Signs of change: VyStar logo takes over Downtown tower

Change 1 of many for Jacksonville's quickly evolving Downtown

The sign at the top of the old SunTrust building now reads, "VyStar."

Downtown Jacksonville’s skyline looks a bit different now that the sign at the top of what was the SunTrust building reads VyStar.

Workers began putting the new signs up Thursday. The west side of the building should have the new name within two weeks.

Vystar has moved half of its workers to the Downtown office. The others still in the Blanding Boulevard building will come in by the end of the year.

SunTrust, which was formerly using that building, is moving into the Bank of America Tower.
That's just one of many changes to the Downtown area.

From the Old City Hall being imploded and the courthouse demolished to the new signs at the top of high-rises and the future demolition of The Jacksonville Landing, Downtown Jacksonville is changing rapidly.

Jasmine Bowman, who has lived in downtown her whole life, said she's glad changes are being made and hopes they make a difference in how Downtown is perceived.

“Seeing everything move is different but the change will be good. We need change in the city,” Bowman said. “Right now, no one wants to come. It's a dead zone. They think there is nothing. It's a ghost town, but if we put another attraction in the place of the Landing, it will be better.”

Another lifelong resident, Brandon Felber, is also hopeful about the changes.

“You go to cities like Charlotte and Charleston (and) Nashville and you can walk around downtown. There is a nightlife, things to do, but if you do that here, you're going to run into homeless. There's really nothing here past 6, 7 p.m. Businesses close their doors,” Felber said. “Overall, the way I feel about the changes is optimistic, excited, because I love this city, and it kind of hurts to see Downtown not be as awesome as it could be. It doesn't live up to its potential. It could be so spectacular if it could be as awesome as other cities.”

As far as the other big change coming, prep work for the demolition of The Landing starts within the next two weeks.

Fencing will start to go up around the area on Aug. 5.

Currently, there is not an exact timeline for when demolition will officially start. It will take several months to complete.

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Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.