The Jaxson On WJCT

Thursdays during Morning Edition

The Jaxson on WJCT is a radio segment focusing on urbanism and culture on Florida’s First Coast.

The Jaxson continues Modern Cities' focus on development trends, but on a hyperlocal level. The Jaxson on WJCT is hosted and produced by WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo and features a rotation of commentators from The Jaxson, including Ennis Davis, Kelsi Hasden, Mike Field and Bill Delaney.

Views expressed by The Jaxson are not necessarily those of WJCT.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The city of Jacksonville will be removing its Confederate monuments and markers, the mayor announced last week.

So what should happen to them next?

Ennis Davis and Bill Delaney with the Jaxson weigh in on this edition of The Jaxson on WJCT.

Jessica Palombo

The owner of the Jacksonville Armada wants to build a soccer stadium on the city’s Eastside, just north of the existing venues for baseball, football and hockey. 

Surrounding the city land where the soccer stadium is being proposed is a historically black community that has struggled with economic development, and residents there are looking at their potential new neighbor with a mix of skepticism and hope.

Arpen stands inside the school house in front of the chalkboard
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

A few years back, Jacksonville’s Mandarin Museum and Historical Society acquired an old African American schoolhouse and opened it to the public. 

What is the role of food in city planning? The Jaxson invites you to an evening exploring how authentic, local restaurants, bars, public markets, and food halls are becoming essential ingredients in revitalizing urban commercial scenes across the country, even as traditional retail chains struggle. 

watermelons, oranges, etc.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

About a year and a half ago, business owners in the area west of Downtown Jacksonville came together to rebrand their neighborhood as the Rail Yard District.

The Jaxson’s Ennis Davis and I visited one of the longest-running of those businesses, the Jacksonville Farmers Market, so we could learn how the Rail Yard District Business Council defines success.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

As part of this year’s state budget, Gov. Ron DeSantis is considering more than half-a-million dollars to build a park in Arlington that would honor the descendants of formerly enslaved people, the Gullah Geechee. The Gullah Geechee people lobbied for what will be called Freedom Park.

The Jaxson: Storage Center Proposed For Murray Hill's First Block

May 8, 2019
The Jaxson

When the suburb of Murray Hill Heights was platted in 1906 its main thoroughfare, Murray Hill Avenue, was envisioned to be a landscaped boulevard served with a streetcar line similar to St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans.

Looking south at Laura Street toward The Jacksonville Landing
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

If you watched the NFL Draft, you may have noticed the bustling street in Nashville behind the sports anchors.

As The Jaxson’s Bill Delaney says, the story of Nashville’s lower Broadway parallels that of downtown Jacksonville’s Laura Street.

But as he tells News Director Jessica Palombo, Laura Street’s momentum could be in jeopardy, depending on the city’s plan to replace The Jacksonville Landing.

Jacksonville Daily Record

If you don't know your urban redevelopment past you are doomed to repeat it. In The Jaxson on WJCT, Kelsi Hasden shares a couple of revitalization observations regarding the premature demise of a heavily incentivized proposal to convert the skeleton of Berkman 2 into a hotel and nearby contaminated property into an amusement park and parking garage.

The Jaxson

JEA is preparing to move its headquarters just a few blocks to the southwest in downtown Jacksonville.

But as The Jaxson’s Mike Field tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo in this week's segment, the slight move could have a big impact on walkability in the area.

The Jaxson: Is A Dog Park The Right Move For Downtown?

Apr 10, 2019
The Jaxson

Is public input really being considered as downtown Jacksonville is developed? The following is a commentary from WJCT News partner The Jaxson:

As the Main Street Pocket Park is poised to become a dog park, we have to ask: is simply repeating the mistakes of the past really a wise use of taxpayer money?

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Landing is set to be at least partly demolished under a settlement the City Council approved last week.

As the city considers what’s next for the waterfront property, The Jaxson’s Mike Field wants us to think about this: Except for one parking garage, there hasn’t been any new, private construction on downtown Jacksonville’s Northbank in close to two decades. 

Cora Crane standing outdoors. Portrait of Hurston.
Bill Bortzfield/WJCT News / Florida State Archives

March is Women’s History Month.

Jacksonville’s piece of that history includes two notable women who lived here at the turn of the last century — and who happen to have rhyming names.

The Jaxson

Many may say Jacksonville doesn't want to become the next Atlanta but the growing width of its interstate system suggests that's where the River City is headed. Here's a brief look and update on the development of the First Coast's first express lane project as it pushes closer to completion.

exterior of building
The Jaxson

Trevato Development Group plans to break ground on an adaptive reuse project in the Brooklyn neighborhood that will convert 339 Park St. and 301 Park St. into Jacksonville’s first food hall.

Anderson singing at piano
The Jaxson

Thursday is the last day of Black History Month. For Jacksonville, it’s a history that includes brushes with some of the nation’s most prominent black historical figures.

The Jaxson via Prime Realty

A medical marijuana dispensary is opening in Five Points on a very busy corner.

Kelsi Hasden talks about the details with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo in The Jaxson on WJCT.

bulldozer and rubble pile
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

If you’ve driven down Bay Street in downtown Jacksonville recently, chances are you’ve seen bulldozers removing the remains of the old City Hall Annex.

It, and the old courthouse, are being removed at a cost of $8 million.

But what city planners like Ennis Davis see is an assault on midcentury architecture that’s bad for a vibrant downtown.

artist renderings of shopping center
The Jaxson

The longstanding conventional wisdom among developers is that Jacksonville’s urban core can’t support retail, but Brooklyn’s success is proving that wrong.  

The Jaxson

Getting There In Jacksonville was WJCT’s second ever Jaxson event, cohosted with Modern Cities. The transportation panel discussion was last Thursday here at our studios.

exterior of mission
The Jaxson

As the nation celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior this week, do you know about his connections to Jacksonville?

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Join The Jaxson on Thursday, Jan. 24, for a free discussion focusing on the impact of Jacksonville's changing demographics on current and future transportation initiatives called Getting There in Jacksonville: A Changing City Confronts Its Transportation Future.

This event is FREE, bur RSVPs are requested. REGISTER HERE.

Schedule:

aerial photo of the site of the future complex
Jacksonville Daily Record

An affordable housing complex is on track to break ground in Brooklyn this year.

As Mike Field tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo, the project could help those who were pushed out of the once-thriving working-class neighborhood, move back.

Brightline train on track
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

A railroad company called Virgin Trains USA is going public, and its plans include possibly connecting Jacksonville to the rest of Florida.

Ennis Davis tell WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo more about those plans in The Jaxson on WJCT.

The Jaxson: How Streetcars Shaped Jacksonville's Urban Core

Dec 27, 2018
State Archives of Florida / Via The Jaxson

Ennis Davis tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo about the street cars that built the city's urban core in The Jaxson on WJCT.  

The shape of Jacksonville’s urban core is largely thanks to a transportation system that no longer exists.  By 1898, Jacksonville had 12 miles of streetcar lines in operation. 

The Jaxson: Brooklyn ‘Road Diet’ Plan Includes 2-Way Protected Bike Lane

Dec 19, 2018
protected bike lane between sidewalk and street
The Jaxson

Jacksonville’s first urban, two-way cycle track is coming to the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Dan Herbin tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo what that means in this edition of The Jaxson on WJCT.

historic photo of exterior in black and white
The Jaxson

An art-deco style building in downtown Jacksonville is set to be demolished and turned into a parking lot.

But as Dan Herbin tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo in the Jaxson on WJCT, the former Gulf Life Insurance Building deserves to be spared.

The Jaxson

Buildings that interact with the pedestrian at street level, inside and out, are a key ingredient for any retail friendly downtown.

The Jaxson

Bike share could be coming to downtown Jacksonville.

This coming Tuesday, Nov. 20, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority is expected to hear pitches from four operators who want to roll into town.

large house with blue paint around windows
Modern Cities

The Gullah Geechee were formerly enslaved people who settled in the Low Country, from North Carolina to North Florida.

The single largest concentration of their descendants came to Jacksonville, but the city hasn’t largely celebrated that culture.

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