Relief in sight for northwest Jacksonville families struggling to find fresh food, jobs

Breaking ground on new opportunity for Moncrief Marketplace

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Friday, the Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation broke ground on a project that could bring relief to families struggling to find fresh food and jobs.

Lillian Smith has lived in Northwest Jacksonville since 1975.

She told Action News Jax, “When I was coming up, you had a lot of grocery stores; you had a lot of things to do.”

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She said, now, activities and stores are scarce.

“So many stores are going out of business around the area, so, you don’t have a place to shop – fresh fruit, none,” Smith said.

At Friday’s groundbreaking, work was already underway at North Point Town Center’s open air market.

The construction is on Moncrief Road, across from the plaza. It’s all part of the corporation’s $7 million redevelopment effort.

Paul Tutwiler, CEO of Northwest Jacksonville CDC said, “ Our overall goal is to have about 23,000 square feet that will hold, among other things – we’re working on that neighborhood grocery store – among other small businesses.”

More than 40 businesses will be able to set up shop when the project is done.

Smith said she hopes it’s the start of an overhaul that brings the area back to its former glory.

“I think we can do things, I think we can do great things,” she said.

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