New year brings new life for the Barnett Building in Downtown Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL — The University of North Florida says it’s new Downtown campus in the Barnett building will officially open in the new year, and it’s just one of many projects now rolling out, as the massive renovation and rehabilitation of the building starts to come to an end.

WOKV has been following this project for close to two years, which is when the developers- The Molasky Group and SouthEast Development Group- revealed their $90 million plans for the Laura Street Trio and Barnett Building in Downtown. The overall vision will include more parking, a signature hotel, dining, retail, residential and commercial space, and much more. Redevelopment of the Barnett Building- which is the first phase of the project- formally kicked off in October 2017.

Earlier this year, WOKV confirmed UNF was planning a satellite campus in that building, for close to 200 students and staff of the Coggin College of Business. UNF now confirms Masters of Science in Management courses will be offered at their new Downtown Center For Entrepreneurship, starting January 7, 2019.

SouthEast Development Group tells WOKV they also plan to have 107 residential apartments available to start leasing in January, with delivery in February or March. January will also feature announcements of additional commercial tenants to join JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to the developers.

In all, we’re told interior renovations should be done in the next 60 days, and exterior renovations are already underway. They’re planning for a “Grand Opening” in early Spring 2019.

The developers are getting nearly $10 million in incentives from the City to complete this project.

It's one of many moving parts currently in Downtown Jacksonville. While the City recently decided to abandon plans for a new Convention Center at this time, they say they are doing that to allow other supporting development projects to take hold. The final funding for removing the Hart Bridge ramps in Downtown was recently approved by the US Department of Transportation, and JTA got a federal boost for their Bay Street Innovation Corridor transportation project. The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently planning a redevelopment of Lot J at TIAA Bank Field in to a mixed-use entertainment space, as Jags owner Shad Khan continues to negotiate the redevelopment of the Shipyards property. The Berkman II property is also undergoing a redevelopment, with the end goal of making it a hotel and amusement center. And there are plenty of smaller projects as well, including a planned dog park.

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