Developer unveils ambitious $1.1 billion plan to reshape downtown Jacksonville riverfront

SouthEast Development Group says Riverfront Jacksonville would comprise more than 755 new residential units and 208 hotel rooms. (SouthEast Development Group)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville developer on Tuesday laid out a plan to redevelop a large swath of the Northbank in a project expected to cost at least $1.1 billion.

The redevelopment of 25 acres of mostly city-owned property along the St. Johns River, dubbed “Riverfront Jacksonville,” would include the former home of The Jacksonville Landing.

Jacksonville developer Steve Atkins said he will look to the city to pay for $536 million in a public-private partnership to build 1.8 million square feet of space from the former Jacksonville Landing to the former Duval County Courthouse and old City Hall site, rebranded in 2020 as The Ford on Bay.

An additional $559 million in private investment will support the development of 10 new hotel, multifamily, residential condominium, commercial office, retail and entertainment buildings, according to the group.

“For the first time in modern history, more than 20 acres of land are available for redevelopment along the most critical area of Jacksonville’s Downtown Northbank,” said Atkins, Principal of SouthEast Development Group, in a news release. “Piecemeal plans have been considered for various parcels, but none reflect the full scope of what is possible. Our goal in presenting this vision for the Riverfront Jacksonville is to change the tide of Downtown development and create a community-driven destination that meets the needs of our residents, attracts additional economic investment and creates a world-class development front and center in Jacksonville.”

A local developer now has an ambitious one-point-one billion dollar master plan to revitalize downtown, called The Riverfront Jacksonville, and it includes an entertainment center and a food hall.

The developer said the project would be made up of more than 755 new residential units and 208 hotel rooms.

Atkins has been involved in other downtown projects like The Barnett building and the Laura Street Trio.

“DIA has a process to see exactly what it wants to do with Riverfront Plaza, the former site of The Landing,” Jordan Elsbury, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff said Wednesday. “The mayor’s proposed aggressive public access point and an activated Riverwalk, which seems to be contemplated in this developer’s, vision is also the vision of the DIA.”

Later this month, the city will select a design team to look at the former Landing site and make it a public space. Adkins is not among that group, but his plans could be incorporated into it down the line.

An in-depth look at a developer's vision for downtown Jacksonville.
Renderings of proposed “Riverfront Jacksonville” project. (SouthEast Development Group)
Renderings of proposed “Riverfront Jacksonville” project. (SouthEast Development Group)
The marina would comprise a two-level restaurant, retail and entertainment plaza. (SouthEast Development Group)

About the Authors:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.