Top Newsmaker: Nick Allard guides JU College of Law toward new Downtown campus

Here is a look at some of the biggest newsmakers in 2023.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 12:00 a.m. December 28, 2023
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Jacksonville University College of Law Dean Nicholas Allard.
Jacksonville University College of Law Dean Nicholas Allard.
Photo by J. Brooks Terry
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The Jacksonville University College of Law was a steady source of news in 2023.

The first 14 students who began classes in August 2022 finished their 1L year in the spring and were joined in August by the second class of 26 students.

Four of the 2023 incoming first-year students are the law school’s first double Dolphins, having completed their undergraduate degrees at JU.

The biggest news related to the law school in 2023 came in November, when work began to build-out four floors at 121 W. Forsyth St. at a construction cost of almost $4.3 million for the law school’s permanent Downtown campus.

“We conducted an extremely thorough evaluation of a large number of options. Close to the courts and in the center of the legal community, it is the most excellent spot of many that we considered,” Randall C. Berg Jr. Founding Dean Nick Allard said Nov. 21.

A rendering shows the Jacksonville University College of Law signage at the 121 Atlantic Place Building at Forsyth and Hogan Street. JU is taking over the space now occupied by Workscapes along with additional space inside the building.
Jacksonville University

The project includes part of the first floor and the entire second, third and fourth floors, totaling 47,355 square feet, about triple JU’s current space on the 18th floor at VyStar Tower.

The plan for the ground floor includes a reception area, student lounge, administrative offices, a catering area and stairs to the second floor.

The second floor will have classrooms, flex space, counseling rooms, administrative offices, a faculty conference room, a reception room, meeting spaces and a kitchenette for students.

Jacksonville University College of Law Founding Dean Nick Allard and Vice Dean Margaret Dees inside the building that will be the school’s new home.
Photo by Karen Brune Mathis

The third floor will have instructional spaces, library offices and study space, faculty and administrative offices and a lounge.

The dean’s office, administrative offices, the law library, instructional spaces and flex space are on the fourth floor.

An atrium and stairs will connect the third and fourth floors.

Allard said the initial term of the lease is 10 years, with options to renew.

The new urban campus is scheduled to be ready for move-in by summer 2024. Classes for the 40 students currently enrolled and the third cohort of 1L students will begin at the new campus in August.

Top Deals:

Cosentino Group plans $270 million first phase of manufacturing plant. Story here

Phoenix Arts & Innovation District launches in New Springfield. Story here

Blackwater Development says it has Regency Square Mall deal. Story here

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club wins approval to start expansion, renovations. Story here

ICE finalizes its $11.9 billion acquisition of Black Knight Inc. Story here

‘Stadium of the Future’ plans are unveiled by the Jaguars. Story here

Gateway Jax plans $500 million Downtown project in NorthCore. Story here

Aldi buying Winn-Dixie, Harveys parent Southeastern Grocers. Story here

Regency Centers buys Urstadt Biddle in $1.4 billion deal. Story here

Top Newsmakers:

Donna Deegan makes history as Jacksonville’s first female mayor. Story here

Bryan Moll poised to help revitalize Downtown with Gateway Jax. Story here

Aundra Wallace an assured but low-key leader in region’s growth. Story here

Suzanne Pickett: Advocate for city’s Historic Eastside. Story here

Obituaries of 2023:

Activist and community advocate Ben Frazier. Story here

Beaver Street Fisheries Chairman Hans ‘Harry’ Frisch. Story here

Civic leader and insurance executive Marvin Cecil 'Ceree' Harden III. Story here



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