Business Brief: Design Contest Underway To Raise Phoenix Arts District In Springfield

Jul 31, 2017

A set of vacant warehouses in Jacksonville’s Springfield neighborhood is being transformed into an arts school and walkable arts district.


Modern Cities co-founder Ennis Davis says a $10,000 prize is being offered for the most transformative design for what’s being proposed as the Jacksonville School for the Arts and Phoenix Arts District.

The plans include 100,000 square feet for the school, with classroom space and artist-in-residence studios, plus room for shops or cafes.

Davis said the area between Main Street and Liberty streets, along 11th and 14th streets, is attractive for this type of walkable development for the same reasons manufacturing declined in the area. The alleys next to the warehouses are too narrow for tractor trailers, and the facades of the buildings are right up against the street.

That has a pair of entrepreneurs envisioning something similar to Miami’s Wynwood arts district, with its colorful murals.

To make the Phoenix come to life, they’re holding a design competition, with the winner to be announced in October. Those interested in the contest can get more information by emailing admin@aiajacksonville.org.

To see Ennis Davis’s photos from the Phoenix Arts District launch party, visit Modern Cities.

Contact Jessica Palombo at jpalombo@wjct.org or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.