Downtown Investment Authority wants to redevelop 8 acres of prime real estate

City looking for proposals for 'The Ford on Bay'

City looking for proposals for 'The Ford on Bay'.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – There are plans to redevelop some prime real estate in Downtown Jacksonville.

The waterfront land where the old courthouse and City Hall once stood measures eight acres. The Downtown Investment Authority wants developers to put their best foot forward in making proposals for what’s known as the Courthouse Annex property.

The executive summary calls it “a rare and unique mixed-use development opportunity.” It labels the land The Ford on Bay.

There are two parcels broken into three areas. The third area is on the water and labeled a potential marina redevelopment. Proposals can combine any or all of the three areas, but not area three by itself.

The development vision has five key design goals:

  • Accomplish heightened residential density throughout the site
  • Create a waterfront focus by incorporating a marina, extended riverwalk
  • Integrate retrial along Bay Street as well as the St. Johns River
  • Explore complimentary uses like office and hospitality
  • Embrace the history of the location…

The site plan included shows various angles and the promise that whatever develops here “will forever be a part of the downtown skyline of the city.”

There’s an historical connection to the name The Ford on Bay. It’s where former river crossings allowed travelers and Native Americans to pass from the northbank to the southbank.

The DIA points out there are $1 billion dollars in projects under construction and $3.5 billion dollars in proposed projects.

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.