The #DTJax Breakfast Award for Downtowner of the Year honors individuals who have demonstrated inspirational leadership and contributed to advancing efforts in creating and supporting a vibrant Downtown. In 2018, we recognized not one but two people as Downtowners of the Year for their joint work and dedication to bringing more people downtown to live: Ambassador John D. Rood and Steve Moore of Vestcor.
Residents are key to a successful downtown, both economically and culturally, which is why Downtown Vision has been so grateful for the work of Vestcor, the first developer to help provide quality housing in Downtown. Their first project, renovating The Carling and 11 East Forsyth which opened 2003 and 2005, was heavily supported by the City of Jacksonville and a great success: both properties are currently over 90% full, adding valued residents to our Downtown streets.
Now, Vestcor has invested in more housing with multiple workforce housing in LaVilla — The Lofts at LaVilla and The Lofts at Monroe. Fully occupied, beautiful new construction, with amenities like fitness centers, internet cafés, and community recreation areas, anyone would want to live there!
Ambassador John Rood founded Vestcor in 1983 and focused on multifamily properties. Vestcor has built and currently manages fifty-seven communities, over 14,000 units, including many in Downtown Jacksonville. Ambassador Rood served as Ambassador to the Bahamas from 2004-2007 and has been a strong civic leader of Jacksonville.
Steve Moore is the President of The Vestcor Companies, Inc.; he is responsible for the overall direction and performance of Vestcor, overseeing all operational and investment decisions in addition to the strategic planning and growth of the company.
Together, John and Steve have spent years adding housing options for residents of Downtown, which have quickly filled with new residents. For their commitment to bringing vitality and vibrancy to the crucial residential housing market Downtown, investing in our future, and repeatedly contributing to the process of growing and improving DTJax, Downtown Vision is honored to bestow the title of Downtowners of the Year to these exceptional community leaders.
Congratulations, John and Steve, and thank you for helping to bring more residents into the Downtown community.