Affordable Artist Space Feasibility Study, Jacksonville, FL *
The City of Jacksonville, in partnership with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and Downtown Vision, Inc., sought to use the arts as a real estate development catalyst to revitalize the historic downtown.
- Can a downtown of over 20 city-owned vacant buildings and numerous privately-owned structures be transformed through arts-related redevelopment?
- Is there a market for artist work or live/work space in the downtown?
- How can this initiative best serve the vibrant culture of the region?
- What are the best redevelopment scenarios and which buildings provide the maximum impact to leverage limited resources in order to kick start private development?
- What partners can ensure the success of the initiative and how can they be brought on board?
Challenges were met by gauging community interests and resources, conducting market analysis, site feasibility analysis and financial feasibility analysis, and preparing cohesive development plans and recommendations. The team worked extensively to bring arts-related development downtown, including working closely with Jacksonville University to develop draft development plans and pro formas for their new film and television production studio in three historic structures in the heart of the Northbank Core.
- Discovered that 109 artists expect to buy or rent live/work space from 2011-2014 via an artist survey, where downtown is the most preferred area to locate
- Demonstrated support for 18-23k gross SF of new work space and 52-63k gross SF of new live/work space by artist demand
- Explored new partnerships and opportunities to create a new film and media production studio and bring artist space and non-artist creative businesses downtown
- Identified the Northbank Core target area as a walkable portion of downtown with substantial project anchors along its axis
- Confirmed financial feasibility of the Lerner Building and Florida Life Building redevelopment projects and created draft development plans
- Recommended creation of an arts district zoning overlay and an expansion of redevelopment powers for the City
*Urban Focus Prime, Subconsultant: Community Partners Consultants, Inc.: Susan Silberberg, Senior Vice-President
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