by: Katherine Hardwick in Downtown Shout-outs, Spotlight No Comments  

Oliver Barakat Profile JBJ 2013 ListRecently released, the Jacksonville Business Journal’s annual list of top movers and shakers spotlights local business, civic and government decision makers of 2013. It’s no surprise that one major unifying thread joined many of named–20 of the 30–together: Downtown Jacksonville.

Some based in Downtown, some cultivating Downtown and some championing Downtown, DVI would like to thank the following Downtown-minded movers and shakers for their commitment to enriching the fabric of Downtown Jacksonville. Leading the list is DVI’s very own Board of Directors secretary, Oliver Barakat.

1. Oliver Barakat is senior vice president at CBRE Group, Inc. and chairman of the Downtown Investment Authority.

2. Lori Boyer, City Councilmember, District 5, is an outspoken advocate for Downtown in policy-making.

3. Alex Coley, principal at Hallmark Partners Inc., is a driving force for 220 Riverside, a new mixed-use development in Downtown set to launch this summer.

4. Daniel Davis, president and CEO of JaxChamber continues to make Downtown a priority for the Chamber.

5. Renee Finley was head of public-private partnerships for the City of Jacksonville and is a vice president with Florida Blue.

6. Bill Foley III is Chairman of Fidelity National Financial, one of Downtown’s Fortune 500 companies.

7. Mark Frisch is CEO of Sunshine Sports Soccer Group, a new entertainment advocate group located in Downtown – and we’d love to see a soccer stadium Downtown!

8. Pat Geraghty is CEO of Florida Blue, a longstanding tenant in Downtown’s Brooklyn neighborhood.

9. William Gulliford, City Council president, is a major supporter of Downtown revitalization, including efforts to secure private management for Hemming Plaza.

10. John Keane is the executive director of the Police and Fire Pension Fund, which owners properties in Downtown.  

11. Jacques Klempf, CEO of Dixie Egg Co. and Ovinte Wine Lounge, is a key party interested in the rehabilitation the Bostwick Building.

12. Sherry Magill, president at Jessie Ball duPont Fund, is leading the charge to renovate the Haydon Burns Library for a major nonprofit center.

13. Hope McMath, executive director of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, is a major supporter of connectivity between Downtown and Riverside/Avondale.

14. Matt Rapp, executive director of THE PLAYERS Championship, was instrumental in expanding TPC into Downtown in 2013.

15. Elton Rivas, co-creator of One Spark and KYN, helped bring more than 100,000 people Downtown for the inaugural crowdfunding festival with a spinoff business incubator program.

16. Peter Rummell, immediate past chair of Jacksonville Civic Council, is a key advocate for Downtown revitalization and a major backer of One Spark.

17. Toney Sleiman is CEO of Sleiman Enterprises, which owns The Jacksonville Landing, and is working toward public-private investment to re-imagine this major landmark.

18. Hap Stein, is chairman and CEO of Regency Centers, a major developer, owner and operator of commercial property, is developing develop a Fresh Market-anchored shopping center in Downtown’s Brooklyn neighborhood.

19. Alan Verlander, COO of Gator Bowl Sports and Entertainment, is working attract major sporting events Downtown and community-wide.

20. Aundra Wallace, CEO of the Downtown Investment Authority, is leading the update of Downtown’s Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) strategy to drive short and longterm economic development and revitalization.

View the full JBJ list here.

 

by: abruno in Spotlight No Comments  

On the corner of Bay and Ocean streets, next door to the historic Bostwick Building, there’s an office space that brings something extra special to Downtown Jacksonville. With high ceilings, exposed brick walls and three conceptual masterminds, animation studio Dripsblack has entered the Downtown creative scene with a bang.

Shane Douberly and Bill Waller are a dynamic duo that have been creating together for years. New addition Laura Adams is helping the studio spread its wings in the Downtown community. The trio spoke not only of Downtown as a location, but also as a pool of innovative talent and potential. We remarked on the beauty and space of their new location (a far cry from their previous bantam “bedroom” office in Riverside) and the collaborative power of Downtown.

“There’s a lot of neat creative energy here, I’m really impressed,” said Bill.

The passion that these three share for their craft is contagious. They create more than cartoons and commercials – they make moving art, short films that communicate each client’s message beautifully.

They found this stunning space by chance; they had their eyes on a couple of different properties Downtown and in Riverside at the time. Bill and Shane were taking a stroll around the urban core, describing their ideal office, when they walked past this Bay Street location.

Real estate karma was in their favor that day. It fit their laundry list: a great location, much larger than their previous cramped conditions, and also happened to have a For Lease sign on the window. The rest, as they say, is history. They were in the space and making their mark Downtown in time for their Citrus Cel Animation Film Festival April 4-6.

These days, Shane, Bill and Laura are hopeful and excited about the future of an even more visionary Downtown. They laud Downtown nightlife and fellow creative agencies around them. The phrase “more of that” came up a lot in our conversation, and I was reminded of the City of Jacksonville’s More of This, Less of That campaign. If the Dripsblack team were to take pictures of what they want more of Downtown, you would see film and television production studios, more collaboration among creators in the urban core, and more high-caliber artwork being showcased.

The Dripsblack trio seems to be in agreement that Downtown is on the verge of something huge.

“We’re a part of something that’s about to explode,” said Shane. “We need dedicated, passionate people to make it happen.”

Check out Dripsblack’s impressive portfolio on their website, and be prepared to spend more time than you anticipated perusing their work, now homegrown right here in our creative Downtown.

 

by: Katherine Hardwick in Developments, Historic Preservation No Comments  

After months of deferrals by City Council, a deal is in the works for the sale and rehabilitation of the Bostwick Building. Hot off the presses, here is the newest information on the potential next steps to turn this landmark building into a Downtown destination:

Photo: Jacksonville.com

Potential Bostwick buyer remembers when Downtown was ‘where it was at’
– Ashley Gurbal Kritzer, Jacksonville Business Journal, May 8, 2013

A Northeast Florida native, Jacques Klempf is nostalgic for the way Downtown Jacksonville used to be.

That’s why he not only believes in revitalization efforts, but is attempting to put his own stake in the ground in the city center: He and the other partners of Ovinte Wine Lounge are under contract to acquire the Bostwick Building in Downtown Jacksonville, with plans to renovate it into a restaurant.

Ovinte partners want to buy the Bostwick Building for restaurant development
– David Chapman, Daily Record, May 8, 2013

Jacques Klempf, Chad Munsey and Fraser Burns, partners in the Ovinte wine, cocktails and tapas lounge at the St. Johns Town Center, have been identified as the purchasing group under contract for the Bostwick Building.

The buyers said they haven’t developed a concept for the building, other than it will be restaurant.

“We just think it’s a great venue and it just has great access, visibility and we feel like we can put a concept there that will really be great for the city,” Klempf said. “We’re going to restore the building … and put what I think is going to be the nicest restaurant in the city.”

He said the group wanted to restore the building to its natural façade.

Check out this recent slideshow of the Bostwick Building interior, to see the current state of the building (and to imagine the possibilities).

by: Katherine Hardwick in Advocacy, Historic Preservation No Comments  

The fate of the Bostwick Building will be decided over the next three weeks.

On Tuesday, January 8, City Council will hold its first public hearing regarding the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission’s (JHPC) recommendation to designate the Guaranty Trust and Savings Building, also known as the Bostwick Building, a historic landmark through ordinance 2012-720. DVI needs you to make your voice heard.

The hearing will be held at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Public comment is limited to three minutes per speaker. If you cannot attend the public hearing, please call or email City Council representatives. Building facts and contact information is provided below.

In the past twenty years, Downtown Jacksonville has lost nearly 30 historic buildings.

People want a place with a vibe, with character. A healthy stock of historic buildings gives a place personality, and allows that place to attract the creative class: creators, innovators and investors. Historic buildings foster small business incubation and affordable housing. Historic buildings help stabilize neighborhoods. Historic buildings attract arts, culture and heritage tourism.

“Every study of travel motivations has shown that an interest in the achievements of the past is among the three major reasons why people travel. The other two are rest or recreation and the desire to view great natural sights… Among cities with no particular recreational appeal, those that have substantially preserved their past continue to enjoy tourism. Those that haven’t receive no tourism at all. It’s as simple as that. Tourism does not go to a city that has lost its soul.” -Arthur Frommer Preservation Forum [1988]

The Bostwick Building is historically significant.

Guaranty Trust and Savings Bank/Bostwick Building (Photo provided by The Jacksonville Historical Society)

The Bostwick Building was among the first buildings permitted following the Great Fire in 1901. It contains bank vaults that survived the Great Fire and once housed the office of Henry Klutho, a noted architect who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright and designed many iconic Downtown buildings, including the St. James Building. It made the Jacksonville Historical Society’s “12 Worth Saving” list. It is located in perhaps the most intact block of historic buildings that exists Downtown today. 
And, according to the JHPC the Bostwick Building meets six of the seven criteria established for landmark structures exceeding the requirements for landmark status.

What about property owner rights?

DVI believes that awarding the property owner’s request for a demolition permit rewards property neglect. Property owners have a responsibility to their neighboring properties and the community at large to maintain their properties. And, as a community, we have an obligation to collectively raise our expectations of standards to which we hold our Downtown.

Designating a building, such as the Bostwick Building, as a historic landmark is not just about preventing its destruction; it is a tool that adds value to the building and can make the cost restoration much more feasible. At the local level, landmarks within Downtown can access the Downtown Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Additionally, historically designated properties that undergo substantial rehabilitation may be eligible for an ad valorem tax exemption. Tax credits for up to 20% of the total rehabilitation cost are also available at the federal level for certified rehabilitation of a certified historic structure.

District Council Members

District 1: Clay Yarborough. 630-1389 | Clay@coj.net

District 2: William Bishop. 630-1392 | WBishop@coj.net

District 3: Richard Clark. 630-1386 | RClark@coj.net

District 4: Don Redman. 630-1394 | Redman@coj.net (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 5: Lori N. Boyer. 630-1382 | LBoyer@coj.net (Land Use & Zoning Chair)

District 6: Matt Schellenberg. 630-1388 | MattS@coj.net (Land Use & Zoning Vice Chair)

District 7: Dr. Johnny Gaffney. 630-1384 | Gaffney@coj.net

District 8: E. Denise Lee. 630-1385 | EDLee@coj.net

District 9: Warren A. Jones. 630-1395 | WAJones@coj.net (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 10: Reginald L. Brown. 630-1684 | RBrown@coj.net

District 11: Ray Holt. 630-1383 | Holt@coj.net

District 12: Doyle Carter. 630-1380 | doylec@coj.net  (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 13: Bill Gulliford. 630-1397 | Gulliford@coj.net (Land Use & Zoning Committee)

District 14: Jim Love 630-1390 | JimLove@coj.net

At-Large Council Members

Group 1: Kimberly Daniels. 630-1393 | KimDaniels@coj.net

Group 2: John R. Crescimbeni. 630-1381 | JRC@coj.net

Group 3: Stephen C. Joost: 630-1396 | Joost@coj.net

Group 4: Greg Anderson. 630-1398 | GAnderson@coj.net

Group 5: Robin Lumb. 630-1387 | RLumb@coj.net

More on the Land Use & Zoning Committee here.

by: Katherine Hardwick in Advocacy, Historic Preservation No Comments  

Ordinance 2012-720, which provides for the designation of the Bostwick Building as a local landmark, will be introduced tonight, Dec. 11 at City Council. Public hearings have been scheduled for January 8 and 15, 2013. The Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee will make a recommendation to the full City Council, with final action in late January.

At yesterday’s meeting, the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC) recommended that the Bostwick Building be granted historic landmark status. The JHPC agreed with staff recommendations that the Bostwick Building meets six of the seven criteria established for landmark structures. (The only criterion not met was number two.) In order to be eligible for landmark status, a structure must be at least 50 years old and meet two of the seven criteria if the owner is the applicant, and four criteria if the owner is not the applicant, as is the case here. The commission and staff noted that it is very rare for a building to meet so many of the eligibility criteria.

What happens next? JHPC will forward an advisory recommendation to City Council, accompanied by a report of findings. The landmark recommendation will be taken up by the City Council at the same time as the owner’s appeal of the JHPC’s denial of a request for demolition permit. The public hearings for these items have not been scheduled at this time, but we will provide an update once the dates are known.

If the JHPC’s recommendation is approved by the City Council, then the Bostwick Building will be afforded additional protections against demolition. Declaration of a building as a landmark by City Council also enables the property owner to access a number of financial incentives that can make restoration more cost feasible. At the local level, landmarks within Downtown can access the Downtown Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Additionally, historically designated properties that undergo substantial rehabilitation may be eligible for an ad valorem tax exemptionTax credits for up to 20% of the total rehabilitation cost are also available at the federal level for certified rehabilitation of a certified historic structure. Designating a building, such as the Bostwick Building, as a historic landmark is not just about preventing its destruction; it is a tool that adds value to the building and can make restoration much more cost feasible for the owner.

What can you do? Let your City Council representatives know how you feel about this issue by either emailing them or speaking at the public hearings. Gain an understanding of the issues from an ordinance code standpoint by reviewing City of Jacksonville Ordinance Code Section 307.104 and Section 320.407(b).

by: Katherine Hardwick in Advocacy, Historic Preservation No Comments  

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 13th, the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC) will determine whether to recommend that the Bostwick Building be granted Historic Landmark status.

What happens next? If the JHPC determines the building meets the criteria for designation as a landmark or landmark site, it will forward an advisory recommendation to City Council, accompanied by a report of findings. If the JHPC’s recommendation is approved by the City Council, then the Bostwick Building will be afforded additional protections against demolition and will become eligible for a variety of incentives that could facilitate rehabilitation of the structure.

What makes a building eligible? To be eligible for landmark status, a structure must be at least 50 years old and, if the owner is not the applicant, the building must meet at least four of the following criteria:

  • It has value as a significant reminder of the cultural, historical, architectural or archaeological heritage of the city, state or nation;
  • Its location is the site of a significant local, state or national event;
  • It is identified with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the city, state or nation;
  • It is identified as the work of a master builder, designer or architect whose individual work has influenced the development of the city, state or nation;
  • Its value as a building is recognized for the quality of architecture, and it retains sufficient elements showing its architectural significance;
  • It has distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style valuable for the study of a period, method of construction, or use of indigenous materials;
  • It’s suitable for preservation or restoration.

What can you do? The JHPC will conduct a public hearing as part of its determination of landmark status at tomorrow’s November 13th meeting. This meeting will be held in the Ed Ball Building, room 851, First Floor Training Room, at 3:00 p.m.