UNF planning satellite campus in Downtown’s Barnett Building, seeks incentives

Jacksonville, FL — The University of North Florida is looking to establish a Downtown Jacksonville campus in the Barnett Building.

Documents filed with the city’s Downtown Investment Authority say the school is finalizing negotiations to lease the 4th and 5th floors of the Barnett Bank building, where they would bring a series of graduate and entrepreneurship educational programs. Classes would be held during evening hours. The DIA documents say UNF plans to have 25 faculty and staff and about 150 students using the satellite location in Downtown.

The Barnett Bank Building is currently being redeveloped, as part of a larger $90 million project that includes the Laura Street Trio- bringing a signature hotel, parking, dining, office and residential space, and more. The Building is slated to open later this year, along with a new parking structure. The City has committed $10 million in incentives to the development group for the larger project.

PROJECT WEBSITE: Barnett Building and Laura Street Trio redevelopment

UNF is now requesting $380,000 from the DIA, plus the ability to purchase parking vouchers at a reduced rate. They’re proposing tenant improvements of $1.4 million.

The DIA is proposing to provide a forgivable loan from the Downtown Economic Development Fund. It would have a term of five years and the expectation the loan would be forgiven over that time, as long as certain benchmarks are met around student enrollment. The money would be used for outfitting the classrooms, offices, student lounge, and other areas- largely in technology and furniture.

The DIA is also offering to allow UNF to purchase parking vouchers for staff and students at a discounted rate of $3 each, valid weekdays from 5PM through 10PM.

The DIA Board is set to vote on this plan next Wednesday.

The Term Sheet for this deal implies this would be a five-year lease, with a $13,306 annual lease payment for the first three years and a $266,120 annual lease payment during the fourth and fifth year.

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