Jacksonville City Council has overwhelmingly passed legislation (2013-89) to move forward with an $11 million reinvestment strategy to promote Downtown revitalization and job growth throughout the city.
The plan calls for $9 million to leverage private dollars for Downtown improvement, and an additional $2 for citywide economic development. The investments result from a successful round of debt refinancing at the direction of the Brown Administration.
“This reinvestment will help make Jacksonville as competitive as possible with economic growth and a revitalized city core,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “I commend City Council for its efforts to create opportunity and economic activity in our city.”
The savings provide an opportunity for Jacksonville to invest in its future without taking on additional debt, using reserves or impacting the city’s solid AA+ bond rating. The refinancing provides $11 million for the 2012-13 Fiscal Year with additional savings in future years. The funding will be managed with Council oversight and approval by the new Downtown Investment Authority and Office of Economic Development, agencies created during Mayor Brown’s restructuring of the city’s economic development arm.
Mayor Brown has made revitalizing Downtown a strategic priority. His initiatives to restructure the city’s economic development activities and create the Downtown Investment Authority won strong approval from City Council, the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott. A recent survey by the JAX2025 initiative to create a community vision for Jacksonville’s future found that their top issue is improving Downtown Jacksonville.
Before Tuesday’s 17-1 approval from the full City Council, the legislation passed the Finance and Recreation and Community Development Committees by unanimous votes.