St John’s River Park and Friendship Fountain

The Southbank’s Friendship Fountain, designed by visionary architect Taylor Hardwick, opened in 1965 and soon became a photogenic spot for visitors and an iconic landmark for Jacksonville.

It’s changed greatly, though, and the park around it has been whittled down over the years until it’s less than half its original size. It was even put on the Jacksonville Historical Society’s annual list of the most endangered buildings and places in the city, until the fountain was renovated in 2011.

It’s now undergoing another big renovation — something that boosters hope will make it a key part of a network of downtown riverfront attractions designed to make the St. Johns River more than something you just drive over.

Johnson Commons

The project is designed on 3.4 acres at Adams, Johnson, Lee and Forsyth streets in the historic Downtown neighborhood.

Johnson Commons, LLC has committed to the construction of a for-sale townhome residential community consisting of a minimum of 91 townhomes in Phase 1. All units will be offered as individual for sale product, adding to the diversity of residential options in the community. The Townhome units proposed by Johnson Commons will be three story (approximately 1400 square feet average) each with a one car garage. All 91 townhome units will be developed in single phase.

Phase 2 of the development will consist of a minimum of 10,000 square feet of stand-alone retail or a mixed-use product of multi-family residential and retail that includes a minimum of 10,000 square feet of retail on first floor. Vertical construction on Phase 2 will be commenced within 7 years of closing or property will revert. In the interim, this portion of the site will be developed as green space accessible to the adjacent Emerald Trail and maintained by the Developer. Future retail and or mixed use will face trail.

The Developer to has offered to make cash contribution to be used toward development of Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing park in the amount of $150,000, payable at closing.

Florida Baptist Convention Building Adaptive Reuse

The Baptist Convention building was constructed in 1924, by Jacksonville famed Architect Henry John Klutho, and is a National Historic Landmark Building. The building has been abandoned for approximately 40+ years and will follow NPS guidelines for historic renovations. JWB Real Estate Companies will convert the Baptist Convention Building to a mixed-use facility, comprised of two future mercantile suites, future restaurant spaces, and 24 studio and 1-bedroom apartments.

This historic redevelopment project is a recipient of the DIA’s Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program (DPRP). Learn more about the program here:

Investment: $9.85 Million

Performing Arts Center Music Commons

The Times-Union Performing Arts Center is home to the Jacksonville Symphony and FSCJ Artist Series. Its generous riverfront lawn is set to be transformed into an interactive node built around the theme of Jacksonville’s rich musical heritage.

The Music Commons boasts a treble clef landscape design and will pay tribute to the artists and composers who drew inspiration from their Jacksonville roots. The space will also include a children’s musical play area, a nightly projection shown on the building’s riverfront façade produced by the D.I.A., and live stream projections on the C.S.X. building with lawn seating.

Nightly activity on the Music Commons is augmented by views of Saint Johns River Park, located across the river, and Downtown’s colorful bridges. On one side shines the electric blue Main Street Bridge and on the other the color-changing Acosta Bridge, with new LED lights recently installed by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority which can be synchronized to complement the nightly light show.

USS Orleck

The Orleck (DD 886) museum ship will feature a US Navy Cold War experience managed and programmed by the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA).

Programming may include general museum visits/tours, scout troops/youth group sleepovers, conventions/reunions, school groups, etc. Project includes a temporary and mobile upland building which will house gift shop, admin offices and restrooms.

VyStar Parking Garage

Located on the south side of West Forsyth Street between Main and Laura streets, the VyStar Parking Garage will provide parking for the 1,000 employees VyStar Credit Union relocated to its headquarters campus Downtown, the nearby Barnett and Laura Street Trio projects and the general public. The seven-story, 280,804 square-foot parking garage will provide 807 parking spaces as well as 13,169 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Designed by Dasher Hurst Architects, the project will be built by Danis Construction.

Investment: $22 Million

Rivers Edge

Rivers Edge —with its vision for sustainable design—will encourage a healthy lifestyle and diversity. The development is slated to bring 950 residential units, 147 hotel rooms, 200,000 square feet of office space, 134,000 square feet of retail, a 125-slip marina and more than four acres of public park space to the long-vacant, 30-acre JEA site on Downtown’s Southbank.

The public space will include more than four acres of public park spaces, including a large central riverfront Park, and will tell the story of Jacksonville’s extraordinary medical facilities through art, exercise, gardens and interactive features. Active water access abounds with a marsh boardwalk and an extension of the Southbank Riverwalk, as well as transient boater slips and a kayak launch site.

With scenic views of both the river and the Downtown skyline, this unique setting will be a place that empowers residents and visitors to pursue and achieve wellness in their everyday lives.

Infrastructure currently under construction.
Vertical construction expected to commence 2022.

Preston Hollow Capital LLC
Investment: $535 Million

One Riverside Ave

The developer has proposed mixed-use project with retail, office, restaurant and apartment at the 18-acre former Florida-Times Union site which would be developed concurrent with the day-lighting and restoration of McCoy’s Creek. Phase 1 will include 271 multi-family units, 39,256 SF of retail (including a grocer and riverfront restaurant) and a parking garage. Phase 2 will include 125 multi-family units and 15,000 SF of retail.

Investment: $182 Million

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing Park

The Durkeeville Historical Society and city of Jacksonville collaborated to dedicate the birth site of Jacksonville’s Johnson brothers as the “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” Park. The park is named after the song written by John Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson in the late 1800s, which the NAACP calls the “Black National Anthem.”

As part of the development strategy for LaVilla, the current Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing park will be expanded and designed by to celebrate James Weldon Johnson and the African-American experience. The park, which commemorates Johnson’s contributions to our nation, will invite people from all walks of life to honor this important Jacksonville native. Designed by renowned lanscape architect Walter Hood, the park will be linked to 15 other historic neighborhoods and Downtown via the Emerald Trail.

Federal Reserve Building Adaptive Reuse

The Federal Reserve Building was constructed in 1923, and is a National Historic Landmark Building. The building has been abandoned for approximately 40+ years and will follow NPS guidelines for historic renovations. JWB Real Estate Companies will convert the Federal Reserve building into a mixed-use development including restaurant, business, and banquet space, along with an exterior courtyard for outdoor dining.

This historic redevelopment project is a recipient of the DIA’s Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Program (DPRP). Learn more about the program here:

Investment: $7.6 Million