And to help with the final stage of development – and for years to come after – the project has formed an alliance with Jacksonville University.
Last week, The District announced that JU’s Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences will act as the project’s exclusive academic research consultant. As part of this partnership, the college will seek to measure the effectiveness of the community’s healthy concepts by collecting and providing comprehensive data.
“[The partnership] was born very organically,” explains Michael Munz, one of The District’s co-developers.
Munz says that the idea for the partnership was born from a meeting with JU faculty wherein it became clear that the College of Healthcare Sciences would be of help to the project.
The plan is to be able to provide detailed data to residents – and potential residents – offering proof of the community’s ability to deliver on its promises of a healthy lifestyle. It’s a step that shows how committed the project’s developers are to following through on the much-hyped “healthy town” concept.
In addition to collecting data upon the project’s completion, Munz says that the college will also provide feedback and consultation during the remainder of the design and development stage. This includes meeting with the project’s retail consultants to coordinate retail additions that will mesh well with the development’s health-oriented lifestyle.
The feedback from JU will be crucial as the project moves closer to breaking ground. Just last month, it was announced that a yet-to-be-named hotel was officially signed on, with negotiations pending for a cinema and grocery store.
Munz says nothing has changed since the last announcement, but that the project is “getting closer to putting shovels in the ground.”
As for the future of The District and JU’s collaboration, Munz says he would be open to a larger JU presence within the community.
The District is expected to break ground in early 2018. For more information about the project, check out its website.