Jacksonville May Transfer Its Historic Locomotive At Prime Osborn

Jun 7, 2021
Atlantic Coast Line #1504 is the steam locomotive displayed outside the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville could soon lose another historic landmark – not from demolition, but from relocation.

Northcore/NoCo logos
Downtown Investment Authority

Can you picture this? You and a friend are deciding where to meet for lunch near Downtown Jacksonville, and she says, “Hmm, how about somewhere in SoBa?”

SoBa, as in the Southbank. It’s one of the rebranding options on the table as the public Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority works with a consultant “to attract more residents and visitors to live, work and play in these areas.” A survey about the new branding is part of an update to the DIA’s Business Investment and Development Plan.

Crazy Beans Coffee Opens At JTA Transportation Hub

Apr 19, 2021
Assistant Manager Don Ashton, left, and cashier Dianthe Ashton work behind the counter at the new Crazy Beans Coffee.
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

The newly opened Crazy Beans Coffee at the heart of JTA’s Regional Transportation Center is believed to be the first new restaurant to open in LaVilla in more than 15 years.

JEA Buys Almost $2.45M Worth Of LaVilla Property

Mar 22, 2021
Jacksonville Daily Record

Municipal utility JEA paid almost $2.45 million March 18 for 2.27 acres in LaVilla targeted for its “hardened” secondary headquarters.

Restart Of LaVilla Town House Project Takes Step Forward

Mar 16, 2021
Jacksonville Daily Record

Downtown Investment Authority board members signaled March 15 they still want for-sale town houses in the historic LaVilla neighborhood west of Downtown.

A city excavator moves piles of trash at the LaVilla tent tity Tuesday.
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

Clad all in black, including a black face mask, a man named Daryl was handing out trash bags to the residents of the tent city that occupies a LaVilla block near Downtown Jacksonville Tuesday morning.

Fencing is going up around the Lavilla tent city.
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

Citing health and safety violations, the city of Jacksonville is fencing off a LaVilla block near Downtown where homeless people have been living in an informal tent city. 

City of Jacksonville

After years of planning, a groundbreaking was held Wednesday for the future Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing Park in LaVilla near Downtown Jacksonville.

This photo shows a model of the Crazy Beans Coffee planned inside the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center.
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Fleming Island-based Crazy Beans Coffee is planning a breakfast and lunch cafe on the ground floor of the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center in LaVilla.

Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing Park rendering
City of Jacksonville

The city of Jacksonville has released design plans for the Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing Park in the historic LaVilla neighborhood near Downtown.

Vestcor's LaVilla Town House Development Paused

Sep 24, 2020
Group 4 Design, Inc. / Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Vestcor Companies delayed construction of its for-sale town house development in LaVilla twice this summer and the company said it is hesitant to begin the project in a Downtown market impacted by COVID-19. 

Vestcor Submits Design Plans For LaVilla Townhomes To Review Board

Dec 12, 2019
Group 4 Design, Inc. / Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Vestcor Companies Inc. has submitted design plans for its 88-unit, for-sale townhome project in LaVilla to the Downtown Development Review Board and is asking for conceptual approval.

Via Jacksonville Historical Society

Long before it became Jacksonville’s hub for trade shows and events, what is known today as the Prime Osborn III Convention Center was the largest rail terminal in the South.

DIA Committee Recommends Vestcor Plan for LaVilla Townhome Development

Aug 6, 2019
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

A proposal by Vestcor Companies Inc. to develop eight city-owned parcels in LaVilla was scored as the top choice by a Downtown Investment Authority committee.

Vestcor Faces Competition As Johnson Commons Offers Competing LaVilla Plan

Jun 18, 2019
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Downtown workforce housing developer Vestcor Companies has competition for the purchase and development rights of eight city-owned parcels in LaVilla.

Business Brief: Vestcor Wants To Build 70 Townhomes In LaVilla

May 17, 2019
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

A Jacksonville-based developer hopes to continue its investment in the northwest Downtown neighborhood of LaVilla with plans to build 70 townhomes for sale.

Business Brief: DIA, JTA Unveil Vision For Redeveloping LaVilla

Apr 29, 2019
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

The Downtown Investment Authority and Jacksonville Transportation Authority released its final report Friday on plans to redevelop the city’s historic LaVilla district.

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

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.

Developer Plans Grocery, Restaurant, Apartments In LaVilla

Dec 12, 2018
Jacksonville Daily Record

City Council members Tuesday approved the sale of a LaVilla building to a developer who plans to turn the space into a grocery store, restaurant, apartments and a rooftop apiary for beekeeping. 

Business Brief: Village Of Tiny Houses Planned In Jacksonville's LaVilla

Oct 19, 2018
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

The Clara White Mission plans to build a village of tiny houses in LaVilla Downtown for homeless veterans and transform the historic Genovar’s Hall into a community center.

The Jaxson Presents Forgotten Spaces: Places Reimagined. Tuesday 10.23 6-8 pm at WJCT
Abby Weiss

If you missed the chance to get tickets for tonight's live event, watch it here or on WJCT's Facebook Page starting at 6:30 p.m.

This month, WJCT hosts the first-ever live event as part of our partnership with Modern Cities: The Jaxson.

Forgotten Spaces: Places Reimagined is on October 23 at WJCT Studios. 

map of LaVilla from developers
Acuity Design Group

Big changes are coming to Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood, and the Downtown Investment Authority wants community input to help shape them.

Jimmy Delaney / WJCT News

City planners will soon begin taking public input on the redevelopment of Jacksonville’s historically African-American neighborhood of LaVilla, just west of downtown.  

The Jaxson: James Weldon Johnson Deserves To Be Celebrated

Aug 8, 2018
The Jaxson

James Weldon Johnson is, without exaggeration, the single most accomplished person ever to come from Jacksonville or Florida.

A few weeks after a special Jacksonville committee on civil rights history turned in its final report, the body’s most ambitious goals still seem like far-flung dreams.

But some are holding out hope the recommendations could spur a revival in one of the city’s most storied black neighborhoods.

Jim Gilmore

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Marion Tischler from RE:MIND, an initiative from local spiritual leaders to help people deal with chemical dependency and mental illness (01:10).     

Modern Cities

A new year promises to bring lots of new development to Jacksonville’s Urban Core.

Bill Delaney of The Jaxson tells WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo about some of the major projects on the horizon.

Jacksonville Transportation Authority

On Tuesday, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority is set to break ground on its regional transportation center, dubbed the Jacksonville Intermodal Station. 

Ennis Davis with The Jaxson says the new center represents a return to the neighborhood’s past, and it’s already shaping future development.

LGBT Latino Community

More than 90 percent of the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando were Latino.

Florida has the third-largest Hispanic population in the country, so the attack has sent ripples throughout Latino communities all around the state.

According to a 2013 report by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, an estimated 1.4 million Latinos in the United States identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Many of those residents face those challenges up in a culture rooted in machismo, religion and rigid gender norms. As adults, LGBT Latinos can sometimes feel isolated from their families, and from the larger LGBT community as well.

We examine the impact the tragedy is having on the LGBT Latino community with Cindy Watson, executive director of JASMYN, Manny Andrade, Latino outreach coordinator with the Northeast Florida AIDS Network, and Mario DeCuto, who serves on the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission.