Jacksonville City Council approves loan for UNF campus in downtown

Jacksonville — Its a big step forward to setting up a satellite campus in downtown Jacksonville for the University of North Florida.

The Jacksonville City Council is moving forward with funding for a new UNF satellite campus downtown. According to the term sheet provided by the Downtown Investment Authority UNF was looking for $380,000 to operate and improve the planned campus in the Barnett Bank Building as well as the ability to purchase parking vouchers at a reduced rate. The city council approved a loan for $300,000 during Tuesday's city council meeting and that money will come from the Downtown Development Fund according to the term sheet. The remaining $80,000 will come from the Downtown Economic Development Fund. The term sheet says the loan will have a 5 year term and the expectation the loan would be forgiven over that time.

The term sheet says UNF is looking to move into the 4th and 5th floors of the Barnett Bank Building and provide an adult working-class campus with evening classes, hybrid options, and graduate programs. The term sheet says UNF expects to have approximately 120 – 150 students when the campus “ramps up”. The term sheet says the loans will go towards new classrooms, offices, a student lounge and a welcome room on the new campus.

UNF tells WOKV they hope to start offering classes in downtown in January.

The Barnett Bank Building is being renovated as part of a $90 million project which includes the Laura Street Trio, the Bisbee Building, Florida Life Building, and Marble Bank Building. The project is designed to bring a signature hotel, parking, dining, office and residential space to downtown.

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