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 @jay.palmer19


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



Things To Do Downtown


Arts + Culture



Live Music + Nightlife
Mar 10: Celtic Woman
Mar 11: R. Kelly
Mar 12: Clint Black


Sports + Fitness
Mar 7: Free Yoga



 #DTJax News






Thank you for making Saturday’s #DTJax Gala: River of Dreams a great success!
Untitled design (1) (1)
Thank you vendors, volunteers, and guests for celebrating the St. Johns with us. And congratulations to our 2017 #DTJax Award winners:
Ambassador of the Year, Michael Ryan
Downtown Person of the Year, Ben Davis
Downtown Project of the Year, Winston Family YMCA
Downtown Achievement Award, Lori Boyer
Check out all of Severine Photography’s beautiful photos of the Gala!
Thank you sponsors!
Acosta Sponsors: Auld & White Constructors, Block by Block, CSX, Downtown Investment Authority, Everbank
Hart Sponsors: BB&T, Florida Blue, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville, Riverfront, Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, Jacksonville University, Manifest Distilling, Perdue Office Interiors, VyStar Credit Union
Fuller Warren Sponsors: Danis, GAI Consulting, Gunster, IBERIABANK, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Matthew Carlucci – State Farm Museum of Science & History, Regency Centers, RummellMunz Partners, The Jacksonville Landing
Bike to do your pART at April’s Art Walk!
Bike to #ArtWalkJax (1)
Ride your bike out to Art Walk in April as DVI teams up with USGBC to bring you the newest ideas in sustainability, social responsibilty and the environment from local companies, businesses, and organizations! Learn how to do you pART while enjoying Art Walk’s artists, food trucks, and live music!


2017 Art Walk Sponsorship Opportunities:


Downtown’s signature monthly event, First Wednesday Art Walk attracts 10,000 people each month, spans 15+ blocks with more than 60 galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses. In its 14th year, Art Walk celebrates the local art scene by featuring hundreds of artists, performers and live music acts. Be a partner today! Download the kit here.
2015 State of Downtown Report:
2015-State-of-Downtown_v3-for-print_lowres_Page_01Downtown Vision, Inc. released an 18-month summary on the state and growth of Downtown Jacksonville. This report provides details on development successes and  announcements, office and employment trends, residential growth, retail mix, arts and culture, tourism, transportation and more. Read the report in it’s entirety on our blog or visit to download the PDF.


DVI Annual Report Available:
Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 2.03.20 PMHave you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? Check out our latest Annual Report, which  highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2015-2016.

by: Katherine Hardwick in Advocacy No Comments  
JAX2025 Community Survey Results

JAX2025 Community Survey Results

“Creating a city of opportunity means investing in our Downtown. We want Downtown Jacksonville to become a vibrant destination for people to work, live and visit. A great city depends on a great Downtown.”

– Mayor Alvin Brown

DVI applauds Mayor Brown’s commitment to a revitalized Downtown and offers full support for the proposed Downtown investments in Mayor Brown’s 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Budget. The budget is currently in review with City Council and will be approved by the end of September.



Revitalizing Downtown Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Landing: As part of revitalization plans, the City of Jacksonville will invest $11.8 million in public infrastructure through the CIP to support the first phase of improvements, including a wider plaza along the Northbank Riverwalk, public space and broader access at Hogan Street. Demolition of existing structures is included. The vision for reinvigorating the Jacksonville Landing includes new retail, housing and event space.

The Shipyards: Mayor Brown has made redeveloping the Shipyards a major priority to continue investment in Downtown. To activate environmental remediation efforts, the CIP makes an initial investment of $1.25 million.

Former Duval County Courthouse: To continue efforts to upgrade Downtown, the former county courthouse will be demolished to provide new opportunities for public or private development. The CIP invests $4.2 million.

Metropolitan Park: The capital improvement plan invests $250,000 to begin the design of a new Metropolitan Park that maximizes its role as an entertainment venue.

Downtown Streets: To continue making Downtown the best experience possible, the City will invest $1 million through the CIP to design the transition from unwieldy one-way streets to more user-friendly two-way streets.

Downtown Lighting and Signage: Both Mayor Brown and the DIA have made enhancing the experience of visiting Downtown a priority. Lighting and signage will be improved through an investment of $1.5 million in the CIP.

Northbank Riverwalk: Mayor Brown supports upgrades of $3 million through the CIP to continue maximizing the potential of the pedestrian park along our river.

Downtown Investment Authority: Mayor Brown proposes providing $1.21 million in annual funding for the DIA through the general fund to finance non-capital projects that will spur interest and investment in Downtown.

FC Armada: As previously announced, the City will partner with new North American Soccer League (NASL) team FC Armada to hold its games in the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville for the next three years. Through the general fund, the City will cover up to $700,000 in operational expenses and make a one-time capital investment of $300,000.

Main Library: The general fund budget would restore hours at the Main Library in Downtown Jacksonville, while the CIP would invest in public spaces at the Main Library.

Downtown Vision: So that the City can be consistent with other Downtown property owners, Mayor Brown proposed a $152,340 increase in the City’s annual contribution to Downtown Vision.

One Spark: To increase Jacksonville’s role and success in this signature, destination creator festival, Mayor Brown supports doubling the City’s direct investment to $100,000, with a similar amount available through in-kind contributions of City services.

Budget items also with City Council for approval are: $750,000 for the Downtown Investment Authority’s Retail Enhancement Grant Program and $1 million seed funding for the day-to-day management of Hemming Plaza (over 18 months).

Please contact City Council to voice your support for Downtown today.


by: Katherine Hardwick in Business Spotlights, Developments, Placemaking (2) Comments  


Last month, the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) Board approved a $750,000 Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan designed to help recruit and retain street-level restaurant and retail business, along with creative office spaces. The recoverable grants will cover costs associated with renovating or preparing commercial space to improve the interior appearance and utility of street level storefronts.

Generally, applicable projects must exceed $10,000 in renovation costs, and the maximum grant award is $20 for every square foot leased or occupied with incentive dollars not exceeding 50% of the total costs.

The plan will go before City Council for approval in March, and the DIA is meeting with interested stakeholders within the program’s boundaries (shown below) to gauge interest and answer questions. The next stakeholder meeting is on:

Friday, February 14, 2014
Ed Ball Building – 214 N. Hogan Street
First Floor Training Room

Please RSVP to Cheryl Hunte at if you plan to attend.

Questions may be directed to DIA CEO Aundra Wallace at Read the full plan below or download it here.

Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan Rev1 10 2014_Page_1 Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan Rev1 10 2014_Page_2 Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan Rev1 10 2014_Page_3 Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan Rev1 10 2014_Page_4 Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan Rev1 10 2014_Page_5 Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan Rev1 10 2014_Page_6 Downtown Jacksonville Retail Enhancement Plan Rev1 10 2014_Page_7

by: Katherine Hardwick in Business Spotlights, Developments, Placemaking (5) Comments  

“Downtown has been frozen, we need to thaw it out,” said developer Toney Sleiman, owner of The Jacksonville Landing.

And Sleiman is looking to do just that. Last month, the Downtown Investment Authority held a public workshop in conjunction with DVI, the Haskell Company, AIA and Sleiman Enterprises to explore ideas about revitalizing The Landing. Approximately 200 people came out to voice ideas ranging from the importance of market-rate housing to incorporating art and local flavor to pedestrian and vehicular access.

Sleiman Enterprises and Haskell Company incorporated that feedback into a proposed design presented at the January 15 DIA Board meeting. The plans incorporate two towers–one to house a boutique hotel, the other to house residential units–with space for small business and retail below and throughout the site along with ample parking built into the proposed structure. A substantial setback from the river will allow for a wider Riverwalk and art promenade for pedestrians to enjoy and last block of Hogan Street will become a public plaza. Finally, the plans call for elimination of the ramp leading from Water Street to the Main Street Bridge on the western boundary of The Landing site.

The DIA will now begin its due diligence on the market demand for residential and hotel space Downtown, and will make sure that these plans are included as part of the redevelopment strategy its currently drafting.

Here is a look at the presentation shared with DVI this month, republished with permission.

Jacksonville Landing Proposed Design Slide01 The Jacksonville Landing Design Proposal Slide02 Slide03 Slide04 Slide05 Slide06 Slide07 Slide08 Slide09 Slide10 Slide11 Slide12 Slide13 Slide14 Slide15 Slide16 Slide17 Slide18 Slide19 Slide20 Slide21 Slide22 Slide23 Slide24 Slide25 Slide26 Slide27 Slide28

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: Katherine Hardwick in Advocacy, Thought Leadership No Comments  

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

In 2012, JCCI embarked on the JAX2025 visioning process to determine what kind of city we want to become. Its community survey, completed by 14,000 members of the community, overwhelmingly identified Downtown Jacksonville as 1) the biggest challenge Jacksonville faces, and 2) that Downtown Jacksonville is the one area they would want to see change or improved, over any other area or issue in the city:

Complete Community Survey results can be found here.

Thousands of Jacksonville residents then attended JAX2025 community meetings for round table discussions, providing input that guided the creation of the 2013 Report. Outlined in the report, Downtown is vital to a vibrant city:

“Jacksonville’s rich array of distinctive neighborhoods…converge in the city’s dynamic central neighborhood, Downtown, which is a business powerhouse fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and our community’s 24-hour epicenter of first-class arts, culture, sports and unique opportunities.”

As City Council faces tough budget decisions, it is essential we remember community priorities and preserve the $9 million dedicated to Downtown investment as the seed money needed to reach our shared vision. Read more from the Downtown Investment Authority here.