Renew JaxAs starting point, Renew Jax is focusing on Northwest Jacksonville and parts of the urban core, including East Jacksonville, because LISC and the City’s neighborhood action plans have identified these as priority areas with the greatest needs. Work will begin in several neighborhoods, including improvements along Soutel Drive, Myrtle Avenue, Phelps Street, Payne Avenue, Avenue B, U.S. 1 and in the Robinson’s Addition and Newtown communities. 

On Dec. 15, 2014, Mayor Brown joined U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown and Council Member Dr. Johnny Gaffney to announce the C.B. Dailey Villas project. The investment in East Jacksonville is intended to provide quality housing options, with preference for veterans to continue empowering neighborhoods.  
 
The Jacksonville City Council is a key partner in this effort, and will review legislation necessary to authorize the Renew Jax projects. 

The launch of Renew Jax follows actions by the mayor to improve portions of Jacksonville. The mayor has reactivated the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund, and its board will begin leveraging new job opportunities and spark investment.  The Fund will focus on small businesses, entrepreneurs and commercial development.

In November 2014, the mayor also appointed members of the Community Wealth Building Initiative task force to help create new, innovative strategies to empower neighborhood economic development in Northwest Jacksonville. The task force is chaired by Darnell Smith of Florida Blue. The City was introduced to the community wealth building concept by the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE), a network of 38 local congregations that addresses citywide concerns related to issues of justice and fairness. Earlier this year, Mayor Brown joined with ICARE to convene a Community Wealth Building Roundtable that brought together about 100 local representatives from faith groups, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, business and banking, universities, hospitals, and city government.

Expanding on these efforts, Mayor Brown announced a series of crime prevention and intervention strategies at the 28th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on Jan. 16, 2015. Mayor Brown said the community-based strategies include expanding adult-supervised youth programs at parks and community centers; working with youth sports leagues at City of Jacksonville parks to promote personal accountability; increasing summer job opportunities; enhancing juvenile justice efforts to reduce recidivism; partnering with the faith community to mentor youth and prevent violence; and providing more neighborhood-based opportunities for families to connect with needed services.

Mayor Alvin Brown signed legislation on March 20, 2015 that moves forward the efforts of his Renew Jax initiative.  The mayor was joined by Jacksonville City Council members and other city leaders at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church as he signed Ordinance 2015-60, which advances the city’s collaboration with the private and non-profit sectors to invest in Jacksonville neighborhoods. Jacksonville City Council passed the ordinance by a unanimous vote on March 10. Read more

On April 21, 2015, Mayor Brown joined partners at the Cathedral Terrace Apartments in Downtown Jacksonville to announce major renovations as part of Renew Jax. The City of Jacksonville will contribute $803,000 in State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program funding toward the $27 million project. The funding includes a combination of private tax credit financing and state and Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority sources. Cathedral Terrace houses 240 one-bedroom units reserved exclusively for low-income residents who are elderly or disabled. Since its establishment in 1974, Cathedral Terrace has been sponsored by the nonprofit agency Aging True, which aims to enable seniors to live home-based, independent lifestyles. Read more

Renew Jax Neighborhood Projects

Soutel Drive

  • Public-private partnership between LISC, the City, Wealth Watchers, and other community development nonprofits.
  • Scope includes developing and building a subdivision of ten new single-family homes.
  • Investment totals $1.03 million in federal funding.
  • This project is in Council Member Reggie Brown’s district.

Myrtle Ave. Corridor

  • Public-private partnership between the City and Northwest Jacksonville CDC.
  • Scope includes various housing redevelopment strategies.
  • Investment totals $3.2 million in state and federal funding.
  • This project is in Council Member Denise Lee’s district.

Phelps St.

  • Public-private partnership between LISC, the City and Operation New Hope.
  • Scope includes the acquisition and redevelopment of homes on the south side of Phelps St. between Palmetto and Spearing Streets.
  • Investment totals $382,000 in federal funding.
  • This project is in City Council District 7.

Payne Ave.

  • Public-private partnership between the City and Northwest Jacksonville CDC.
  • Scope includes the acquisition and redevelopment of a 28-unit multi-family property and five duplex units for affording housing.
  • Investment totals $1.6 million in federal funding.
  • This project is in Council Member Denise Lee’s district.

Avenue B

U.S. 1

  • Partnership between the City, the Florida Department of Transportation and Council Member Reggie Brown.
  • Scope includes the design and construction of new water mains, which will connect to and extend water service to the currently un-served properties along U.S. 1.  New sidewalks will be designed and constructed along the east side of U.S. 1 to improve pedestrian safety.
  • Investment totals more than $1 million in federal funding and $100,000 in state grant funding.

Robinson’s Addition Neighborhood

  • Scope includes a preliminary engineering study to provide improved drainage in the neighborhood.  Anticipated improvements would include improved storm drain systems, curbs and gutters and storm water retention/treatment ponds.
  • Investment totals $250,000 in federal funding.
  • This project is in Council Member Warren Jones’ district.

Newtown Neighborhood

  • Scope includes identifying pond sites large enough for the improvements outlined in a recent study, including storm drain systems, curbs and gutters and storm water detention/treatment ponds.
  • Investment totals $3.5 million in Stormwater Utility funding.
  • This project is in Council Member Warren Jones’ district.

1st Street Redevelopment Project

  • Develop a new 24 unit, three-story, multi-family rental complex in east Jacksonville using more than $3.3 million in state, federal and private funds.
  • The development is expected to provide quality housing options, with preference for veterans.
  • Individuals renting at this complex will have an income that is below 50% and up to 120% of the area median income.
  • The apartments must remain affordable for a period of 20 years.
  • This project is in City Council District 7.

Additional Infrastructure Projects

  • Scope includes infrastructure improvements for the Riverview, Grand Park, Paxon, North Riverside and Lackawanna areas.
  • Investment totals $1.4 million in federal funding.
  • These projects are in Council Member Warren Jones and Council Member Denise Lee’s districts.