A local company named Metropolis Community Development Corporation, is proposing a space for art, Micro-theaters, and pop-up restaurants near the Duval County Courthouse.
Action News Jax Courtney Cole spoke to the CEO of the company to learn more about the art project.
Right now, there’s a vacant lot on 337 West Adams street in what’s considered to be the Central Civic Core District of Jacksonville. It’s only being used by a few cars and some empty trailers.
But a man by the name of Rafael Caldera, the CEO and President of Metropolis Community Development Corporation, say he would like to bring the space to life by turning it in to an open, mobile, multi-unit cultural arts center.
A local development company has a fresh, new idea for Downtown Jacksonville—and it would be in this lot next to the Duval County Courthouse. I’ll tell you what could end up there on @ActionNewsJax at 5:15.— Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) August 24, 2018
*Hint: it’s not an apartment complex or shopping center! 👀 pic.twitter.com/CEl0PZi6Gi
"This will be a point for people to come and enjoy, 7 days a week,” Caldera told Action News Jax Courtney Cole.
He said the idea is inspired by other spaces in Europe and here in the United States—like the popular Wynwood District in Miami-Dade, Florida.
As a member of the Downtown Development Review Board, he says he’d like to create a unique experience for visitors and ultimately help make Jacksonville a destination for visitors in-and-outside of the state.
"I believe the impact will be great for Downtown. If we manage to bring the pedestrian activity from La Villa to this section and also ‘The Elbow’...it's going to be incredible,” Caldera said.
Caldera is asking the city to temporarily lease 10,000 square feet of re-usable modular buildings for art, micro-theaters, and restaurants.
The lease would only before 24 months.
It would be called La Rue Des Arts, which translates to The Street of Arts.
Rafael Caldera of Metropolis Community Development Corp. wants to turn the empty parking lot, next to the Duval Co. Courthouse, into a mobile arts and cultural center. He told me the art project would be called, "La Rue Des Arts" which means "The Street of Arts." @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/ewmfzegKj5— Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) August 24, 2018
Caldera sent his proposal to the Downtown Investment Authority just last week.
Inside, Caldera explained how the location would serve as a place for artistic and educational events, including: seminars, expositions, lectures and live performance.
One woman told Action News Jax if this idea is approved, she'd come every weekend!
“We need something that's going to be a centerpiece to bring people here. We want people to come to Jacksonville, we want people to love and enjoy Duuuval!" Hailee Bouchey exclaimed.
When I say mobile arts and cultural center, think something like The Wynwood District in Miami-Dade County. Here's a rendering shared with me by the @JaxDailyRecord @ActionNewsJax --It would include space for art of course, microtheaters--and of course room for food! pic.twitter.com/L3WnKT618d— Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) August 24, 2018
Darsey Mayer said she thinks it would help to make Downtown more inviting to people from all walks of life.
"I think it's a good way to educate people, too! I think it's a good way to open them and like culture them."
If the proposal is approved, it would cost about $120,000.
This price tag would cover design, construction for the entire project and would be covered by Caldera and several other art institutions and schools throughout the state.
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