Proposed 410-unit project on former River City Brewing Company site moves forward with approval
The City of Jacksonville Downtown Development Review Board (DDRB) meet this week and approved moving forward with several development proposals around downtown Jacksonville, including a proposed wine bar in Brooklyn, a parking garage expansion near the TIAA Bank Building and a revamped mixed-use project at the former home of River City Brewing Company.
Kirby Smart complains about Jacksonville location of Florida-Georgia game — again
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has been grumbling about the Florida-Georgia game being held in Jacksonville for years, and during Southeastern Conference Media Days this week, he renewed his calls for the annual rivalry game to be played on the universities’ campuses instead.
Jacksonville Jazz Festival: What you need to know
The Jacksonville Jazz Fest is back for yet another star-studded event sure to draw countless visitors with events spreading out over several days through downtown. City leaders have outlined what you need to know as you plan your day. That includes navigating the traffic.
Owners of embattled COVID-19 testing company under microscope for lavish lifestyle
The owners of a company operating hundreds of pop-up COVID-19 testing sites across the country, including one in Jacksonville, have been the subject of several investigations by major media outlets over how they’re spending their money.
Another spectacular December Saturday
Last Saturday, the afternoon high temperature reached 83° tying the previous record. Today, Saturday, we once again will be rapidly warming into the 80s with a decent shot of tying (again) the old record of 83°. Interestingly, that old record was just a few years ago, 2016. That was the same year Hurricane Matthew raced, just off the beaches, up the Coast.
Commentary: Jaguars learning lessons when it comes to development pitches
This one felt better.At least, that was my feeling after hearing the Jaguars most recent development pitch, a plan that includes a Four Seasons Hotel and Residence, upgraded marina, an office building, and an improved sports performance center.
City crews clear homeless camp from Downtown Jacksonville property
Within hours of city crews arriving with a truck that scooped claw-fulls of items into a dumpster bed, hundreds of remaining tents had dwindled to just over a dozen in a makeshift homeless camp in Downtown Jacksonville. Daryus Sando, who called the tent city home for two months, said seeing the city crews made the deadline suddenly very real. The shelter was 0.3 miles from the “tent city” area, about a 6-minute walk. Ashley Street shelter for those who were living in tent city. Paul Stasi with CRM described the shelter like a temporary disaster shelter the city would set up for a situation like a hurricane.
Creating buzz: Electric scooters, bikes rev up in Downtown Jacksonville
The City of Jacksonville officially launched a one-year pilot program for e-scooters, e-bicycles and dockless bicycles in Downtown Jacksonville on Thursday. Locals and visitors can rent and ride these electric scooters via smartphone applications. “I’m so excited that Micromobility has come to Downtown Jacksonville,” Cumber said. Dockless Mobility Program Vendors include: Blue Duck, Helbiz, LINK and SPIN. Each company will deploy 100 electric scooters for a total of 400, all operating within the Dockless Mobility Zone (DMZ).
City approved 2 new designs for downtown developments
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This week the Downtown Development Review Board approved the historic Laura Street Trio project, according to News4Jax partners at the Jax Daily Record. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.) (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.) The city also approved plans for a concert venue attached to a rooftop bar on Bay Street, also known as Project 323. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)
Firefighters battle massive blaze in downtown Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Fire and Rescue crews battled a massive fire at an abandoned funeral home Downtown that took a little over an hour to get under control and involved the collapse of the roof and second floor, fire officials said. Flames could be seen pouring from the building at Main and Union streets as firefighters battled to douse the fire with several ladder trucks from above. Eventually, more than 45 apparatus and over 110 firefighters were on scene to battle the blaze, which they were able to get under control in a little over an hour. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted video of the firefighters, asking for prayers as they battled the dangerous blaze. Riska said State, Union and Laura streets downtown were all closed as firefighters battled the flames, but that they would reopen as crews were released from the scene.
Mayor Curry, Shad Khan unveil long-awaited plans for Lot J
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Standing on the Jacksonville Jaguars indoor practice field Monday, Jaguars owner Shad Khan and Mayor Lenny Curry announced new plans for the development at Lot J, a project that has been years in the making. The total direct public investment from the city will be over $152 million which includes $77.7 million for city-owned infrastructure, Curry said. “This project will provide an immediate boost to our economy with the creation of 2,300 construction jobs,” Curry said. “We have a lot of other priorities in the city and they are going to cost some money so I don’t want to pit Lot J against those other needs. Rendering of Lot J development (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)
Fire Marshal investigating Downtown house fire
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department responded to house fire in the Downtown area around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Responding crew members could see the flames burning from outside the home. Within minutes, the department said that the fire was under control. After an initial search of the home, JFRD said there was no one inside. The State Fire Marshal has been called to lead an investigation into the late night house fire.
COVID-19 test sites at Jacksonville churches suddenly shut down
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. There will be no COVID-19 testing at three Jacksonville churches on Saturday, even though it had been planned for weeks. News4Jax found out Friday night the scheduled coronavirus testing has been canceled at The Bethel Church and Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church downtown, and at Citadel Church in Arlington. Bishop Rudolph McKissick from The Bethel Church said it was a complete surprise and it strikes a nerve. I guess that would have to come from the department the State Department of Health, and the Chamber of Commerce.Duval County has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. In Jacksonville, an additional 744 COVID-19 cases were reported Friday, just 23 cases behind Duval Countys single-day record of 767 cases, reported July 2.
Some Jacksonville hotels sold out for week of Republican National Convention
Jacksonville is the front-runner to host some or all of the Republican National Convention, a committee chairwoman said Wednesday. St. Johns has about 6,300 hotel rooms countywide. Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney has insight from helping organize the Super Bowl in 2005 when a surplus of visitors came to the city. “Super Bowl is 100-120,000 people, and the convention maybe half of that, so there should be enough hotel rooms, again, depending on what kind of outpouring comes out,” Delaney said. Ron DeSantis has previously said that Orlando and Miami could be ideal locations because of the number of hotel rooms.
Charter Revision Commission recommends creating Urban Core Development Authority
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Charter Revision Commission for Jacksonville released a final report on FridayThe CRC has worked since last July putting together recommendations for changes to the city’s charter. At the top of the list for potential changes would be creating the Urban Core Development Authority. The idea addresses complaints that certain parts of Duval County have been left behind in the 50 years since consolidation. There were three sections on elections or voting and under “miscellaneous," the Commission weighed in on JEA, Duval County schools and the Office of General Counsel. Members of the CRC have committed to speaking with members of the Mayor’s office and City Council to address their concerns.
Woman struck by car while crossing downtown Jacksonville street
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman was injured Monday night after she was struck by a car while crossing a street in downtown Jacksonville. According to the Jacksonville Sheirff’s Office, the unidentified woman was crossing north on West Union Street just after 9 p.m. when she was hit by a vehicle heading east. She was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. JSO said she was not in the crosswalk and the driver is cooperating with authorities. The road was closed between Laura and Julia streets while JSO Traffic Homicide investigated.
New York-based developer recommended for Jacksonville riverfront site
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville is one step closer to having new homes and businesses along the St. Johns River downtown. Two developers have been bidding to develop East Bay Street, where the old courthouse and City Hall annex once stood. The first bidder, Spandrel Development Partners, specializes in developing “mixed-use, multi-family, hospitality and retail projects in target cities of growth," according to its website. On Monday, members of the Downtown Investment Authority committee for development recommended that Spandrel Development Partners be given the bid for the property. If the full board agrees to have Spandrel Development Partners develop the riverfront site then the group and DIA will agree on the terms of the project.
2 companies bid for chance to develop city’s riverfront property
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just a year ago, the old City Hall was imploded and the old Duval County Courthouse was demolished. Today, all that’s left on the Bay Street site is a field of green grass. The bidding was opened at 2 p.m for the opportunity to build on the prime property on the downtown Jacksonville riverfront, but only two developers expressed interest — one company out of New York and another based in Miami. Mayor Lenny Curry, who has become known for tearing buildings down in downtown Jacksonville, spoke about the proposals Wednesday. We obviously want to develop the area but we know we have investors with capital that is liquid that are ready to go,” Curry said.
Only one building left standing at Jacksonville Landing
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s now just one large structure left at the Jacksonville Landing as demolition crews keep taking down the iconic riverfront mall. The one large building left is the one closest to the Main Street Bridge, which housed Koja Sushi and other restaurants. The building like it on the other side, which housed Hooters and The American Grill, is now gone, reduced to rubble. “Something we could come down here every day, like The Landing used to be,” Rogers said. Some of the outer walls facing Independent Drive are still standing as well.
Farah & Farah pledges $10,000 donation match for family of 3 with cancer. Here’s how you can help
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville family is heading into the holiday season with three members fighting three different kinds of cancer. The Desclefs family owns and operates a French-American restaurant called the Magnificat Cafe across from Hemming Plaza in downtown Jacksonville. Farah and Farah, a personal injury law firm in Jacksonville, heard about the family and is stepping up to help. Farah and Farah is pledging $10,000 as a donation match for all sales at the restaurant from Dec. 9 through Dec. 13 to benefit the Desclefs. Click here to donate to The Desclefs Family Cancer FundFarah and Farah is asking the community to drop by and grab a bite to eat at the Magnificat Cafe next week (Monday - Friday).
More repair delays 5 years after Liberty Street collapse
It’s been almost five years since a portion of Liberty Street near the old courthouse collapsed into the St. Johns River. A City report says planned repairs won’t be done until April 2020. On Feb. 1, 2015, the second collapse of Liberty Street occurred. Instead of fixing that portion of Liberty Street, it has been demolished along with the parking that was adjacent to the Old Duval County courthouse. Also since the collapse, the old courthouse and City Hall have been leveled.
TRAFFIC UPDATE: Mathews Bridge reopens after suspicious item found
The Mathews Bridge reopened Tuesday afternoon just before 3 p.m. after it had been closed down in both directions while police investigated a suspicious item. The package was found to be "nothing of concern," Jacksonville police said. Traffic into and out of Downtown was briefly rerouted over the Hart Bridge. "Thank you for your patience as we make safety a priority for everyone," the Sheriff's Office posted in a Tweet. Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.
70% of teens shot in 2 years in Duval County were black males
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Of the more than 100 teens and children shot in Jacksonville in the last two years, 75 were black males, according to data from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The data showed that no juveniles had been shot in the Downtown ZIP code (32202) from the beginning of 2015 through September 2016. In Duval County, 106 juveniles -- under 18 years old -- were shot in less than two years: from January 2015 to September 2016. The I-TEAM created a color-coded interactive ZIP code map that shows the most dangerous zones around the city. To see how many people were shot in your ZIP code, check out the map below.