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'Healthy Town' Project Plans Gets An Official Name

The District

A proposed “healthy” community along the Southbank is one step closer to becoming a reality after plans and an official name were released Tuesday.

Developers landed on the name “The District - Life Well Lived” a year after they asked the public to submit their ideas.

The project is supposed to unite young and old to create one, healthy generation of Jacksonvillians.

The District, not to be confused with a college party destination close to UNF of the same name, will probably cost around a half-a-billion dollars. The Southbank project is spearheaded by Peter Rummel who says the community will help make all of Jacksonville healthier.

“Five years from now when it’s done and completed and up and running and people understand it, it’s going to be a nexus,” Rummel says. “It’s going to be a focal point that I think will be uncomparable (sic) to any place in town.”

The 30-acre property, formerly owned by JEA, will be constructed so that people “unintentionally exercise” — meaning the District will be walkable and force people to make what developers call subconsciously healthy choices.

And the District’s Michael Munz says the neighborhood won’t be limited to a certain age group or type of business either.

“We’re working with the Shopping Center Group, which are retail specialists,” Munz says. “We’ve been having a lot of conversations with the retail world that includes shops, dining, riverfront bars and restaurants, etc.”

Munz and Rummel say it’ll be around a year from a targeted March groundbreaking to finish engineering the foundation of the project — plumbing, electricity and infrastructure. But they say they’re already collecting information from interested parties on their website.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.