JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Big changes could be on the way for Downtown Jacksonville. City leaders and developers announced a major redevelopment project, spanning 20 city blocks.
It’s expected to add 1,000 apartments, retail space, and street dining.
“I think we finally did it,” City Councilman Jimmy Peluso said. “I think we finally found the project that’s finally gonna move downtown to where it should be.”
Action News Jax took a 360, virtual tour on Wednesday to see the vision for the Pearl Street district. Coined “Gateway Jax,” the plan is to redevelop the 22 acres acquired by the group. The expectation is to take empty parking lots and vacant buildings and turn them into storefronts, apartments, and grocery stores.
“We wanna be that next phase of development. and really help Jacksonville achieve its potential,” Alex Sifakis said. He is the President of JWB Real Estate Capital and one of the main contributors to the project. “We believe that it’s a great deal for the taxpayers and the city.”
The project will head to the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) for approval in October. Next, it goes to the City Council.
“I would think that council would look very well on a project like this, but we’ve gotta see what exactly they’re asking,” Council President Ron Salem said. “I know they’re gonna look at a completion grant. I would think it’ll come to the council in late October.”
The price tag for phase one is $500 million and $2 billion over a 10-year period. Developers are asking for what’s called a completion grant, meaning the work will need to be done in order to get money from the city.
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“We’re working with the DIA right now to ask for a completion grant that will be around $40 million, and we only get that money once the project is completed and we have leased all our ground floor retail,” Sifakis said. “Taxpayers aren’t having any risk until they see those shops, those grocery stores.”
The city is expecting to get $1.04 for every dollar invested in the project.
SEE THE RENDERINGS: $2 billion project set to revamp 20 blocks of Downtown Jacksonville