Riverfront 2025: City officials discuss plans for evolution of downtown Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 100 projects are planned to transform Jacksonville’s downtown, including the highly anticipated Shipyard West and the Riverfront Plaza developments.

Plans for these projects were discussed at an event Wednesday night at the Jacksonville Main Public Library Multipurpose Room called Riverfront 2025: A Look Ahead.

Officials from the City of Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority, Parks and Recreation Department, Build Up Downtown, Riverfront Parks Now and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund updated residents on downtown Riverfront parks, as well as the private developments on the north and south banks.

There was a chance for people to discuss the plans with the public and private developers, focusing on the future of places like Riverfront Plaza, Shipyards West, RiversEdge and Artist Walk, along with information about other developments planned along the St. Johns River.

Laura Phillips, who is the Director of Development for Build Up Downtown, says transparency is important during this redevelopment process.

“Really it’s to help give information right and also to listen to the community about what they want,” Phillips said.

She says it’s important for people to understand how developments along St. Johns River near downtown will benefit the community.

“One of the things when building up a downtown core that will bring, jobs, that will bring workforce training, it will bring affordable workforce housing, it will bring community spaces that is accessible to anyone and everyone,” she said.

By 2025, they say the city will look completely different.

“Let’s just say you go away for a year or two and you come back in 2025 you will literally be awestruck in all the change on our riverfront and downtown in general,” Phillips said.

About the Authors:

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.