Jacksonville has continued to add to its development boom over the past year, with major projects announced, commenced, and completed throughout 2018.
As the year comes to a close, it’s a perfect time to take a look at some of the biggest trends in Jacksonville development during 2018, as well as what it means heading into next year.
DOWNTOWN GROWTH CONTINUES
There continues to be a large number of pending projects in downtown Jax, and the list of projects only got longer in 2018.
The hot new trend this year was hotels. The historic Ambassador Hotel building is set to be restored and converted into a LaQuinta Inn in 2019. The abandoned Berkman Plaza II property will become a resort-style hotel that will also feature an arcade and amusement center. The building at 100 Bay Street is being converted into a Hotel Indigo. A new Hyatt Place will be built across from The Jacksonville Landing. Marriott’s Residence Inn is planned next to Unity Plaza in Brooklyn.
And in the more distant future, Marriott will also add an AC Hotel along the Southbank and a Courtyard within part of the Laura Street Trio.
Speaking of the Laura Street Trio, work on the adjacent Barnett Bank building, which has served as phase one for the larger Trio redevelopment project, is well underway and should be completed in the first half of 2019. The building will feature apartment units, office space, a small satellite campus for University of North Florida, a Chase Bank branch location, and a new location for Murray Hill’s popular Vagabond Coffee.
Expect several of these proposed projects to finally begin construction, and even be completed, during 2019.
LOW-INCOME HOUSING BECOMING PRIORITY
Developers are finally showing interest in Jacksonville’s shortage of reasonable low-income housing.
The LaVilla area, in particular, is gaining hundreds of affordable housing units through three separate projects from development company Vestcor. Lofts at LaVilla and Lofts at Monroe opened this year, and Lofts at Jefferson Station will open by the end of 2019.
Ability Housing recently broke ground on Village at Hyde Park, an 80-unit affordable housing project on the Westside.
The long-troubled Eureka Gardens complex changed owners and just kicked off a renovation project valued at over $20 million. It was purchased by Millennia Housing Management, who also purchased the Southside Apartments, Moncrief Village, and Washington Heights apartment buildings. All of the buildings will be renamed and remodeled.
Hopefully the low-income development trend will continue into 2019 and spread into other neighborhoods that need it.
TOWN CENTER AREA KEEPS EXPANDING
In 2017, the Town Center area expanded rapidly with the additions of The Strand, The Crossing, and Town Center Promenade.
This year, the growth continued, as work progressed on projects like the 100+-acre Southside Quarter, Gateway Village at Town Center, and more.
New businesses added this year around the Town Center included Keke’s Breakfast Café, Mission BBQ, True Food Kitchen and several others.
Exciting announcements such as future new-to-Jax tenants like Sprouts Farmers Market and Baer’s Furniture came this year.
And with the Skinner family planning to build out their last giant chunk of land at I-295 and Butler Boulevard, the development activity around the Town Center area will not be slowing down any time soon.