On Tuesday morning, in Riverside Park, stakeholder group ‘5 Points Collaborative,’ and District 14 Jacksonville City Councilwoman, Randy Defoor, announced plans to improve the Five Points area. The group is comprised of Riverside stakeholders, merchants and more. The briefing began with opening comments from Riverside Avondale Preservation’s Executive director, Warren Jones, before Five Points Merchants Association president Kelly Pickard, and Defoor, shared details about the work being done in the area. “We spent the last, roughly, six months kind of just having a series of planning meetings,” said Pickard. “We went on some walking tours to really look at the neighborhood.” Other members of the group stood collectively behind the speakers as they addressed media. “The ‘5 Points Collaborative’ consists of people who work, play and live here,” said Defoor. Homeowners like Bethany Kaisharis, were intrigued by the collaborative’s efforts. “I am excited about any improvements to our neighborhood,” said Kaisharis. The group announced four main objectives aimed at making Riverside more guest friendly. The announcement comes after months of planning and research by the collaborative. Jones explained how the group came together. “Many of the organizations are destination organizations and merchants,” said Jones. “… And what we found in talking to them is that they have a lot of plans but the group wasn’t talking about how they could work together.” The group’s first priority, of four outlined in Tuesday’s briefing, is the development of a memorandum of understanding with the city of Jacksonville. The MOU will define how Five Points merchants work together to improve and maintain streetscape. The remaining priorities include a commitment to revitalizing Riverside Park, plans to improve wayfinding in the Riverside area, and the construction of a new dock to be located between the Cummer Museum of Arts and Garden Club of Jacksonville. Work on the dock is expected to begin in 2020, and comes at a price tag of about $500,000 for the city. The group tells us Defoor worked to secure the funding. “It definitely will include the dock, the dock will come online this summer,” said Defoor. “They’re putting together a wayfaring plan for the signage, and that’s what I’m really going to be focusing on the next couple of years.” The city is also investing about $1.5 million in improving roads in Jacksonville. Of the $1.5 million, $820,000 will go toward Lomax Street improvements, which are also expected to begin this year. The group tells us Lomax will become a more pedestrian friendly one-way street. Defoor tells Action News Jax Riverside Park improvements could be seen in 2021 and may include duck pond renovations. Some we spoke to raised concerns about what’s being done to address homelessness in area. We took their concerns to Defoor, and others in ‘5 Points Collaborative.’ “We definitely have an issue with homelessness in this area, and we are working with the JSO in regard to that as well as Sulzbacher,” said Defoor. “Homelessness is an issue that we have talked about and we’re trying to work with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on how we can best work through that issue,” said Jones. Neighbors like Lindsay Hool tell us they’re excited for what the future may hold for Riverside. “I like Riverside because it is walkable and it has great schools, and the houses are nice and they had a lot of character,” said Hool.