A new report shows a big infusion of investment in downtown Jacksonville.
Downtown Vision’s 2017 State of Downtown Report was released Wednesday.
It found more than $3.5 billion in projects were completed, under construction or proposed for downtown Jacksonville in 2017.
“We really are seeing progress now. You see almost expontential growth," said Jake Gordon, Downtown Vision’s CEO during Thursday's First Coast Connect.
By comparison, between 2000 and 2016, projects totaling nearly $2.5 billion were completed, according to Downtown Vision. Crediting public-private partnerships, Downtown Vision said in the report that downtown Jacksonville is on track to beat the progress of the last 17 years combined.
Among the report’s findings is demand for downtown living is high with residential units 96 percent occupied.
More than 900 units are under construction and 2,400 units are proposed, according to the report.
The office worker side of the equation is also improving with downtown’s year-over-year office vacancy rate dropping just under 5 percent to 14.3 percent.
“This report offers great news for everyone who lives in Duval County,” said Jake Gordon, Downtown Vision’s CEO in a news release.
The report looked at key indicators including: development and investment, office market and employment base, residential demand, transportation expansions, hospitality and tourism health, and business and retail mix.
Among the areas touted was the Downtown Retail Enhancement Grant Program, which was launched in 2014 to recruit and retain restaurants, retail and creative office space. The program has deployed more than $695,000 resulting in more than 127 new jobs, according to the report.