Seven story parking garage and retail space coming to Downtown Jacksonville

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — A new $22 million parking garage and retail space broke ground on Wednesday in Downtown Jacksonville.

The seven story building will be lined by Forsyth St W and Laura St. N.

“Everyone’s been at home this past year,” Brian Wolfburg, Vystar Credit Union CEO, said. “As we open back up as a community, there’s a lot that has gone on in Downtown Jacksonville.”

STORY: DCPS has two reported COVID cases, FL Dept. of Health explains quarantine protocol

Now, Wolfburg and his company are hoping to be a part of that.

The million dollar project is being paid for by Vystar Credit Union to bring parking and business space for their growing company. However, it will benefit the community and neighboring businesses as well.

“I’ve been waiting for the construction forever, and we’re just so excited,” Jennifer Morrissey said. She’s the owner of ‘Mustard and Onion’s’ hotdog stand. “The construction workers—feeding them, you know, build up my business. Especially after COVID, everything’s been really slow.”

Jennifer Morrissey and her son S.P. came out to the groundbreaking on Wednesday. Their food truck has been serving downtown for 12 years.

“A lot has changed around downtown,” S.P. Morrissey said. “Lot more people. People come and go. There’s never-ending change. It’s gonna be good change though.”

The construction project will replace two parking lots that currently take up the area. Action News Jax reporter, Meghan Moriarty, was told that anyone who parks there now will be given a spot to park during construction and post-construction too.

It’s expected to take 12 months to build. There will be 807 parking spots--mostly for Vystar employees-- up to 250 spots will be for the public. Moriarty asked about cost, but the Vystar CEO did not have that number just yet.

STORY: Jacksonville woman wins $1M lottery ticket, plans to return to work

There will also be about 12,000 sq. feet below the garage for retail space.

“Restaurants, child care, pet services -- stuff like that,” Brian Wolfburg, President and CEO of Vystar, said. 80% of the contractors working on this project will be brought in from Jacksonville-based companies.

We reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment on the new construction.

“I am excited to see new retail space and parking capacity coming to Downtown Jacksonville,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “This project will activate an important corridor that connects Laura and Main streets, bringing even more vibrancy and activity to our urban core. I am grateful to VyStar Credit Union for their continued investments in Jacksonville and our downtown growth.”