JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new development is going up in LaVilla. A groundbreaking ceremony happened Tuesday for Johnson Commons, with 91 new townhomes.
LaVilla is a community with a rich history, remembered as the Harlem of the South in the early 1900s. As decades passed the community declined and was leveled in the 1990s.
Now, it’s being rebuilt. With architectural design reflective of homes that once stood in LaVilla, Johnson Commons will emerge with a collaboration between JWB, Corner Lot and OPUS Construction.
“It’s been two to three years in the making and we are so grateful to be at this moment,” George Leone with the Corner Lot Development Group said.
The Johnson Commons will be neighbor to Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s new regional center and beside it, the Lift Every Voice and Sing Park in honor of James Weldon Johnson.
Corner Lot is giving $100,000 for the park’s development. “Lift Every Voice and Sing park will be a destination park that will attract visitors from near and far,” Darryl Joseph, Director of Parks Jacksonville, said. A mound of dirt will be transformed into a greenspace that will provide elevated views on the performance stage. It will be completed in 2023.
The townhomes at Johnson Commons will cost in the mid-to-high $300,000, and includes about 1800 square feet, a pool and private parking. The 91 units are three story townhomes. The overall cost of the project is $18-$30 million.
Steve Kelly is the director of Downtown Real Estate and Development with the Downtown Investment Authority.
“In the not-too-distant future, I am going to drive down one of these streets and these units are going to be here,” Kelly said. “This is going to be a game changer for one of the most historic areas of our downtown and we couldn’t be more proud.”
The development will also directly connect to the Emerald Trail. The townhomes are expected to be complete and ready for move-in summer of 2023.