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Building Up Jax: Overhaul for Riverplace Blvd., JEA land swap

Check out the latest Jacksonville development and construction news in this week’s edition of Building Up Jax!

Overhaul for Riverplace Blvd.

A long-planned major reconfiguration of Southbank’s Riverplace Blvd. was given approval from the Downtown Development Review Board this week.

The project aims to make the road, located adjacent to several major residential and office buildings, more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

It would reduce the number of vehicle traffic lanes from five to three, and the remaining space would be converted into wider sidewalks, enhanced landscaping elements, on-street parking, and dedicated bicycle lanes that would be separated from vehicle lanes by the parking spaces.

Funding for the project, which will come from taxes collected from nearby properties, has already been approved by both city council and Downtown Investment Authority.

 

JEA land swap

The city and JEA have begun negotiations on a land swap deal that would result in the construction of a new JEA main office building.

According to Jax Daily Record, the city would be giving JEA a parcel of land at 337 W. Adams St., next to the Duval County Courthouse. In exchange, JEA would sell off its existing property at 21 W. Church St. and give the profit from the transaction to the city.

If they can’t sell the land, the building will be demolished and the vacant land will be transferred to the city.

The negotiations come after a JEA internal report determined that making necessary renovations to the company’s current headquarters would cost at least $50 million.

The details of the deal are expected to be hammered out over the next week or so.

Noted projects

  • Permits were issued on Tuesday for the build-out of a new RaceTrac station at 8441 Philips Highway.
  • Pagoda Chinese Restaurant received a permit to make minor renovations to its location at 8618 Baymeadows Rd.
  • One Spark, the once-mighty crowdfunding festival that has fizzled out in the past couple of years, is coming back this year – details will be announced on Monday.
  • Cozy Tea‘s location in Five Points is closing for good today. Plans for a new location are expected, but have yet to be announced.
  • Speaking of Five Points: popular Five Points bar Alewife is set to begin offering a limited menu from nearby sandwich shop The Bread & Board.
  • There was an interesting back-and-forth late this week between city officials and Sleiman Enterprises related to their ongoing feud over Jacksonville Landing. Both sides blamed each other for the lack of progress on the property’s redevelopment, with neither side acknowledging their own role in the messy situation.

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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.