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Study: Downtown Jacksonville Filled With 'Abundant Redevelopment Opportunities'

Ryan Ketterman
Visit Jacksonville
Downtown Jacksonville

A report is out that sheds a lot of light on the state of downtown Jacksonville.

Downtown properties have a market value of almost $2 billion but more than half of that value is exempt from property taxes, according to a study done by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

That’s primarily because of the large percentage of government-owned property.

Credit Provided by the Jesse Ball duPont Fund
Provided by the Jesse Ball duPont Fund

The study looked at the downtown area on the Northbank with boundaries stretching fromthe Prime Osborn Convention Center to the stadium complex and from the St. Johns River to State Street.

Goverment owns 55 percent of the acres downtown, according to the report. 

Provided by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund

The study found these are the major property owners in the area:

  • Vestcor – 3 buildings (1 garage), 240 parcels (237 residential condo units)
  • City of Jacksonville – 64 buildings, 159 parcels
  • Demiray Holdings Inc. – 66 residential condo units at 311 W. Ashley (Demiray based in Wellington, FL)
  • Wayne Hogan – 33 office condo units at 233 E. Bay (Blackstone Bldg.)
  • Talon Engineering/Holding – 27 office condo units at 233 E. Bay
  • Lawrence C. Rolfe – 25 office condo units a 233 E. Bay St.
  • JTA – 24 parcels
  • Lavilla Partners – 22 parcels (Ted Pappas, registered agent)
  • First Baptist Church – 13 buildings, 19 parcels
  • Salvation Army – 5 buildings, 15 parcels
  • Partnerships related to Chris Hionides – 12 buildings, 17 parcels 

The overall vacancy rate of downtown property is 25 percent. The analysis found 73 vacant structures, 11 of which are owned by the city.

?The Stadium District area has the most vacant land at 89.5 acres. It includes the Shipyards property, owned by the city, that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has proposed to develop.

Provided by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund

In terms of housing, there were 1,988 housing units at the time of the study, of which 738 were owned, and 1,250 were rentals.  That number will soon be considerably higher as new housing such as The Lofts at LaVilla nears completion and more housing is on the way.

The study concludes the downtown area has abundant redevelopment opportunities due to its rich inventory of vacant land and buildings.

?In LaVilla alone the study found 36.5 acres of vacant land, of which more than 23 percent is government owned.

The full Jesse Ball duPont Fund study, entitled “Downtown Jacksonville Our Assets and Opportunities,” is available here.

?Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.