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Jax Daily Record Friday, Oct. 4, 201909:19 AM EST

The District sets timeline for infrastructure construction

The $600 million Southbank project will be developed in three phases, but the completion timeline for structures still unclear.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

Project planners with The District, a proposed $600 million mixed-use development on the Downtown Southbank, are closer to groundbreaking by starting the permitting phase.

Susan Watts, project manager for Kitson & Partners, filed a performance schedule Friday with the Downtown Investment Authority. Kitson was hired in March 2018 to execute the development plan for The District. 

Bill Schilling, vice president at Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc., said Thursday that The District will begin construction by April 13.

According to Schilling, public amenities supported by The District’s Community Redevelopment Agency, such as the project’s 3.5-acre riverfront park and multiuse trail, must be complete within three years of the construction start date.

Infrastructure improvements, like water and sewer utilities, roads and streetscape, will be complete by 2024.

A construction timeline provided by The District co-developer Michael Munz anticipates the CDD issuing $31.3 million in bonds by Jan. 13 to pay for the work. 

The timeline states the CDD should obtain construction permits from the city and hire a general contractor by March 12.

Kimley-Horn’s filing with the city Planning and Development Department shows three phases of building construction.

Phase I will comprise 200,000 square feet of office space and 94,400 square feet of enclosed commercial retail built. The first phase also calls for 250 apartments, 250 condominium units and 200 hotel rooms. 

Kimley-Horn will file project descriptions later for Phases II and III.

The District is east of the Duval County Public Schools headquarters at the site of the former JEA Southside Generating Station.

Developer Elements Development of Jacksonville LLC said the completed District will comprise 1,170 residential units — 770 apartments and 400 condominium units — and  288,500 total square feet of retail and the 200,000 square foot of office space.

Plans include a 125-slip marina and a riverfront park with an extension of the Southbank Riverwalk.

 A land-use breakdown filed in February with The District’s mobility fee approval shows 100,000 square feet of retail will be built in Phase II and 94,100 square feet in Phase III. 

Phase II will include 100 apartments and 100 condominium units, and the final 420 apartment and 50 condominium units will come online in Phase III. 

There was no timeline for the construction of the buildings.

Munz and co-developer Peter Rummell own the 32-acre site through Elements Development.

The project is part of a Community Development District managed by a five-member board. In May, the board approved a special debt assessment of $44.5 million on the property owners, which will enable the board to issue bonds and finance the infrastructure work.

The DIA approved The District’s redevelopment agreement in April 2018 that allowed the creation of the CDD as well as a Recaptured Enhanced Value grant of up to $56 million.

As part of the deal, Elements and the CDD will split The District’s public infrastructure improvement costs, including roadways, parking facilities, utilities, environmental improvements, landscaping, signs and lighting.

The city’s portion of the infrastructure improvements is a separate $23 million project that will be taken on by the same general contractor.


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