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City of Jacksonville
Building on major new investments by Jacksonville University, Mayor Alvin Brown joined City Council members and Jacksonville University President Tim Cost on Feb. 11, 2015 to announce that the City’s Renew Jax initiative will expand to the Arlington area.
A culmination of 12 months of work and community input, Mayor Brown said that Renew Arlington is focused on rejuvenating private investment by designating a specific section within Arlington as a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) with a Redevelopment Trust Fund. For a 20-year period, all new revenues generated from increased property values in the redevelopment area would be dedicated to economic development, housing, infrastructure and other projects that benefit the Arlington area.
Renew Arlington Fact Sheet
The City will be funding the development of the CRA Plan. The plan will build on previous studies and planning efforts and include a blueprint for roadway improvements, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, utilities, signage, future retail revitalization and housing redevelopment.
The Renew Arlington efforts will add to the more than $27 million in campus improvements and investments already underway at Jacksonville University. The campus investments include: the completion of a 30,000-square-foot College of Health Sciences building; a $1.5 million renovation of the new River House student center; a new 270-plus student housing development; acquisition of more than 40 acres of adjacent riverfront land; and significant overhaul of STEM laboratories, campus dining amenities, collaborative study spaces, and athletic facilities, with more upgrades to come.
To implement Renew Arlington, the City will capitalize on existing plans and studies, and the City is teaming up with community partners, including the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), JEA, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the university. They are already engaged in a comprehensive review of community needs and opportunities, including housing, commercial retail development, transportation, utilities, public safety, code enforcement and land use and zoning.
Key projects identified include:
JTA will develop a plan for University Boulevard and Merrill Road, which are part of the JTAMobilityWorks initiative that is designed to improve accessibility and mobility. A corridor plan will be driven by community and stakeholder input. It will consider sidewalk improvements, ADA accessibility, transit shelters, lighting, landscaping, safety enhancements and context sensitive roadway solutions.
JEA will work with the City and JU in their efforts to enhance the University Boulevard and Merrill Road corridors by improving its utilities to upgrade safety, aesthetics and reliability.
JU will continue partnering with the City to invest on campus and in the community, along with attracting businesses to link up with education and research opportunities.
The City will work with local businesses and developers to enhance University Boulevard and Merrill Road as commercial retail corridors.
State law outlines a process the City must follow to establish a CRA, which requires City Council approval. City leaders said they intend to complete the process by the end of 2015.
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