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First Coast

FSCJ Offers Student Housing For 1st Time At Downtown Jacksonville’s Historic Lerner Building

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday to celebrate the opening of its first student housing option at the historic Lerner building in downtown Jacksonville.

20West, as the six story building is now referred to, has five floors of housing with four units on each floor and a total of 58 fully furnished private bedrooms. Each unit at 20 West Adams Street is either a three or four bedroom apartment.

Rooms with a shared bathroom run $3,375 per person in the Fall and Spring terms and $2,250 per person during the Summer term. Rooms with a private bathroom run $3,600 per person in Fall and Spring and $2,400 in the Summer term.

There will be an Onsite Resident Director living in the building and a Resident Assistant living on every floor.

FSCJ’s 20West Cafe, which opened in March, is on the first floor of the building.

“About two years ago, when the idea was started, it was to create both the cafe, which is part of our culinary program, and then provide our students housing, and really try to help revitalize downtown because we know that having residents downtown truly is the height of what we’re trying to do,” said Interim FSCJ President Kevin Hyde.

According to Nadia Mamun Esha, an FSCJ student and SGA Vice Chair at the school’s Kent campus, 20West offers much more than just a place for students to live. “20 West will offer programs, leadership opportunities and additional work study opportunities for FSCJ students.”

FSCJ Spokeswoman Jill Johnson said that 19 students have already reserved rooms for the Fall. Those students could move in as early as this week.

“Our goal is to get our students in here as soon as possible,” said Hyde.

Hyde said that the City’s Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) was key in making this project a reality.

“This is about an opportunity and moment in time in history of Downtown Jacksonville that we now have the first student housing,” said Aundra Wallace, DIA chair. “I hope this is the first of other projects to come.”

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.