2020-2021 DOWNTOWN VISION
A Letter from Downtown Vision’s CHAIR & CEO
While not without its challenges, this past year was one of expansion and enrichment. With the blessing of City leadership, we expanded the size of our Business Improvement District boundary—for the first time in 20 years—to provide our services to more stakeholders in our growing Downtown. Our Ambassador program continues to grow with the addition of the new Lifebuilders Program aimed at fostering skills in those reentering the workforce, and we hosted new quarterly, collaborative cleanups to engage stakeholders to make a hands-on difference in Downtown. We redesigned livedtjax.com to serve as an even better interactive resource to reach new residents and we continue to monitor the return to Downtown following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic analyzing visitor patterns and providing research to a growing base of investors. Not only did we continue to hold most of our events, reimagined for safety, we also created a free, large-scale concert series to draw diverse audiences back Downtown. And, we continued to add new amenities to public spaces to make Downtown more beautiful and engaging. As Downtown grows, Downtown Vision seeks to provide value in all we do to our growing base of stakeholders. We invite you to learn more about our organization and our scope of work through our DTJax.com website or at one of our meetings or events. We look forward to seeing you around Downtown.
Numa Saisselin Board Chair President, Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Inc.
Jacob A. Gordon, Esq. CEO Downtown Vision, Inc.
Downtown On The Map THE HEART OF THE CITY CHURCH CATHEDRAL
SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
LAVILLA CENTRAL CORE
DOWNTOWN BOUNDARY (CRA) DISTRICT BOUNDARIES BID BOUNDARY (AS OF OCTOBER 2021)
875 Square Miles
Units Under Construction & in Review
in size, the consolidated city of Jacksonville is the largest by area in the contiguous U.S.
3.9 Square Miles
in size, Downtown sits on the St. Johns River centered in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida.
in size, the Business Improvement District has expanded to support Downtown’s growth
Visitors (FY 20-21)
Square Feet of Office Inventory
1.3 Square Miles
Cultural & Entertainment Venues Within One Mile of Downtown
in Projects Completed Since 2020
In Projects Under Construction
In Projects In Review
In Projects Proposed
About Downtown Vision
DTJAX’S BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID) Founded in 2000, Downtown Vision is the Business Improvement District (BID) for Downtown Jacksonville, a not-for-profit organization funded mainly by Downtown’s commercial property owners through a selfassessment. We’re governed by a large board of directors representing diverse Downtown stakeholders. We have a corporate structure with both a 501(c)6 non-profit business association and a 501(c)3 charitable organization, providing our members and supporters with a wide range of support and benefits.
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.
OUR STRATEGIC AREAS OF FOCUS
Ambassadors & Public Realm
Outreach & Connectivity
Content, PR & Promotion
Tracking & Reporting Data
Happenings & Fundraising
Activation & Beautification
EXPANDING OUR SERVICES AFTER 20 YEARS
Since Downtown Vision began in 2000, Downtown has grown and become more dense. With an infusion of investment and more people calling Downtown home—63% Increase in residents in the past 5 years—more support is needed over a larger area of Downtown. Over the last few years, DVI’s board of directors has evaluated the organization and geographic district to be better positioned to support Downtown. After months of outreach and public input, Jacksonville City Council approved an expansion of our Downtown District in June 2021. Growing from one half square mile to 1.3 square miles, this larger district will bring the BID’s robust services to growing areas, including expanded Downtown Ambassador clean and safe teams, homeless outreach, marketing and research, public space activation and improvements.
A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR DOWNTOWN
Downtown Vision is tightly aligned to the vision, mission and priorities of the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA). This enables private sector integration in the execution of the Community Revitalization Area (CRA) plans 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
DOWNTOWN INVESTMENT AUTHORITY
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Diverse Downtown Stakeholders
INTRODUCING FLORIDA DOWNTOWNS
DOWNTOWNS THROUGHOUT FLORIDA
An Association of Florida's Urban Districts
DOWNTOWN PROPERTY OWNERS
Tenants & Owners
We are affiliated with numerous groups at a local, regional and national levels to engage with community leaders and to ensure best practices are at the forefront of our efforts.
We helped co-found Florida Downtowns in 2019 to create an affiliation of urban placemanagement organizations like us throughout Florida. We’ve continued this meaningful collaboration to connect Florida’s place management professionals and to support the success and vitality of Florida’s Downtowns.
District Services 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 we partner with the City, Sheriff’s Office, property owners and others 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
New this year, the Life Builders Program in partnership with the City of Jacksonville and City Rescue Mission provides a career pathway for persons experiencing homelessness while increasing the impact of the Ambassadors. LifeBuilders participants are paired with Downtown Ambassadors and trained on responsibilities to improve the quality of life Downtown. This partnership helps connect homeless citizens with important community resources through peer-topeer contact. In our expanded district, we will greatly expand our team to better serve the new area, focus on the riverwalk and increase the presence near residential areas.
SOCIAL SERVICES OUTREACH
OF LITTER REMOVED
GRAFFITI TAGS REMOVED
Stakeholder Support INTERMEDIATING ON THE ISSUES
As the key support organization for Downtown’s private property owners, we keep connected to the needs of the Downtown community, represent and advocate for our stakeholders, and keep them informed on issues.
Our Quarterly Stakeholder Meetings serve to inform and exchange ideas.
Our regular meetings with property managers, security personnel and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office address safety and quality-of-life issues.
Our Quarterly Clean-ups in partnership with the Downtown Investment Authority, Downtown Dwellers and 904 Happy Hour engage residents and stakeholders in different Downtown neighborhoods.
Marketing PROMOTING THE HEART OF OUR CITY
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.
Launched in September 2021, the reimagined website livedtjax.com is aimed at recruiting new residents with improved search features, virtual tours and direct email forms to connect users with leasing agents. The site now also serves as a welcome guide with helpful information to help residents settle into Downtown. This is the second targeted site in partnership with the Downtown Investment Authority, following investdtjax.com.
Research COLLECTING & VISUALIZING DATA
As the primary source for information on Downtown, we collect data and analyze trends on key indicators of Downtown’s vitality, including: investment, office market and residential growth. By benchmarking and issuing reports, we tell the story of Downtown’s revitalization. From the annual State of Downtown Report and stakeholder surveys to visitor tracking and projectspecific research for investors, our research serves to benchmark progress and support investor recruitment.
2020-2021 SURVEY RESULTS: DOWNTOWN RESIDENT & EMPLOYEE PERCEPTIONS
OF RESIDENTS LIKE/LOVE LIVING DOWNTOWN
DTJAX.COM PAGE VIEWS
INVESTDTJAX.COM PAGE VIEWS
LIVEDTJAX.COM PAGE VIEWS
SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS
EARNED MEDIA STORIES
IN E-GIFT CARDS DISTRIBUTED
WHAT THEY LOVE
WHAT THEY HATE
E-GIFT CARD VIDEO VIEWS
1. Feeling unsafe 2. Loitering/transient population 3. Lack of a walkable grocery store 4. Empty storefronts/not attractive 5. Panhandling
1. City living/atmosphere 2. Proximity to work 3. Walkability 4. Entertainment/events 5. River access
OF EMPLOYEES LIKE/LOVE WORKING DOWNTOWN
WHAT THEY LOVE
WHAT THEY HATE
1. Restaurants 2. Entertainment & Events 3. Walkability 4. Proximity to residence 5. Culture 1. Feeling unsafe 2. Loitering/transient population 3. Panhandling 4. Empty storefronts/not attractive 5. Businesses closed evenings/weekends
Events BRINGING PEOPLE DOWNTOWN
We showcase Downtown’s diverse attractions, amenities and offerings. Our events serve as economic drivers for businesses; create comfortable settings for people to explore Downtown—especially during COVID-19—and raise funds for special initiatives.
The 6th annual #DTJax Gala safely activated the Southbank Riverwalk and included free programming for the public during COVID-19.
Jax River Jams presented by VyStar Credit Union—a new, free, multigenre concert series with national acts & local openers—brought 27,000 people Downtown and activated the new Riverfront Plaza.
The event served as a model for riverfront activation and will be replicated with the free Third Thursday Sip & Stroll event beginning in November 2021.
Jax River Jams featured: Chase Rice • New Found Glory • Quad City DJ’s • Sugar Ray Firewater Tent Revival • Universal Green • LPT • Honey Hounds
The 6th Annual #DTJax Awards outdoor happy hour honored the people and projects making a difference in Downtown. DTJax.com/Awards
New holiday promotions in 2020 included QR Code Scavenger Hunts for Halloween, Small Business Saturday and the Holiday Season; storefront decor stipends; and the “Jack O’Landing” and Merry & Bright Movie Nights Presented by Live Oak Contracting.
First Wednesday Art Walk returns in October 2021 after a 18-month hiatus with a focus on re-engaging the arts community, supporting local businesses and showcasing the coolest spots in the Northbank core. DTJax.com/ArtWalk
Placemaking CREATING PLACES FOR PEOPLE
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:
CREATE WALKABLE CONNECTIVITY
ACTIVATE THE STREETSCAPE
ENHANCE PUBLIC SPACES
ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY
This year, at The Corkscrew, Downtown’s outdoor gym, we installed the first Eco-Counter pedestrian tracker to collect data on bike/ped use of the Northbank Riverwalk, in partnership with JTC Running and the City’s Parks Department. And, in partnership with the Downtown Dwellers resident group, we commissioned local artist David Nackashi to install a 600-foot mural on the pedestrian ramp – the longest mural in Duval County. We also partnered with the City’s Parks Department to beautify, activate and maintain Main Street Park – a highly visible public space along a major artery that had fallen into disrepair. Today, Ambassadors maintain a presence in the park, keeping it clean, deploying moveable seating and enforcing park rules.
INVESTING IN DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE
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 2020-2021, that approved budget was $1,699,338. 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:
CITY OF JACKSONVILLE
ALL OTHER SOURCES
CLEAN, SAFE & ATTRACTIVE
MARKETING, PROMOTIONS & SPECIAL PROJECTS
BUSINESS & STAKEHOLDER SUPPORT
MANAGEMENT & GENERAL
LEVERAGING RESOURCES FOR OUR DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY Supportive of the value we provide, many exempt properties voluntarily contribute funds towards their 1.1 mils assessment, including the City of Jacksonville, JEA, JAX Chamber, Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund. To fund new and additional events, programming and services in fiscal year 2020-2021, we secured numerous grants, sponsorships and fee-for-service contracts through targeted fundraising efforts.
$433,200 RAISED IN GRANTS
$570,300 RAISED IN SPONSORSHIPS
$141,700 RAISED IN FEE-F0R-SERVICES
In memory of Ambassador Richard Isacs 1962-2021
2020-2021 Board & Staff BOARD OF DIRECTORS Numa Saisselin, Chair
Kerri Stewart, Vice Chair
Florida Theatre Miller Electric
Oliver Barakat, Treasurer CBRE Group, Inc.
Asst. Chief Adam Pendley
William (Bill) R. Prescott
BDO USA, LLP
First Baptist Church
Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.
Jessie Ball duPont Fund
Immediate Past Chair, Downtown Resident
Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Iconic Real Estate
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Heritage Capital Group
The Connect Agency
JWB Real Estate
Lotus Commercial USA
VyStar Credit Union
Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne
Councilmember Joyce Morgan
Downtown Investment Authority Cushman & Wakefield of Florida
Jacksonville City Council
STAFF Jacob A. Gordon, Esq. Chief Executive Officer
Eric Miller, Esq.
Vice President of District Services
Director of Communications
Marketing & Events Assistant
Interns: Alexa Andino & Alexandra LaRocque
Vice President of Marketing
Director of Experience
DOWNTOWN AMBASSADORS Jason Hatley
Operations Manager, Retired August 2021
Lionel Roberts Team Lead
Troy Harris Supervisor
Former Property Maintenance Specialist
LifeBuilders Ambassador Program Lead
Special Projects & Business Outreach Specialist
Don Bui Mike Carpenter
Russell Hill Ron Jones Vincent Jordan Jaime Ceron Navarro David Thompson David Vazquez Jaquez Williams
Thank you SPONSORS AND GRANTORS
6 Ft. Away Gallery, ADG, Amkin Management, Balch & Bingham, Block by Block, Bold City Brewery, Boss of the Sauce, Carlton Construction, Cecil Powell, Connect Agency, Corner Lot Development, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Driver McAfee Hawthorne & Diebenow, Franklin Street, Gate Petroleum, Haskell, Iconic Real Estate Investments, Intuition Ale Works, James Weldon Johnson Park, Liberty Landscaping, Mugwump Productions, PETRA, PNC Bank, Riverplace Tower, RMC Property Group (Bank of America Tower), Sight & Sound Productions, State Farm - Matt CarluccI, Steve and Betsy Crosby, The Schultz Foundation and Wingard.
DOWNTOWN VISION, 214 NORTH HOGAN STREET #120, JACKSONVILLE, FL 32202 DTJAX | DTJAX.COM 12