Classrooms, new Entrepreneurial Center coming to historic building, now being redeveloped.
The University of North Florida executed a lease for the fourth and fifth floors in the historic Barnett National Bank Building in Downtown Jacksonville for a satellite campus. The Coggin College of Business will occupy about 16,000 square feet of space.
The Barnett Building is under rehabilitation as the first part of a $100 million adaptive reuse program being executed by SouthEast Development Group LLC in partnership with The Molasky Group of Companies.
The project will include a complete historic preservation of the building along with the neighboring Laura Street Trio, as well as the construction of a structured parking facility on the adjacent city lot at 28 W. Forsyth St.
With classrooms and faculty support facilities for up to 200 students, the leased space in the Barnett Building will include a new Entrepreneurial Center to develop and support new businesses. UNF students will work as interns at the center, earning credits while working with entrepreneurs on their emerging business programs.
“Most cities that have thriving entrepreneurship ecosystems usually have a university involved as part of that,” said Mark Dawkins, dean of the UNF Coggin College of Business.
The UNF Coggin College of Business has four departments offering eight majors: accounting, economics, finance, financial planning, international business, management, marketing, and transportation and logistics.
“UNF wants the center to benefit not only students, but the Jacksonville community as a whole,” Dawkins said.
“We are designing the center to be a living, learning lab,” he said. “It’s all about building a pipeline of entrepreneurs to benefit the city of Jacksonville.”
Steve Atkins, principal and managing director of SouthEast Development Group, said the program will be “monumental for Downtown Jacksonville.”
“Bringing in a large student population from UNF’s business school will change the dynamic of the city core and stimulate the need for supporting retail and services,” he said.
Jacksonville-based SouthEast Development Group and The Molasky Group of Companies based in Las Vegas, Nevada, are the developers of the historic Barnett National Bank and Laura Street Trio buildings.