Have you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? DVI is aligned closely with the vision, mission and priorities of the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA), and as part of this public-private partnership, DVI focuses on four strategic pillars:

  • Clean and Safe/Ambassador Services: In the latest fiscal year, our team of 11 hardworking Ambassadors provided more than 18,000 hospitality assists and removed more than 27 tons of litter.
  • Marketing: We were honored to be recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal’s for Best Use of Social Media and the International Downtown Association for the #DTJax Twitter Promoter Campaign.
  • Information Management: We crunched the numbers to provide statistics and trends on Downtown development, employment, residential, retail, parking and more.
  • Experience Creation: We brought more than 125,000 people Downtown to the First Wednesday Art Walk and coordinated efforts for The Elbow, Downtown’s Entertainment District.

Check out our latest Annual Report, which highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2014-2015. Click here to download the PDF.


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.


Instagram of the Week


 Photo by  @kellllaye


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


Things To Do Downtown


CREW Jacksonville Luncheon
Mark your calendar to attend CREW Jacksonville’s Downtown Part II: Taking the Plan and Moving It Forward with guest speaker Aundra Wallace. The meeting will be February 2, at 11:15 a.m. at the River Club, 1 Independent Drive, Suite 3500. This is part two of a series on Downtown development, planning and revitalization. Register here today to become part of the Downtown conversation!


icons-art-cultureArts + Culture


family-funFamily Fun 


icons-nightlifeLive Music + Nightlife


icons-fitnessSports + Fitness






Stories From BlogDTJax.com

Photo3-300x212 2



DVI Updates 


We’d Love to Hear From You:

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 – silent auctions and animal encounters by MOSH 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 100 North Laura, 9th Floor, 100 N. Laura Street. Buy your tickets and sponsorships today.



By Lindsay Forrest, DVI Intern


All photos taken by DVI

On January 28, 2015, the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission held a press conference to debate another demolition of a historical site in Downtown Jacksonville. Located directly across from the Basilica of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the Elena Flats building is a historical landmark distinguished by original glass windows, rustic cherry red hardwood floors and decades of history.

After the Great Fire of 1901, which damaged more than 2,368 buildings in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, the city reconstructed more than 146 city blocks. Among the restoration, the city built a 22-room inexpensive boarding house for local residents called the Elena Flats. The rooming house offered close access to local job opportunities, businesses, restaurants, bars and numerous activities creating a surplus of economic growth for the recovering metropolitan area.

Fast forward 107 years later and the elenaElena Flats building is still standing on East Duval Street. Do not let the caution tape, abandoned rooms, and scaffolding equipment turn you away from this hidden beauty. The previous owner applied for a permit to tear down the building and convert it into another parking lot. Fortunately, current owners Jack Meeks and his wife, JoAnn Tredennick marveled at the significance and beauty of the Elena Flats property hidden deep underneath the fragments. The age, history and importance of the building made it eligible for a complete renovation and noted as a historical preservation site in Jacksonville.


Following the renovation, the Elena Flats will house four luxury condominiums complete with private patios, luminous skylights and spiraling staircases. In order to still embody all the history of Elena Flats, the restoration plans utilize the original hardwood floors, skylights and tile flooring. The renovations will be completed and ready to rent in early 2017.

We are excited to witness the restoration of this hidden local gem planned for early next year in #DTJax!


by: admin in Art Walk, Spotlight No Comments  

By Kristen Fields, DVI Intern

We caught up with Tracie Thornton, owner of The Urban Atelier, and got a glimpse into her life as an artist and the future of her business.

tracie @ artwalk

Tracie and her mother, Rosemary Thornton, at Art Walk.

Q: What first brought you to participate in the First Wednesday Art Walk? How long have you been a vendor?

I actually was invited to participate in one of the first Art Walks by Tony Allegretti when he was with Downtown Vision. I moved away for a while and when I returned, decided to get involved again. So consistently for almost 3 years.

Q: What is your favorite thing about participating in Art Walk?

The people! As well as the other artists and the community that supports Art Walk coming out each month. I love the fact that people come and bring visitors or those new to Jax with them because they know it will be a great time.

Q: How / when did you first become interested in making recycled art? 

It started out as a simple appreciation of design. Since college I’ve been a collage artist and have always collected packaging I thought was interesting and used it in my printmaking and graphic design work. Altoid tins, beer and wine labels, bottle caps, corks and more. In recent years, I extended that aesthetic to the books and jewelry I make, as well. You name it I’ve probably collected it at some point. My desire to recycle has since morphed into an understanding that I am giving things with a past a second opportunity to tell their story; another life or ‘reincarnating’ them as I often say.

Q: What is your favorite medium? Why?

It changes. Plus, I love them all! It would be hard to choose. I will say right now I’m working on a collage project. The media I work on is on a rotational basis: collage, printmaking, bookbinding, jewelry, sculpture and graphic design. I’ll work in one medium for months and then switch up when things feel stale. The one thing I have to do all of the time is design since I do all of the graphic design work for The Urban Atelier.

Q: What things inspire you to create your work?Urban A

Experiences. Life. History. Music and books are definitely at the top of the list! I love collecting quotes. I often get them from poetry and lyrics; writing in general. Experiences are also important. I have to get out and do things so that I have stories to tell. That’s what my art is about: life from my perspective.

Q: What are your other hobbies?

I love concerts. Love, love, love music. I also love to volunteer. I just recently began working with Art In Public Places (Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville). I’m truly interested in bringing public art to those parts of Jacksonville that don’t really have much of it.


Q: What plans do you have for the future of The Urban Atelier?

I have three goals for The Atelier. First, I want to do more gallery shows this upcoming year. Second, I’d like to focus on introducing my jewelry to museum stores especially since much of it is inspired by history. Third, I’d like to continue to work on making Art Guardian, an Atelier project that focuses on preservation of the indigenous arts, a reality. Overall, I’d like to continue to grow and contribute to the world that is art.

Q: Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?unnamed

These are rules I do my best to live and create by:

1. Keep going. Even when you think there’s no hope. There’s always hope.

2. Always do your best, regardless of whether you’re presenting your work at a small festival or a world-renown gallery.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your success may not look exactly like someone else’s.

4. Give yourself credit for any progress you’ve made toward your goals.

5. You are your best cheerleader. Don’t ever be afraid to promote your work. If you don’t who else will.

6. Always treat your supporters with kindness and respect.


Interested in checking out what The Urban Atelier has to offer? Be sure to check out her display at the First Wednesday Art Walk on February 3 from 5-9 p.m. This month’s theme is “Dance your HeART out.” For full Art Walk details, visit www.iloveartwalk.com.

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.


Instagram of the Week


 Photo by  @kristen.penoyer

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


Things To Do Downtown



icons-nightlifeLive Music + Nightlife


icons-fitnessSports + Fitness

Jan. 23: Color Vibe 5K






Stories From BlogDTJax.com




DVI Updates 


We’d Love to Hear From You:

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 – silent auctions and animal encounters by MOSH 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 100 North Laura, 9th Floor, 100 N. Laura Street. Register today.



Downtown Stakeholder’s Meeting
Mark your calendar to join Downtown Vision, Inc. for the next Downtown Stakeholders Meeting. The meeting will be January 26th at 8:30 a.m. in the Ed Ball Building, 1st Floor Training Room at 214 N. Hogan St.

by: Admin in Business Spotlights No Comments  

Downtown got a bit more healthy with the addition of the First Stop Urgent Care location on Adams Street in the Elks Building. This is the second Urgent Care location in Jacksonville so we caught up with the Downtown team to learn more about their organization and place in the #DTJax community.   

Tell us a little bit about First Stop Urgent Care and what sets you apart from other urgent care clinics? 

We provide convenient and affordable acute healthcare services, focusing on premier quality, excellent patient service and keeping our promises. We deliver care to patients 6 months and older treating minor illnesses and injuries such as cold or flu symptoms, lacerations, burns, sprains or fractures.

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In addition to urgent care, what are some of the other services you provide?

Our health care services include Urgent Care (Digital X-Ray, On-Site Lab, and In-House Pharmacy), Health Checks (Immunizations, Travel Medicine, and Blood Panel Screening) and Occupational Health Services (Worker’s Compensation, Drug Screens, and Pre-Employment Physicals).

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know you offer? 

No appointment is necessary. When you walk in our door, you get immediate care.

Tell us a little bit about your care providers and their backgrounds.

Dr. Alexis A. Vazquez D.O., is the Medical Director of First Stop Urgent Care. He is a board certified physician and founder of Cisca Pulmonary and Critical Care. Dr. Vazquez grew up playing professional tennis before deciding that serving others, not a tennis ball, was his destiny. At Nova Southeastern University, he excelled as a medical student, surpassing his peers, graduating in the top ten percent of his class. Dr. Vazquez was chosen to be an Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Florida – Jacksonville and successfully completed his Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He is well-known for his enthusiasm and passion for medicine and he has been invited to speak to medical groups on the topics of asthma, pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary rehabilitation. Dr. Vazquez was listed as one of Jacksonville Magazine’s “2013 Top Docs.” Dr. Vazquez remains on the forefront of research in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine.unnamed-1

Rick Albarran is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) who grew up in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. He served in the US Navy on the USS Forrestal (America’s First Super Carrier) and has made the Jacksonville area his home. Rick enjoys our short winter season and the ability to bike and walk our great city including the Baldwin Bike Trail, Downtown River Walk, Riverside Arts Market and Hannah Park. His favorite pastime is going on cruises from Jacksonville Port and Port Canaveral. It allows him to unwind and relax. In 2005, Rick entered nursing, attending Florida State Community College, beginning his Registered Nurse career. He continued his education at the University of North Florida while working at Baptist Medical Center’s Downtown Heart Hospital, rising the ranks of Charge Nurse and Assistant Nurse Manager. As he moved into management, Rick missed the patient experience and decided to further his education, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, completing his Masters of Science, April 2011. Since then, he has transitioned into Urgent Care and has loved every opportunity to help others through injury, illness, and health education. “I am comfortable and confident treating an entire family from 6 months to 99 years old. My oldest patient was 98 and still going strong”. “I am excited to provide Urgent Care services to Downtown Jacksonville”.

Why did you choose Downtown Jacksonville for your second office location? 

Access to health services is an issue for many underserved communities right here in Jacksonville. First Stop Urgent Care unnamedchallenges this issue by establishing clinics in communities where they are needed and by accepting all forms of government held insurance.

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

Being the only urgent care facility in heart of Downtown, it is extremely important to connect with the local community. Whether you work, live, or are visiting Downtown, we are within walking distance.

Anything else to add?

We accept most major insurances to serve the needs of our Jacksonville community. For those who are self-pay, we focus on keeping our health care services affordable and highly competitive.

For more information on First Stop Urgent Care, visit www.firststopurgentcareclinic.com or call 904-717-9043. 

by: Admin in Events No Comments  

Written by Joel Lamp, Manager – Business Development & Communications, Sports & Entertainment at the City of Jacksonville


Every four years, you flip on the Winter Olympics and find yourself sucked into the sports that you never see in Jacksonville. The most notable among those is Curling – the sport where they wear funny pants, scream a lot, throw stones and use brooms. Starting  February 6 and continuing for eight days, the best curlers in the United States will face off for national glory in the USA Curling Nationals at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Not exactly sure what Curling entails? No need to worry, here’s a great and easy introduction to the sport:

Two Minute Guide to the Sport of Curling

There are several specials setup for the event – starting with #SuperCurl on Feb. 7.  Watch the Super Bowl and Curling from the confines of the Arena club for $50, including a buffet during the big game while watching on the jumbotron.

There are also employee lunch specials Monday thru Wednesday, where for $15 fans get admission, hot dog or burger, chips and drink.

You can also grab nine of your buddies for the Community Curling Challenge on Feb. 13, where from 1-5 p.m., you will curl in a competition on the event ice and will get the VIP treatment during the men’s championship match with a buffet and beer and wine.

There will be several Olympians participating in the event as well, including names you’ve heard like John Shuster, Erika Brown, Pete Fenson and Allison Pottinger.  Plus, there’s the additional opportunity between sessions to actually get on the ice and “Learn to Curl” on the half-sheet setup at the Arena.


There are not a lot of winter sports national championships that Jacksonville can host, but this event is unique and a great opportunity to see the sport up close and personal before the 2018 Olympics.

Hosting a major event like the USA Curling Nationals is a great chance for #DTJax to shine. The influx of tourism brings activity, generates money and creates excitement in Downtown.  So get your tickets early, because this is an event you don’t want to miss!

To find out more information on the event and how to get your tickets, visit the 2016 USA Curling Nationals website, Facebook or Twitter.


And if you can’t wait till February, here are some 2012 Olympic videos to enjoy! #BroomsUp

2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling – Men’s Playoff #3

2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling – Women’s Playoff #2