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New Downtown Investment Authority Historic Preservation Program Receives Unanimous Council Approval and Boosts City Incentive for Redevelopment

November 16, 2020
JACKSONVILLE, FL (November 16, 2020) – The Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) launched the Downtown Perseveration and Revitalization Program (DPRP) to boost the City incentive for historic redevelopment. Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved the DPRP bill, lifting previous restrictions that no longer meet the financial realities of rehabilitating historic structures. The new program intends to foster the preservation and revitalization of unoccupied, underutilized, and/or deteriorating historic, and qualified non-historic, buildings located in Downtown Jacksonville. The DPRP is designed to serve projects applying for more than $100,000 as well as code compliance projects on older buildings that do not have historic landmark status.

The bill also modifies the existing Downtown Historic Preservation and Revitalization Trust Fund (HPRTF) limiting it to historically landmarked properties seeking forgivable loans of $100,000 or less. These grants can be approved by the DIA provided funds are available in the Trust Fund.
Council Member Matt Carlucci, who spearheaded the original Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Ordinance, is very excited about the DIA’s new and updated Downtown DPRP. “I believe this will be one of the best tools to truly expedite restoring Historic downtown buildings while also helping promote the reuse of older buildings – mostly in the Downtown core – which I call the ‘real Downtown’, Carlucci said. “I truly appreciate the DIA board and executive director Lori Boyer – this will be a game changer!”

The recently approved bill removes the $1 million cap on grants that had been in place since the HPRTF was created in 2002. In doing so, the DPRP creates more opportunities for developers interested in adaptive reuse. “The DPRP legislation is a badly needed revamp of DIA policy towards adaptive reuse of our historic building stock,” said Alex Sifakis, President of JWB Real Estate Capital. “Far too often we see historic buildings in Downtown being torn down, and the reason is pure economics. In the past it has been a better financial decision for developers or owners to tear down historic building. DPRP changes that calculation for developers and owners and will ensure that many of these historic structures will be saved and renovated – creating true vibrancy in Downtown Jax.”

The DIA encourages adaptive reuse of our historic Downtown buildings and invites interested parties to see why Downtown is unmatched in opportunity.  Contact the DIA today to learn the ways the agency can support your investment in the revitalization of Downtown’s inventory of historic properties.