5 year plan: Investment Authority peeks into future of Downtown Jacksonville

Photo taken during DIA meeting.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After speaking Wednesday evening with a group of millennials, Jacksonville City Council members are onboard with the Downtown Investment Authority’s proposal to finally bring new parks to the area.

A sprawling walkway and landscaping along the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville that will include an interactive element and children’s musical play area. And by night -- livestream projections on the CSX building with lawn seating.

All of these images were on display by Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority, seeking input from the public about its five year plan to reinvent the Riverwalk area.

With a full room of curious downtown residents and visitors, Yanella Parra is among those excited to finally see redevelopment.

“I just read that there’s 23 buildings that are either being remodeled or built from the ground up in the downtown area,” Parra said.

The area being discussed -- from Metro Park across from TIAA Bank Field, to the shipyards property across from the Duval County jail, to the old Jacksonville Landing site, which is now Riverfront Park.

Hearing from a group of millennials Tuesday night is what got city council members on board with the proposal.

“When people see women, people see children using a space they feel that it’s safer and then guess what? More people come, and that’s why I think parks are such an important part of this,” said Stephanie Garry Garfunkel.

They’re changes Parra has been waiting a long time to see.

“I ride my bicycle around, so I’m very excited by the trails,” Parra said.

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.