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DIA CEO Discusses Plan To Spur More Downtown Jacksonville Restaurants

Pictured: Downtown workers take to the streets during lunchtime.
Jacksonville Daily Record
Downtown workers take to the streets during lunchtime.

Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer’s proposal to create a dense restaurant and retail district Downtown is part of a larger plan.

Her goal is to create a market beyond the daytime demand from the estimated 50,000 urban core employees and work toward a Downtown residential population of 10,000 to 12,000 people, according to WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Providing this urban lifestyle environment where people have places to go for breakfast and coffee and places to go after work for tacos or places to go for dinner is part of that,” she said.

Boyer has a plan.

The DIA’s Targeted Food and Beverage Program aims to cluster restaurants and bars in walkable areas of Downtown, creating two “distinct character corridors” in the core.

Boyer wants to court restaurant owners to open or expand in an area bounded by Hogan, Laura, Church and Bay streets and The Elbow from Main, Liberty, Monroe and Bay streets.

Boyer unveiled details Jan. 14 to a DIA special committee after teasing the plan in October. She hopes the first restaurants will open under the program by March 2021.

The program needs approval by the full DIA board, which could vote as soon as February.

For a look at the details of the proposal, see the expanded version of this story at