trucks to caterers.

“After studying what the core elements that make a successful public square, one necessary ingredient was always a café,” said Vincent Cavin, executive director for Friends of Hemming Park, the non-profit in charge of the park’s revitalization, in a press release. “This was our first call to action in transforming Hemming Park into a vibrant, urban square.”

by: Katherine Hardwick in Events (7) Comments  

Say sayonara to 2014 and get going to where the bubbly is flowing. Whatever your flavory–DJ-feuled dance party, an all-night live act line up, unforgettable fireworks, a Mad Hatter’s Ball or a Willy Wonka-style wonderland–ring in the New Year in style Downtown.


Here’s the fine print: Most events are 21 and up. Metered parking is free after 6 p.m. Drive safe! Download the Uber app or ask your bartender/host to call a cab if need be. 


1) 333NYE at MOCA Jacksonville
333 N. Laura St.
10 p.m.-2 a.m.
Tickets: $100 / $180 couples

Go through the looking glass and welcome 2015 in style. This year’s fete will once again prove to be the thing to do on New Year’s Eve. Revel the night away on the dance floor, try your luck on the gambling floor, enjoy festive drinks and eats, and experience the best ball drop countdown in the city! Black tie optional. Hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and entertainment are complimentary with admission.


by: Katherine Hardwick in Downtown Shout-outs, Marketing & Promotions No Comments  

Folio Weekly released their list of 100 Things To Do In Northeast Florida Before You Die, and while the list spans from Amelia Island down to St. Augustine, we’re especially proud of the 18 items found in #DTJax (bolded below). From Folio:

“Here’s the deal: ’Round-about this time of year, the holidayitis sets in, and we’d rather be doing just about anything else other than the Serious Journalism™ that usually occupies this space. We figured this week we’d do something fun instead. And so, without further ado, we present: 100 Things To Do In Northeast Florida Before You Die.”

Check out the top things to do Downtown – Oh, hello, First Wednesday Art Walk; fancy seeing you here – and in the urban core, because Riverside, Avondale, Murray Hill, Springfield and San Marco are the best neighbors a Downtown could ask for:

  1. Have your engagement photos taken at Treaty Oak Park. Everyone else does.Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 2.03.21 PM
  2. Good: Ride a water taxi to a Jags game at EverBank Field. Better: Go to a game where they actually win. (LOL/JK.) Best: Rock a Speedo at The Clevelander Deck, one of the two in-stadium pools paid for by tax dollars.13731979
  3. Your ears may curse you in the morning, but anyone interested in Jacksonville’s cultural underbelly should spend a Wednesday evening listening — and even joining in — at West Inn Cantina’s Jam Night. Of course, people in the know still call the joint Monty’s (3644 St. Johns Ave., Avondale).


We all do it – eventually.

Waiting until the last minute to buy holidays gifts is thrilling for some and stressful for others. But no matter your disposition as the holidays swiftly pass by, Downtown Jacksonville is a goldmine of unique holiday gifts that will please even the toughest friend or family member to shop for.

As holiday-shopping procrastinators ourselves, we’d like to help you with your quick quest to find something a little different to put under your tree, all while supporting unique businesses that call the heart of our city home.

Below, each DVI staffer shares their favorite finds* Downtown. What Downtown goodies are you gifting this year? Leave us a comment to share your last-minute Downtown gift-giving ideas.


Men’s T-shirt, modeled by Daniel Austin

With just a couple of clicks, you can now wear your love for #DTJax on your sleeve – and shoulder. For the first time, now hosts an online marketplace for #DTJax swag, the perfect way to fashionably show off your love for Downtown Jacksonville.

Ready for purchase, you can now buy #DTJax T-shirts and handmade tote bags, with new items added to the marketplace as available.

The shirts, which feature the hashtag #DTJax in white across the chest, are made by Bella using super-soft cotton. They’re available in sizes small through extra-large (true to size), with royal-blue V-necks for ladies and navy-blue crew-necks for men. Add it to your wardrobe for only $20 per shirt.

by: Katherine Hardwick in Thought Leadership No Comments  

Parking SignWhen it comes to parking, Downtown Jacksonville has a lot going for it. Yes, really.

With more than 43,000 parking spaces, Colliers International’s 2012 CBD Parking Rate Survey rates parking availability in Downtown Jacksonville as “abundant,” with parking garages consistently less than 60% full on weekdays.

After 6 p.m. and on weekends, all metered parking spaces are free, and during weekdays, many meters in the core accept credit cards.

Downtown employees and visitors enjoy parking rates 45% lower than the national average. provides rates and locations of Downtown garages and lots, plus and this handy-dandy parking FAQ.

But can we get better? Absolutely. Enter CityLab’s article, “5 Parking Innovations Every City Should Adopt.” Here’s an excerpt of the first innovation from Pittsburgh:

by: admin in Spotlight No Comments  

flameThe following is part of the Downtown is on Fire “Firestarters” series, spotlighting people who light up flame 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.

Marci Gurnow

Marci Gurnow

When it comes to living Downtown, Marci Gurnow doesn’t miss a beat. From walking to rehearsal at the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra to running along the St. Johns River, she embraces all the perks that come with living and working in Jacksonville’s hottest neighborhood.

This Jacksonville-born musician studied music in Dallas and Chicago before she earned a spot on the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s roster in 2006. After bouncing between different neighborhoods, Marci settled on living Downtown for the convenience and a quality of life that she couldn’t find anywhere else.

“The fact that I can walk to work is appealing. I love coming home to make lunch, and the fact that I’m home from concerts by the time other people are getting out of the garage,” says Marci. “Having spent a lot of time in Downtown, every year it just gets more cool.”

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