Developers Peter Rummell and Mike Balanky’s long-rumored Southbank development, previously referred to as “Healthy Town”, now has its official name: “The District — Life Well Lived — Jacksonville”, or just “The District” for short.
The name was chosen as the winner among many potential options vetted through polling and focus groups. Notably, a development by the name of The District already exists in Jacksonville in the form of UNF student apartments off of Kernan Boulevard; that complex is, of course, significantly smaller than the planned development at Southbank.
The development, located just past WJXT’s studios along the St. Johns River, will include apartments, condominiums, office space, and retail and intends to revitalize Southbank with its health-centric community.
The plans for the project were designed by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, whose projects also include downtown Miami’s Worldcenter development.
The District describes itself as geared toward “Generation H” — people of all ages who have a particular affinity for healthy living. As their website puts it, the developers wish to create “a place where people can get the most out of life, mind, body and soul.”
It is clear that the community’s first and foremost priority is contributing to the healthy lifestyle of its residents. The project was designed with a focus on encouraging walking among its residents, creating “built-in exercise”, and will also provide a number of health services for them as well. Renderings for the project also show bike paths and sand volleyball courts, located in what the project’s website refers to as “Base Camp”.
“Base Camp” will be located in the center of the development and will also act as the central location for most of the health-related services and activities. Fitness classes and personal health counseling will be among the services offered within the community.
It will be interesting to see how this project works out. It’s a concept that has been attempted, with varying levels of success, in many cities throughout the country. It remains to be seen how receptive Jacksonville residents will be to the development, but given the First Coast’s strong biking and running culture it would certainly not be unfathomable for such a project to thrive.
The project is expected to take around two years to be constructed.