Top Newsmaker: Bryan Moll poised to help revitalize Downtown with Gateway Jax

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

  • By Ric Anderson
  • | 12:05 a.m. December 29, 2023
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Gateway Jax CEO Bryan Moll is leading an effort to bring a $500 million residential and retail development to the Downtown North Core.
Gateway Jax CEO Bryan Moll is leading an effort to bring a $500 million residential and retail development to the Downtown North Core.
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After leading the $4 billion Water Street Tampa downtown redevelopment and the Amazon HQ2 National Landing site in the Washington, D.C., area, Bryan Moll turned his sights to Downtown Jacksonville as the place for his next turnaround project. 

Why Jacksonville? 

“When this opportunity popped up on my radar, I started looking at the data, the numbers, and everything pointed at Jacksonville being the next best place in Florida,” he said.

On Sept. 20, 2023, Moll and his investment partners unveiled a sweeping project aimed at transforming as many as 20 blocks of Downtown into apartments, offices, retail space, courtyards and more. 

From left, Gateway Jax CEO Bryan Moll; Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan; JWB Real Estate Capital President Alex Sifakis; and DLP Capital founder and CEO Don Wenner at the Sept. 20 news conference announcing plans for the Pearl Street District in the North Core of Downtown.
Photo by Mike Mendenhall

The Gateway Jax project was publicly launched that day with the unveiling of the first phase of the venture, the $419 million mixed-use development on five blocks of property in the NorthCore area.

The Downtown Investment Authority Board approved $98.58 million in incentives for that portion of the project in November, sending the package to the Jacksonville City Council for approval. 

At the unveiling, Mayor Donna Deegan and other supporters lauded the project as a potential catalyst in the long-running effort to revitalize Downtown Jacksonville.

“I think we finally did it,” City Council member Jimmy Peluso said. “I think we finally found the project that’s going to move Downtown to where it should be.”

An aerial conceptual rendering of the Gateway Jax project looking south. The buildings with what looks like grass on the roofs are new. The development area is bordered by Union, Julia, Church and Clay streets and bisected by Pearl, Beaver and Ashley streets. At the bottom left is the former First Baptist Church parking garage along Union Street.

If so, Moll will be the linchpin. In looking to return to Florida after his work on the National Landing project, he said he was impressed by Jacksonville’s job growth, affordability and quality of life.

When he visited and took a stroll Downtown, he enjoyed the tree canopy and features like James Weldon Johnson Park.

He came away believing Downtown offered the same transformative potential that he experienced in Tampa and D.C., and later formed a partnership with DLP Capital CEO and founder Don Wenner and JWB Real Estate Capital President Alex Sifakis to start the project.

“I truly believe Downtown Jacksonville is at a tipping point with all of the public and private investment Downtown,” Moll said. 

Legislation to finalize the incentives package is expected at City Council in early 2024.

Gateway Jax announced plans Sept. 20 for a $500 million mixed-use development in the North Core area of Downtown that includes apartments, a grocery store and retail space.
Photo by Gateway Jax

Top Deals and Newsmakers of 2023

Here is a look at some of the biggest deals and people who made headlines in 2023.

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

Nick Allard guides JU College of Law toward new Downtown campus. 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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