When most people think of downtown revitalization projects, they think of developers, local business leaders and city politicians. But Jacksonville’s explosive growth, primarily in the entertainment venues, can be attributed to several young entrepreneurs who saw great opportunity and were willing to take the risks to turn Downtown into a destination.
This was a key point from my recent Times-Union editorial celebrating this entrepreneurial trend, which you can read in full here. But that’s just one log on the entrepreneurial fire. Many of Downtown’s bars are now featuring the limited edition, only-in-Downtown Smoke IPA by locally owned and operated brewer Intuition Ale Works.
Food trucks, the quintessential entrepreneurial endeavor, have catalyzed even more talk of Downtown vibrancy this week, which we elaborate on below. Arts and culture initiatives, like the Spark District, are heating up cold and vacant storefronts and bringing energy to the streets. Also, tech start-ups and, of course, Downtown Jacksonville’s very own One Spark crowd-funding festival are further fanning the flame and garnering national media attention.
Each entrepreneur is a spark in the fire of Downtown’s future, growing Downtown’s economy and making Downtown vibrant. For that, we thank each and every one of you.