DOWNTOWN VISION’S CHAIR & CEO
We would like to take a moment to thank our stakeholders, property owners, Board of Directors, Mayor Lenny Curry, Jacksonville City Council, the Downtown Investment Authority, community leaders, sponsors and partners, and our hard working staff for the ongoing engagement that enables our work to create and support a vibrant Downtown Jacksonville.
Today, the number of cranes in Downtown’s skyline only begins to hint at all of the development projects in the pipeline. Residents are moving Downtown as fast as new units become available. Visitor traffic is near pre-pandemic levels and new community amenities are funded and coming soon.
As Downtown grows, we work hard to respond to the changing needs of its stakeholders. This year we brought our services to the expanded Business Improvement District (BID) boundaries—nearly triple the previous size—and now support parts of Brooklyn, LaVilla and Cathedral Hill districts.
In FY 2021-2022, we nearly doubled the number of Ambassadors working to keep Downtown clean, safe and hospitable and expanded our fleet of equipment to get around the larger BID more efficiently. We engaged in more targeted outreach to stakeholders, implemented influencer campaigns to showcase Downtown and told the story of nearly $5 billion in investment happening right now. Our events, including the second annual Jax River Jams Presented by VyStar Credit Union and the new monthly Sip & Stroll Presented by PNC, brought more than 100,000 people Downtown. And, we launched the new PlacemakingJax program to empower the community to enhance public spaces.
We invite you to learn more about our organization and our scope of work at DTJax.com or at one of our meetings or events. We hope to see you soon in Downtown Jacksonville!
Numa Saisselin, Board Chair President, Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Inc.
Jacob A. Gordon, Esq., CEO Downtown Vision, Inc.
875 SQUARE MILES
The consolidated city of Jacksonville is the largest city by
3.9 SQUARE MILES
Composed of eight distinct districts, Downtown sits on the St. Johns River centered in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida.
1.3 SQUARE MILES
The Business Improvement District
Units Under Construction & In Review
Feet of Office Inventory
Office Space is in Downtown
Million Visitors (FY 21-22)
Under Construction & In Review
Million in Projects Completed (Since 2020)
Billion in Projects Under Construction
Billion in Projects In Review
Million in Projects Proposed
Billion in the Project Pipeline
DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE’S BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID) ABOUT DOWNTOWN VISION
Founded in 2000, Downtown Vision is the Business Improvement District (BID) for Downtown Jacksonville, a not-for-profit organization funded mainly by Downtown’s property owners through a self-assessment. We’re governed by a large board of directors representing diverse Downtown stakeholders. We have a corporate structure with both a 501(c)6 nonprofit business association and a 501(c)3 charitable organization, providing our members and supporters with a wide range of support and benefits.
In 2019, Downtown Vision—led by its board of directors—began to evaluate the organization and geographic district to better support Downtown’s growth and increasing density. After months of outreach and public input, in June 2021, Jacksonville City Council approved an expansion of our Downtown District from one-half square mile to 1.3 square miles – a 160% increase in service area. In FY 21-22, we began providing services to the new areas of the BID, while ensuring existing areas received the same robust level of services previously provided. Today, growing areas in parts of the LaVilla, Brooklyn and Cathedral Hill districts enjoy expanded Downtown Ambassador clean and safe teams, homelessness outreach, marketing and research, and public space activation.
Create and support a vibrant Downtown and promote Downtown as an exciting place to live, work, visit and invest.
A dynamic, 24-hour, pedestrian-friendly Downtown Jacksonville that serves as the premier center for the arts, dining, retail, entertainment, business and urban living in Northeast Florida.
A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR DOWNTOWN
Downtown Vision is tightly aligned to the vision, mission and priorities of the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA), the Community Redevelopment Agency and economic development arm of the City of Jacksonville for Downtown. This enables private sector integration in the execution of the Business Investment and Development Plan and benefits the property owners in the BID, the businesses that operate here and their employees and customers.
THE CITY OF JACKSONVILLE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Appointed by the Mayor’s Office & City Council
LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL AFFILIATIONS
DOWNTOWN INVESTMENT AUTHORITY
DOWNTOWN VISION BOARD OF DIRECTORS Diverse Downtown Stakeholders
DOWNTOWN PROPERTY OWNERS Tenants & Owners
KEEPING DOWNTOWN CLEAN & SAFE
The cornerstone of a great Downtown is a clean, safe and hospitable environment, which is why we focus on it seven days a week. We collaborate to address unsightly issues in the public realm and partner with the City, Sheriff’s Office, property owners and stakeholders to support economic growth and the live/work/visit experience.
Key in supporting our mission, Downtown Ambassadors work across five divisions to provide extra eyes and ears on the street, to clean sidewalks and mend building facades, to reach out to those in need and to activate shared spaces.
SAFETY & HOSPITALITY DIVISION
• CLEAN DIVISION
• SOCIAL SERVICES OUTREACH DIVISION
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE DIVISION
• PLACE MANAGEMENT DIVISION
This year, the Downtown Ambassador Program nearly doubled in size. We now deploy 32 full-time employees in the BID and added new, valuable vehicles and equipment to our fleet to better serve stakeholders in the larger BID boundaries with well-tested urban place-management services. In FY 21-22,the program provided 40 hours per week of dedicated staffing on the Skyway monorail system and supported 89 special events attracting visitors to support Downtown’s restaurants, retailers and cultural amenities.
CONNECTING ONE-ON-ONE STAKEHOLDER SUPPORT
As the key support organization for Downtown’s private property owners, we stay connected to the needs of the Downtown community, represent and advocate for our stakeholders, and keep them informed on issues.
Our Quarterly Stakeholder Meetings provide a platform to inform and exchange ideas. Topics covered in FY 21-22 include riverfront activation, investor relations, safety initiatives, placemaking, public art initiatives and residential construction. Monthly meetings with property managers, security personnel and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office maintain open lines of communication to address safety, security and quality-of-life issues. We also work one-on-one with our stakeholders to addresses every day issues, such as nuisance and blight reporting; and events and street closures.
We continue to hold regular clean-ups in partnership with the Downtown Investment Authority, Downtown Dwellers and 904 Happy Hour to engage residents and stakeholders in different districts around Downtown. Each clean-up resulted in an average of 35 bags of trash removed. This year, we assisted with outdoor music programming to animate the new VyStar Breezeway at lunchtime. And, we work with various organizations to theme the decorative “Lights on Laura” light-wrapped trees along Laura Street to match color schemes for holidays and commemorative dates.
DTJax.com Page Views (Up 41%)
InvestDTJax.com Page Views (Up 34%)
LiveDTJax.com Page Views (Up 6%)
We market Downtown under the #DTJax brand, including @DTJax and DTJax.com, as the unique epicenter for business, history, culture, education and entertainment for our region through content creation and curation.
We work closely with the Downtown Investment Authority to maintain InvestDTJax.com. Designed to recruit investors, the site highlights available incentives and provides a real estate map with available private and City-owned property. Together, we also recently relaunched LiveDTJax.com to recruit residents and provide a welcome guide with resources and information to help new residents settle into Downtown.
In 2022, we launched an influencer video partnership with @Cre8Jax to showcase small businesses and hidden gems, arts and entertainment amenities, and ways to get around Downtown. These videos feature diverse talent, showcase that Downtown is walkable and safe and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Additionally, our digital #DTJax e-Gift Card gift card can be redeemed at more than 30 Downtown locations, making it easy to keep local spending local.
@DTJax Social Media Followers
Across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Subscribers Receive the #DTJax Weekly Newsletter, Downtown Information & Safety Network emails and more
Since the 2020 Launch
VISUALIZING DATA RESEARCH
As the primary aggregator of information on Downtown, we analyze and benchmark trends on key indicators of Downtown’s vitality, including: development and investment, residential demand, office market and employment base, transportation expansions and tourism health. By issuing annual and customized reports, we tell the story of Downtown’s revitalization.
Using more than a dozen sources, we publish our annual State of Downtown Report, an 18-month look at the trends that showcase an unprecedented wealth of private and public development projects underway, residential growth, riverfront transformation, activation of historic properties and the creation of equitable public amenities. Our geofencing software allows us to track foot traffic, visitor patterns and trade area data, and to generate specialized reports for developers, investors and partners. Additionally, we survey Downtown residents, stakeholders and visitors on their usage and perceptions of Downtown each year.
We showcase Downtown’s diverse attractions, amenities and offerings through our events. They serve as economic drivers for businesses, create comfortable settings for people to explore Downtown and raise funds for special initiatives.
SIP & STROLL PRESENTED BY PNC
Launched in November 2021, this free, monthly event welcomed nearly 8,000 people Downtown in its first year. Event-goers enjoy live music, food vendors, bars and relaxing picnic areas programmed along the Southbank Riverwalk and a free Silent Disco After Party on the DoubleTree Hotel pool deck.
FIRST WEDNESDAY ART WALK
First launched in 2003, this beloved event returned in October 2021 after a 18-month COVID-19 hiatus. We focused on re-engaging the arts community, supporting local businesses, and partnering on three major art hubs: James Weldon Johnson Park, The Jessie (duPont Center) and The Breezeway at Vystar Tower. More than 65,000 people attended Art Walk in its first year back.
JAX RIVER JAMS PRESENTED BY VYSTAR CREDIT UNION
Returning for a second year to Riverfront Plaza Thursdays in April, this free, four-week, concert series is an inclusive celebration for Northeast Florida. Jax River Jams is curated to feature multiple genres and reflect the diversity of Jacksonville. By matching local openers with national acts, Jax River Jams showcases the rich talent of Jacksonville’s music scene.
In 2022, nearly 33,000 attended to enjoy live performances by: APRIL 7: SPIN DOCTORS, SISTER HAZEL, DIRTY BIRD & THE FLU
A PRIL 14: BOYZ II MEN, THE KATZ DOWNSTAIRZ, MR. AL PETE
A PRIL 21: CARLY PEARCE, JON STICKLEY TRIO, DEAN WINTER & THE HEAT
A PRIL 28: MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA, LUNAR VACATION & GLAZED
FUNDRAISERS & HOLIDAYS
Our 7th annual #DTJax Gala—the must-attend Downtown party of the year—welcomed more than 300 guests to celebrate Downtown and raise more than $100,000 for placemaking initiatives. The 7th Annual #DTJax Awards honored the people and projects making a difference in Downtown. (See page 15.) And, holiday promotions in 2021 included QR Code Scavenger Hunts for Halloween, Small Business Saturday and the Holiday Season; storefront decor stipends for businesses; and the family friendly Merry & Bright Movie Night Presented by Live Oak Contracting held on the riverfront.
CREATING PLACES BY AND FOR PEOPLE PLACEMAKING
Public space beautification, activation and management plays a fundamental role in creating exceptional experiences. We focus on improving the public realm experience in collaboration with community partners to create reasons for people to linger, explore and return Downtown.
OUR PLACEMAKING PRINCIPLES:
• ADVOCATE FOR WALKABILITY, BIKEABILITY AND VIBRANCY
• ACTIVATE THE STREETSCAPE WITH RESIDENT-LED PROGRAMMING
• ENHANCE PUBLIC SPACE VIA PRINCIPLES OF TACTICAL URBANISM
ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY TO MAKE PUBLIC SPACES MORE PUBLIC
This year, we’ve expanded our placemaking pillar by holding placemaking “office hours” at local businesses to create opportunities for community partners and industry professionals to mingle. We connected with Downtown and neighboring urban core organizations interested in placemaking, offered educational presentations and workshops, and implemented demonstration projects, such as public art installations and an alleyway transformation.
This work has culminated in the launch of the PlacemakingJax, a new initiative to bring creative placemaking to Jacksonville and Downtown. PlacemakingJax will provide technical support and programming funding to engage the community, to remove barriers and to transform underused public spaces into celebrated community places. We recently held an open call for placemaking projects and have convened a task force of specialists with industry knowledge, decades of working experience and deep community connections to qualify and guide the work.
Downtown Vision is funded mainly through a non-ad valorem special assessment of Downtown property owners in our Downtown district, paid via the Duval County Tax Collector, and through additional contributions from exempt property owners including the City of Jacksonville. These assessments and contributions fund a 501(c)6 organizational budget, which is approved by the Downtown Vision Board of Directors, the Downtown Investment Authority, the Mayor’s Office and adopted by Jacksonville City Council. For fiscal year 2021-2022, the approved budget was $2,514,177. Downtown Vision also utilizes a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit, Downtown Vision Alliance, for private fundraising efforts. The breakdown of our combined budget is below:
MANY THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS AND PARTNERS
Ameris Bank, Ash Properties, Auld & White Constructors, AVL, bestbet Jacksonville, Block By Block, Cecil W. Powell & Company, Connect Agency, Corner Lot Development, Driver McAfee Hawthorne & Diebenow, ELM - Ervin Lovett Miller, Franklin Street, Gate Petroleum, Gresham Smith, Haskell, Iconic Real Estate Investments, ICX Group, JWB Real Estate Capital, Kennetic Productions, Lee & Cates Glass, LS3P, Manifest Distilling, Memorial Hospital, Moody Williams Appraisal Group, Opus Construction, Perdue Office Interiors, PETRA, Police and Fire Pension Fund, Regency Centers, RMC Property Group, SeaCoast Bank, Sight and Sound Productions / Mugwomp, State Farm - Matt Carlucci, Steve Crosby, Sunbelt Rentals and Wingard
Photography by: Amanda Rosenblatt, Katherine Hardwick, Kram Kran Photo, Laken Chaney, Lexi Brantman, @Mkingstogram, Shane Heuer and Toni Smailagic / Cre8Jax.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
#DTJAX AWARD WINNERS