A taste of what downtown Jacksonville could be in the next decade

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A large group of local business and city leaders have been in Tampa this week.

Aundra Wallace, President of JAXUSA Partnership explains, “We got to maintain the pace and we got to pick up the pace to remain competitive.”

For the last decade Tampa focused heavily on creating a downtown where people wanted to live, work and play. A group of 30 Jacksonville business leaders are in Tampa learning how to do the same at home.”From where the landing is all the way up to the sports complex we really have to focus our efforts on getting that developed.

That’s really what they’ve done here and they’ve stuck to it.” Wallace says

Jacksonville has a lot of similarities to Tampa.

Both are port cities and have a river running right through the heart of downtown.”We can no longer be passive, we have to be aggressive we have to get this done,” exclaims Wallace.

He and others would love to see development like the Riverwalk take place in Jacksonville as well as places built up by the Jags.

Plus a destination like the Armature Works that’s in the heart of downtown Tampa.

And he believes this time it will get done thanks to the momentum already taking place.

”People look for big home run real estate transactions and we don’t often celebrate the smaller transactions that are going on. In the sports complex you have the Doro building, we’ve got our Barnett building done…we are talking about the Ambassador building being done. We have plans for the old Federal Reserve building next to our City Hall being done.” Wallace says one of the biggest takeaways –we need to figure out how to integrate sports and entertainment into the growth of our downtown like we’ve seen Tampa do in the last decade.