by: Hana Ashchi in Business Spotlights No Comments  

The following is a Downtown Vision, Inc. guest blog post as part of our sponsor series. To learn how you can become a DVI sponsor and tell your Downtown story, visit our sponsorship webpage.

 

All photos provided by the Macquarie Group

All photos provided by the Macquarie Group

Q. Tell us about the Macquarie Group. What are your goals? Where have you been and where are you headed?

Macquarie is a global provider of financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. We operate in more than 70 office locations in 28 countries and employ more than 14,000 people. The diversity of our operations, combined with a strong capital position and robust risk management framework, has contributed to our 46-year record of unbroken profitability.

In the Americas, we operate in 24 locations and deliver a client-centric and differentiated approach. Our deep expertise combined with innovation and capability to develop customized solutions has led to measureable growth and success.

Over the last decade, our innovative and diversified businesses have delivered steady performance for clients, even in challenging markets. This success has enabled us to significantly grow our US presence during a period when other financial services firms were shrinking.

Q. What was the reasoning behind choosing Jacksonville as the next office location?

We are extremely pleased to have selected Jacksonville as the location for a new office for some of Macquarie’s global Finance and Tax functions. Macquarie undertook a robust search for a new location.  The city of Jacksonville, its civic leadership and the business community could not have been more welcoming.  The city presents a very compelling business case, and we look forward to establishing a presence in Jacksonville to further support the growth of Macquarie’s U.S. and European businesses.

Macquarie Group

Q. How important is it to connect to the Downtown Jacksonville community?

When Macquarie selected Jacksonville as a new site for some of our Finance and Tax functions, we did so not only because Jacksonville is a great place to do business but also because the city has such a vibrant cultural life. So partnering with Downtown Vision, Inc. to sponsor Art Walk seemed like a natural thing for us to do as we prepare to open our new office early in 2016.

Q. What are Macquarie’s plans these next few months in Jacksonville?

Macquarie is opening a Global Finance Services center in early 2016, creating a range of highly skilled financial services jobs. We are now recruiting candidates to work in a diverse, collaborative environment with modern systems and technologies. We seek candidates who have a natural tendency to problem-solve, and who continually think about improving the way things are done.

Whether you are an experienced candidate or a recent graduate, we will present you with new and challenging opportunities to help you reach your full career potential. We will be opening our office in the Riverplace Tower with state-of-the-art technology and flexible work practices.

Macquarie Group

To learn more about our new office in Downtown Jacksonville or to apply for a role, visit macquarie.com/jax.

Be sure to attend the First Wednesday Art Walk on November 4 as the Macquarie Group will proudly present Salute to Service @ Art Walk from 5-9 p.m. with live music in Hemming Park by Spice and the Po Boys.

 

 

 

 

 

by: admin in Weekly Update No Comments  
The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.

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Instagram of the Week
Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.

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Things To Do Downtown

 

Sports + Fitness

 

Live Music + Nightlife
Oct. 30: Tailgate
                           Oct. 31: Cale Dodds

 

Arts + Culture
Nov. 1: Art Fusion

 

Family Fun

 

 

Check out the Events Calendar on our website, which features more than 100 events Downtown this week.

From candy classes to karaoke, any given day Downtown, there’s something going on. Check out our Ongoing Events list.

 

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Stories From BlogDTJax.com

 

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 News of the Week

 

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DVI Updates


Trick or Treat on the Street & Halloween in Hemming Park
Be sure to put the finishing details on your costume in time for DVI’s third annual Trick or Treat on the Street this Friday, Oct. 30. Over 17 locations will be handing out candy, coupons, and other goodies spanning from the Landing to Sweet Pete’s. Trick or treat with your coworkers or bring your children Downtown for this delicious event. Download your map here.

DVI’s Stakeholder Meeting

Join us on Tuesday, Nov. 3 for DVI’s quarterly Stakeholder Meeting. In addition to updates from DVI, the Downtown Investment Authority and Friends of Hemming Park, Dave Herrell, the City’s Director of Sports and Entertainment will present information on upcoming City events and programs. The meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Ed Ball 1st Floor Training Room, 214 N. Hogan Street.

Tell us how we’re doing: 
Downtown Vision brand survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/652ZDV2

The Elbow Entertainment District experience survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DJFP77R

Downtown Vision Inc.’s Inaugural Gala

Come and celebrate Downtown at DVI’s Urban Oasis Gala Saturday, March 19, 2016! There will be cocktails, dining and dancing – with live music by the Chris Thomas Band – and live and silent auctions all leading up to the Downtown awards. All proceeds from the gala will benefit the Downtown Parklet Program. Khaki and safari attire encouraged. The gala will last from 6:00-10:30 p.m. and take place at the Jacksonville Bank Building, 9th Floor, 100 N. Laura Street. Register today.

DVI is hiring a Policy, Research & Communications Manager
Work closely with DVI’s CEO, Director of Marketing and Director of District Services to oversee DVI’s online presence, track, manage and analyze data and help prepare a range of research reports about Downtown Jacksonville. Submit your application and cover letter to katherine@dtjax.org.

Volunteer at Art Walk Next Wednesday

Looking for a new – and fun! – volunteer opportunity? We’re recruiting volunteers to help with our “Salute to Service” Art Walk sponsored by Macquarie Group next Wednesday, Nov. 4. Learn more, and sign up to volunteer here.

Seeking interns for Winter/Spring 2016
Want to get to know Downtown, make tons of connections and build your portfolio? If you are passionate, engaged, creative and a bit fearless, a DT marketing or events internship is waiting for you. Submit your application and cover letter to katherine@dtjax.org.

 

by: admin in Events No Comments  

Move over, Halloween. Proud to be home to this fierce rivalry since 1933, Jacksonville welcomes back the Gators and Dawgs on Oct. 31! Our handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about festivities, entertainment and travel options during Florida-Georgia weekend. And don’t forget to use #UGAvsUF and #DTJax!!

Florida Vs. Georgia

 

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The Main Event

 

Click here for the official page Florida vs. Georgia event page where you can buy tickets and learn more about RV City, rules and restrictions and game-day FAQs. Event maps and the weekend guide

 

Weekend-Guide_FLGA15-1

Click to open the official Weekend Guide online

Click to view the Game Day Map

Click to view the Game Day Map

Click to view the Seating Map

Click to view the Seating Map

 

 

by: admin in Events No Comments  

Put on your costume and get ready for a haunting Halloween Downtown! Whether it’s walking with the dead, camping out, solving a murder, or trick or treating on the street, there’s something worth biting into Downtown for Halloween. Choose an event wisely…  it may be your last.

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1. Smashing Pumpkin Candy Class    

Sweet Pete's

Sweet Pete’s

Sept. 16 – Oct. 30 | Every Monday and Friday at 4 p.m.

Each guest will enjoy a tempering demonstration and make a three dimensional chocolate jack o lantern. Guest will choose from Sweet Pete’s signature candies to fill the Jack O Lanterns. Smash the pumpkins at home to enjoy the chocolates and the treats!

This class is appropriate for ages five and up. Children under thirteen must be accompanied by a paid adult. No unpaid participants will be allowed into classroom. Various times and dates available. View our calendar to book a class.

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2. Haunted Halloween Party  

Haunted Halloween Party

Downtown Cigar Lounge

Oct. 23 | 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Check out the best Halloween costume contest! Male and female prizes and drink and cigar specials with music by DJ Guru. The contest is judged by selected Downtown Cigar Lounge members.

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3. Halloween Camp-In

Halloween Camp-In

MOSH

Oct. 24 | 6 p.m. – 7 a.m.

$35 per person

Witches, goblins and ghosts oh my! Beware of this overnight camp-in at MOSH! Campers will have the opportunity to explore the Museum’s newest traveling exhibit, Nature Unleashed. Have a howling time at a Wild Science Show. Take an eerie flashlight tour of Currents of Time. There will also be a costume contest, spooky crafts and games, and end the evening with a creepy movie! Attendance includes late night snacks!

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4. Jacksonville Symphony: Symphonic Spooktacular 

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

Oct. 25 |3 p.m. – 12 a.m., Pre-concert activities at 2 p.m.

There’s dreadful news from the Symphony Hall – the composer is dead! Where exactly were the violins on the night in question? Did anyone see the harp? Join the orchestra as we perform this musical mystery, The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket, and other Halloween favorite tunes. Come early and in your favorite costume for fun Halloween surprises.

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5. MOSH After Dark Presents The Woodley Special Effects: Horror Make-up 101

Woodley Effects

MOSH

Oct. 29 | 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Cost is $15 | $12 for MOSH members

Want to take your Halloween costume up a notch this year?  MOSH is hosting The Woodley Special Effects: Horror Make-Up 101. Learn some tricks of the trade from local expert Jay Woodley as he showcases and teaches  a variety of horror makeup effects, practical effects, and the history of Jacksonville’s prominent role in horror history. Along with the show, Jay will show you how some of Hollywood’s best creature effects were brought to life.

Jay Woodley is a Jacksonville native and the Owner/Lead Designer of Woodley Special Effects. Jay has worked on haunted attractions, indie film, museum exhibits, themed attractions, theme park attractions, costumes, props, sets, and is also a special effects expert consultant to the military. Jay has built a cult following in North Florida for his speed, expert execution, being one of the youngest special effects artists to specialize in classic 1930s effects, as well as  his attention to the smallest of details when working on a project. As of recently Jay has even gained the attention of industry names Tim Lawrence and Lew Temple for his unique style and passion for his craft. Woodley Special Effects Facebook Page.

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6. Trick or Treat on the Street  

Trick or Treat on the Street

Oct. 30 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Halloween is on a Saturday this year and you can celebrate a day early with Downtown employees wearing their best costumes for Downtown Vision’s 3rd annual Trick or Treat on the Street during lunch time on Friday, Oct. 30 from 11:30 a.m. – 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, a friend and be sure to partake in this sweet treat!

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7. Pictures in the Park: Ghostbusters  

Pictures in the Park: Ghostbusters

Hemming Park

Oct. 30 | 6 – 9 p.m.

This family-friendly program is free and open to the public. Movie goers are encouraged to arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and/or snacks. Movies will begin at dusk. Popcorn, beer, wine and food truck fare will be available for purchase. On-street parking is free after 6 p.m. Restrictions include non-permitted alcohol, glass, and animals (except qualified service animals).

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8. Murder Mystery Dinner Show

Murder Mystery Dinner Show

Omni Hotel

Oct. 31 | 6:15 – 9:30 p.m.

Bring your best costumes out – The Dinner Detective is playing Halloween night at the Omni Hotel! America’s largest murder mystery dinner show is set in the present day and based off of real cold cases. Unlike other murder mystery dinner shows, here you will find no cheesy costumes, no recited campy dialogue and no hokey song and dance. The performers are dressed just like everyone else, leaving all of the guests to suspect who is a part of the show and who is not. In many instances, guests are seated with the performers and don’t even realize it until they die….the performers, that is! The Detectives proceed to interrogate everyone and find clues as more people die. At the end of the night, prizes are awarded to the Top Sleuth who solves the crime.

Reservations are required and can be made via www.DinnerDetective.com or at (855) 633-0080.

Each ticket includes a reception with appetizers, salad, choice of entree and dessert, our award winning interactive Murder Mystery show, prizes and so much more.

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9. Halloween in The Elbow

Dos Gatos – Sci-Fi Halloween Freaks from Outer Space Party with DJ Nick Fresh. Come dressed as your favorite sci-fi freak.

Downtown Cigar Lounge – Haunted Lounge

Hourglass Pub – Haunted Halloween House Party. 10am – 2am featuring DJs all day, costume contest and giveaways.

The Volstead – Mad Science Halloween Party. Saturday night enjoy cocktails that flame, smoke, and bubble. Decorations, themed music, and a costume contest ending at midnight.

Click here for more information on The Elbow.

by: admin in Developments No Comments  

There’s a new name on the top of a Southbank structure – an exciting shift in hotel presence Downtown. Last month, the Crowne Plaza was officially turned over as a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. After about a year of renovations, the DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront is ready to not only serve out-of-town guests but also business meetings, events and staycationers. Kerry Boatwright, marketing manager for the DoubleTree, recently gave DVI a tour of the newly remodeled hotel and shared some neat fun facts.

IMG_3271 copy

What are some fun facts about the hotel? Any notable personalities who’ve stayed there or other trivia to share?

We’ve hosted quite the range of celebrities over the years, from presidents to foreign dignitaries. During Jacksonville’s Super Bowl in 2005, we hosted more celebrities at one time than we ever have before, as we were the entertainment headquarters. We hosted Kelly Clarkson, Outkast, Kanye West, The Black Eyed Peas, among several others. 

Most notably, we were known as Elvis Presley’s second home during his reign as the king. He stayed at the hotel during each of his tour stops in Jacksonville, and it’s rumored he would rent out our presidential suite for weeks at a time to seek solitude – so much so that the hotel renovated the suite after his passing and named it in his honor as The Elvis Presley Suite. It was complete with shag carpet and had gold records adorning the walls. However, the suite has been renovated several times since then and is known simply as Suite 1010 today.

The hotel sits on land that was once Dixieland Park, billed as “The Coney Island of the South,” in the early 1900s. Dixieland featured amusement rides and its famous ostrich races. The park stretched from Treaty Oak to the river during its heyday but closed during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

 

The lobby

The lobby and its chandelier

What’s been the coolest part about the Crowne Plaza to DoubleTree transformation?

Seeing guests and locals react to the transformation has been the coolest part of the conversion to DoubleTree. We’ve experienced a complete transformation inside the hotel, making it nearly unrecognizable. Those of us who work here have seen things move along and progress, but if you haven’t stepped foot in the building since renovations started, it really is a “wow” moment. 

It’s also been quite cool to see our final look come together. We really wanted to capture the metropolitan surroundings of Downtown Jacksonville and blend it with our coastal surroundings – from the river to the beach. You can find elements of all of this in local photography, the driftwood-planked floors and the mid-century modern furnishings that reflect the history of the building itself. 

We also wanted to highlight the building’s unique mid-century modern architecture by restoring the original look of the soaring two-story columns in the hotel lobby and by retaining the original chandelier in the lobby atrium.  

Do you offer any staycation packages and/or discounts for locals?

At special times throughout the year, we offer a Florida Resident Package that includes breakfast for two adults and two kids, premium Wi-Fi and 5% off standard rates. We also offer a Celebration Package that has been really popular with locals. It includes champagne upon arrival, breakfast for two adults and late check-out.

Can you tell me about the hotel’s St. John’s Provision Co. and the hotel lounges?

We’ll always be home to Jacksonville’s Ruth’s Chris Steak House, but locals don’t always know that we offer a hotel restaurant for all-day dining as well. Our new concept is St. John’s Provision Co. Provision – meaning to provide food and beverage for a journey, is exactly at the core of what we do at St. John’s Provision Co. We wanted to provide travelers food and beverage for their journey but food and beverage that has a taste of Jacksonville and local influence. You’ll find that we serve up a lot of Southern and coastal cuisine with menu items like fried-green tomatoes, Mayport shrimp and cheddar grits, chicken and waffles with apple slaw and blueberry barbecue sauce, a lump crab cake sandwich, and our signature mac-n-cheese-stuffed fried chicken with kale slaw and bacon jam. For breakfast, we serve made from scratch organic muffins, Greek yogurt parfaits with housemade granola, and Southern staples like biscuits and sausage gravy. And in our room service menu, we highlight all of our locally influenced items on a “Local Dish” page.

Our bar, The Lounge at St. Johns, has been completely relocated from its original spot in the lobby and offers a more intimate environment with several couches, televisions and local brews from Bold City. And the Riverview Lounge at Ruth’s Chris serves up one of the finest happy hours in town with great poolside and river views.

 

 

What are typically guests’ favorite amenities of the hotel?

Guests are loving the ability to stay connected. With our renovation, we enhanced our Internet speeds, added four additional power outlets in all guest rooms, added convenient charging stations in our lobby, and added power outlets to each booth in St. John’s Provision Co. We even added a connectivity zone in the lobby that has a communal table with USB charging station, outlets and two complimentary computers. Guests also have the ability to print remotely from anywhere in the hotel.

Skyline views on the pool deck

Skyline views on the pool deck

We also doubled the size of our fitness center and added all new Precor fitness equipment. Our guests have been raving about it since it opened.

Guests also love our riverfront, walk-out balconies. And we’re a favorite for July Fourth and the light parade because of it. 

Our dining options have been a hit, too – with room service, two restaurants and two lounges. And of course, our signature DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies are all the rage.

 

What’s the story behind those cookies? Is that a Hilton tradition, and if so, do you know how it began?

There’s something special about a warm, yummy chocolate chip cookie. And it seems to transcend all cultures. We think of it as a “warm welcome,” which is why we give one to every guest as they check in. 

DoubleTree started the “cookie welcome” in the early 1980s when most hotels reserved treats like these for VIPs. DoubleTree started handing them out to everyone because we think every guest is a VIP. The Christie Cookie Company has been the keeper of the secret cookie recipe. Every DoubleTree hotel follows this recipe and exact baking instructions to the letter to ensure you get the same delicious experience no matter which DoubleTree you visit. Cookies are baked fresh every day throughout the day at every hotel all over the world, from Canada to China. That’s why they taste so good! Each cookie is approximately two full ounces of delicious-ness and is filled with an average of 20 chocolate chips – that’s more than 950,000 pounds of chocolate chips every year!

How do you think having such a recognizable hotel brand now Downtown will affect Downtown for the better?

Having a major Downtown hotel supported by the Hilton brand is a huge win for Jacksonville as a whole. Hilton is an industry leader that raises the bar high and sets the standard in both product offerings and service – creating a stellar reputation that travelers know they can rely on. And for us, the DoubleTree by Hilton brand was the right fit. The brand is upscale, fresh, innovative, and does it all while remaining approachable. We’re excited about what our completely overhauled and contemporary product will be able to offer Downtown.

 

For more information on the DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront, visit doubletreejax.com or call 904-398-8800. You can also follow the hotel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

by: admin in Weekly Update No Comments  
The following is this week’s issue of the “#DTJax Weekly Update” e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.

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Instagram of the Week

Photo by @annatheenigma

Jaxsons Night Market

Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.

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Business and Networking

 

Oct. 22: See The Girl Summit

Oct. 22: Understanding How Investing in Mutual Funds Really Works

Oct. 24: Florida Black Expo

 

Check out the Events Calendar on our website, which features more than 100 events Downtown this week.

From candy classes to karaoke, any given day Downtown, there’s something going on. Check out our Ongoing Events list.

 

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Stories From BlogDTJax.com

 Trick or Treat on the Street

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 News of the Week

 

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DVI Updates

Small Spaces will Make Big Impacts in Downtown Jacksonville
ULI North Florida was awarded a $15,000 Innovation Grant for Building Healthy Places to help develop the process for public parklets that bolster small businesses and their surrounding public spaces in Downtown Jacksonville.

DVI, the Business Investment District for Downtown Jacksonville, will match $15,000 and together with the ULI North Florida District Council, and the DIA, the trio plans to work to develop the policies, processes and guidelines for creating parklets in the city’s public right-of-way. Parklets are generally seating platforms constructed in the footprint of one or two parallel on-street parking spaces that effectively extend the sidewalks.

Downtown Vision Inc.’s Inaugural Gala

Come and celebrate Downtown at DVI’s Urban Oasis Gala Saturday, March 19, 2016! There will be cocktails, dining and dancing – with live music by the Chris Thomas Band – and live and silent auctions all leading up to the Downtown awards. All proceeds from the gala will benefit the Downtown Parklet Program. Khaki and safari attire encouraged. The gala will last from 6:00-10:30 p.m. and take place at the Jacksonville Bank Building, 9th Floor, 100 N. Laura Street. Register today.

BizTech Declares DVI a Winner!

In a world of innovators, BizTech searched for leaders in the tech community and named Downtown Vision Inc. winner of the best use of social media in its 2015 awards. As one of only 17 winners in seven categories, DVI has set the bar in engaging with social media inside the office and with outside business partners. Technology is an ever important part of the business landscape and DVI is proud to be given this award and title from BizTech.

Trick or Treat on the Street
Who says Halloween is just for kids? DVI is hosting its third annual Trick or Treat on the Street on Friday, Oct. 30. Over 17 locations will be handing out candy, coupons, and other goodies spanning from the Landing to Sweet Pete’s. Downtown is the place to be the day before Halloween. Download your map here.

 

Seeking interns for Winter/Spring 2016

Want to get to know Downtown, make tons of connections and build your portfolio? If you are passionate, engaged, creative and a bit fearless, a DT marketing or events internship is waiting for you. Submit your awesome application and cover letter to katherine@dtjax.org.

by: admin in Events No Comments  

By Hill Crawford, DVI Intern

Halloween isn’t just for the kids this year in #DTJax! The festivities come a day early as DVI hosts its third-annual Trick or Treat on the Street on the Friday, Oct. 30.

Event Map

Event Map

Kicking off at 11:30 a.m., we invite you to curb your sugar cravings with treats from Sweet Pete’s all the way to The Landing. Whether you need a break from the daily grind or you want to get the kiddos out of the house on their day off from school, Downtown is the sweetest place to be.

 

Downtown trick-or-treaters

Downtown trick-or-treaters

This year over 17 businesses will participate in handing out candy, coupons and other promotional goodies.  Hemming Park hosts a Magic Show from 12:30-1:30 p.m., and kids zone will be open with Imagination Playground. For more information visit the Trick or Treat on the Street event page.

Don’t forget to join Fun4FirstCoastKids for the free every third Wednesday Picnic in Hemming Park. October is Halloween in Hemming Park! Wear your costume for the costume parade. Afterword, there will be a bounce house and trick or treating at vendor tables. Don’t miss an opportunity to mingle with your fellow Downtown neighbors.  We can’t say no to an excuse to dress up. And who doesn’t love free candy!