Newswire Mann Report

Florida Development Team Acquires 20 Blocks in Downtown Jacksonville

Downtown Jacksonville (Photo courtesy of Gateway Jax)

Gateway Jax, a commercial real estate company sponsored by Jacksonville-area firms JWB Real Estate Capital and DLP Capital, has acquired 22 acres of Jacksonville’s downtown core — amassing buildings and development sites that span 20-plus city blocks — with plans for $500 million of mixed-use build-out in a first phase.

Gateway Jax expects to break ground on its first developments in mid-2024, with the total build-out of current sites estimated at more than $2 billion over the next decade. The redevelopment will mark one of the largest-ever urban-core revitalizations in the U.S., in terms of its geographic span, and will complement already-existing initiatives by the city to spur on new decades of economic vitality, the company said.

“Gateway Jax will make an impact far beyond any buildings that we’ll build, with our redevelopment initiatives adding to the vibrancy of downtown Jacksonville,” said Bryan Moll, CEO of Gateway Jax. “We plan to create thriving, walkable neighborhoods that create a sense of place, attracting residents and workers who’ll be able to find everything they need within the city’s core. Jacksonville is the gateway to Florida and a key to the state’s economic future, and the city is on the cusp of an unheralded transformation.”

Gateway Jax’s leadership previously spearheaded Water Street Tampa, the $4 billion development revitalization of Tampa’s waterfront and the National Landing development — site of Amazon’s HQ2 — in the Washington, D.C. area.

Jacksonville is a growing economic driver in the state as businesses and new state residents seek alternatives to increasingly unaffordable regions of the country. The city boasts among the lowest costs of living in Florida and an enviable lifestyle; is home to Fortune 500 companies and leading universities, including a recently announced University of Florida graduate campus; and the city serves as an international multimodal hub with the Port of Jacksonville. Gateway Jax seeks to significantly impact the city with its developments providing enormous economic, social and resident benefits.

The initial development activity will center around the North Core district of Jacksonville’s downtown, within the central business district and just north of City Center. Pending city approvals, the company’s near-term plans include development of three buildings along Pearl Street that will offer 1,000-plus multifamily units, more than 120,000 square feet of grocery-anchored retail and a variety of new public spaces that encourage community interaction. These sites are expected be within proximity to the newly announced $400-million graduate campus that the University of Florida plans to build in the downtown Jacksonville vicinity. JWB Real Estate Capital and DLP Capital are each donating $500,000 to development of the new campus. Future development phases are expected to include office, hotel, and other mixed-uses.