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Building Up Jax: Northbank re-routing, Jimmy Hula’s expanding

It was a fairly active week for development news in Jacksonville.

As we covered yesterday, new videos were released showcasing the future Durbin Park development. Additionally, the new food truck court downtown opened on Thursday.

In this week’s Building Up Jax, we’ll detail the plans to delete a damaged portion of the Northbank near the Hyatt hotel, as well as plans for restaurant chain Jimmy Hula’s to expand in Jacksonville and a few other noted projects.

Addition by Subtraction in Downtown Jax

City engineers have an interesting idea for how to fix the damaged portion of the Northbank between the Hyatt and Berkman Plaza.

The plan, which was unveiled this week during a Downtown Development Review Board meeting, calls for the parking lot that sits on this stretch of land to be completely torn out.

Instead of replacing the lot, which was held up by a bridge structure, the Northbank will be re-routed and the old Courthouse building will be along the newly-modified riverbank. The Coastline Dr. and Liberty St. bridges will be demolished and rebuilt as part of the project.

The parking lot being demolished has been closed off since multiple collapses occurred along the streets next to it. The structures were declared unsafe, and the Florida Department of Transportation called for Coastline Dr.’s bridge to be closed off.

The project will cost around $31 million in total.

Jimmy Hula’s Expanding Jax Presence

Orlando-based fast-casual restaurant Jimmy Hula’s is opening in early April at 528 Beach Blvd. in Jax Beach.

And the chain doesn’t plan to stop there.

In addition to this new location, and its two other existing Jax locations, the chain plans to add 12 more locations between Jacksonville and St. Augustine over the next five years.

It’s part of a larger expansion plan for the fast-growing chain, which was founded in 2011. It will expand from 11 current locations to 67 within the next five years, with franchise deals in the Jax, Tampa, and Miami markets.

There are currently two Jimmy Hula’s locations in Jacksonville – one in Orange Park, and one near the Atlantic Blvd./Hodges Blvd. intersection. The new Jax Beach location will seat 150 and will feature outdoor seating and a full bar.

Noted projects

  • After recently closing their location in San Marco Square, Oriental Rug House (ORH) will open soon at 5614 San Jose Blvd.
  • Family Christian, a Christian bookstore chain, is closing all 240 of its locations. This includes two Jacksonville stores: one in Regency, and one by The Avenues.
  • Pacific Grill was issued a permit for build-out in the shopping center at 9965 San Jose Blvd. currently anchored by Outback Steakhouse.
  • Thai Blossom Bistro was issued a permit for build-out in the Justin Plaza shopping center at 10916 Atlantic Blvd.

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The Coastal

The Coastal is Jacksonville’s newest magazine, founded in 2015 to provide news, reviews, and things to do for young people on the First Coast.