Jacksonville, FL Begins Search to Redevelop LaVilla Property

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Brown Administration wants land to assist Downtown revitalization efforts 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 25, 2013 – The search has officially begun for an economic development plan to revitalize, and potentially return to the tax rolls, a long-unused three-acre site of city-owned property in Downtown’s LaVilla neighborhood.

On Friday, the city issued a request for proposals (RFP) at the unanimous recommendation of Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority (DIA), which wants to explore options for commercial development at the site. Located along a well-traveled area on the 800 block of West Union Street, the property presents an opportunity for business growth and could become part of a more attractive entryway for Downtown visitors. Currently, a 6,000-square-foot structure stands vacant at the site.

“My goal is to put this property to good economic use that will help us revitalize Downtown,” said Mayor Alvin Brown.  “I hope to work with the City Council and DIA to make this a project that keeps our Downtown momentum going.”

Commercial development of the LaVilla site would add to a number of major developments in recent months that are revitalizing the Downtown area:

  • The mayor worked with the Florida Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott and City Council to gain unanimous approval to move forward with economic restructuring that paved the way for the new DIA.
  • EverBank relocated 1,500 employees to the former AT&T Tower (now renamed EverBank Center).
  • In December 2012, the mayor and City Council authorized nearly $10 million in incentives and $1.8 million in capital improvements to support up to $80 million in private investment to create 600 new homes along a stretch of Riverside Avenue in Downtown’s Brooklyn neighborhood.

Interested parties should submit their proposals by March 27, 2013; the RFP can be downloaded online. City Council will review and decide on any agreement for the property.