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New initiative to empower Jacksonville for residents, businesses

Brown: Renew Jax will improve quality of life

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A joint initiative to improve and empower neighborhoods for residents and businesses called Renew Jax was announced Monday. Mayor Alvin Brown and the City Council said new investments have been made for the program.

"Renew Jax is a major citywide initiative with public-private partnerships that will empower Jacksonville neighborhoods, improve quality of life and expand economic opportunities," said Brown. "LISC Jacksonville is a key partner, with a commitment to invest $20 million in our community to leverage federal and state funding secured by the city of Jacksonville. Starting with residential and infrastructure investments in Northwest and East Jacksonville, our goal is to renew Jacksonville one neighborhood at a time."

Brown said the city, state and federal investment will totally $15.5 million, including nearly $10 million in federal grant funding to remove blight, improve housing and support new sidewalks, drainage and water lines.

"The city of Jacksonville has been an important partner for LISC and our $20 million commitment allows us to invest in a mutual neighborhood economic and community development strategy aimed at reducing crime havens and neighborhood blight, thereby creating vibrant communities, healthier and safer neighborhoods, with new employment opportunities," said Janet Owens, the executive director of LISC Jacksonville. "Through Renew Jax, the city, LISC and our community development partners are moving forward on this agenda. Through our ongoing commitment and partnership, we will continue to tackle the challenges and help Jacksonville achieve her full potential."

The mayor has also recently reactivated the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund. Its board will begin leveraging new job opportunities and spark investment.

Renew Jax improvements begin in these areas:

Soutel Drive

  • Public-private partnership between LISC, the city, Wealth Watchers and other community development nonprofits
  • Scope includes developing and building a subdivision of ten new single-family homes
  • Investment totals $1.03 million in federal funding
  • This project is in Council Member Reggie Brown's district

Myrtle Ave. Corridor

  • Public-private partnership between the city and Northwest Jacksonville CDC
  • Scope includes various housing redevelopment strategies
  • Investment totals $3.2 million in state and federal funding
  • This project is in Council Member Denise Lee's district

Phelps St.

  • Public-private partnership between LISC, the city and Operation New Hope
  • Scope includes the acquisition and redevelopment of homes on the south side of Phelps St. between Palmetto and Spearing Streets
  • Investment totals $382,000 in federal funding
  • This project is in Council Member Dr. Johnny Gaffney's district

Payne Ave.

  • Public-private partnership between the City and Northwest Jacksonville CDC.
  • Scope includes the acquisition and redevelopment of a 28-unit multi-family property and five duplex units for affording housing.
  • Investment totals $1.6 million in federal funding
  • This project is in Council Member Denise Lee's district

Avenue B

  • Scope includes the construction of box culverts to improve driver and pedestrian safety along Avenue B and Zinnia Avenue from Edgewood Avenue to Moncrief Road
  • Investment totals $3.05 million, including $850,000 in federal funding and $2.2 million in Stormwater Utility funding
  • This project is in Council Member Reggie Brown's district

U.S. 1

  • Partnership between the City, the Florida Department of Transportation and Council Member Reggie Brown
  • Scope includes the design and construction of new water mains, which will connect to and extend water service to the currently un-served properties along U.S. 1. New sidewalks will be designed and constructed along the east side of U.S. 1 to improve pedestrian safety
  • Investment totals more than $1 million in federal funding and $100,000 in state grant funding
  • Robinson's addition neighborhood
  • Scope includes a preliminary engineering study to provide improved drainage in the neighborhood. Anticipated improvements would include improved storm drain systems, curbs and gutters and storm water retention/treatment ponds
  • Investment totals $250,000 in federal funding
  • This project is in Council Member Warren Jones' district

Newtown Neighborhood

  • Scope includes identifying pond sites large enough for the improvements outlined in a recent study, including storm drain systems, curbs and gutters and storm water detention/treatment ponds
  • Investment totals $3.5 million in Stormwater Utility funding
  • This project is in Council Member Warren Jones' district

Additional Infrastructure Projects

  • Scope includes infrastructure improvements for the Riverview, Grand Park, Paxon, North Riverside and Lackawanna areas
  • Investment totals $1.4 million in federal funding
  • These projects are in Council Member Warren Jones and Council Member Denise Lee's districts