New Housing Project Opens In Jacksonville’s Springfield Neighborhood

Nov 2, 2016

The ribbon cutting at the new Dozier Apartments. From left to right: Charles Moreland, Director of Community Affairs, Office of the Mayor; Kevin Gay, Founder and President, Operation New Hope; Scott Dozier Sheftall, Esq.; Reggie Gaffney, City Council District 7; Damien Haitsuka, Wells Fargo, First Coast Area President.
Credit Blake Allen / WJCT News

A mixed-income apartment complex was unveiled Wednesday in the historic neighborhood of Springfield.

The Dozier Apartments, named after Jacksonville’s first female architect Henrietta Dozier, is a 14-unit building that will house families based on their level of income. About $2.5 million of city funding was used for the project. The new building is replacing an older complex, which the developers said was “drug infested.”

The building is the first affordable multifamily housing development opened by Operation New Hope, a community revitalization nonprofit located in Springfield.

Operation New Hope Founder and CEO Kevin Gay said why the complex was named after Dozier.

“We thought it would be very fitting to name this after her,” he said. “Somebody who’s really fought hard for the things that she believes in, and I think this is representative of a major comeback in our great community of Springfield.”

Gay said the project will help build momentum for the revitalization of Springfield and “great development is gonna happen as we go forward.”

Director of Community Affairs for the office of the mayor, Charles Moreland, called the opening a home run for the city.

“Every community deserves the right to have a safe place to live, work, and raise their family. And this is an example of that process going to work,” he said.

So far, 12 of the units have been reserved. The 13,776 square foot building features units ranging in size from studio to two-bedroom apartments.

Operation New Hope has also purchased several parcels of land across the street from the new apartments. The organization plans to build another mixed-income project on that land.

News intern Blake Allen can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org, or on Twitter @BAllenMMJ.