The city’s Downtown Investment Authority agency has launched its new Downtown Preservation & Revitalization Program, which aims to facilitate adaptive reuse projects within downtown Jax through increased funding.
The new program, which was unanimously approved by city council, will apply to historic preservation projects that are seeking more than $100,000 in city funding. It will also oversee funding for code compliance projects on older, non-historic buildings.
The biggest change brought about by the new program is the removal of the $1 million maximum in city funding that had previously applied to historic preservation projects. The intent of this change, as explained in a DIA press release, is to “foster the preservation and revitalization of unoccupied, underutilized, and/or deteriorating historic, and qualified non-historic, buildings located in downtown Jacksonville.”
Under the previous program, known as the Downtown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund, projects were eligible for a maximum of $1 million regardless of their overall budget. The old program, established in 2002, will continue to serve projects seeking $100,000 or less in funding.
The new program does still set clear limits on what the city will contribute to any single project. However, the new limits are percentage-based rather than one limit applying to all projects.
To qualify for the Downtown Preservation & Revitalization Program, the project in question must be located within DIA boundaries and must be a local or national historic landmark – unless the application is for code compliance. Additional requirements include detailed financial records and return-on-investment minimums. The program will prioritize projects that will bring retail, residential, entertainment, or cultural activity to downtown Jacksonville, though it will also consider projects that include healthcare, financial services, or major employers.
All projects that utilize the new program will be subject to approval from DIA, the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee, and city council.
Click here to read through the specifics of the program.