Retail Enhancement Program
Launched in 2014, the Downtown Retail Enhancement Grant Program
was designed to create momentum in the critical task of recruiting and retaining restaurant and retail businesses and creative office space in the Northbank Core Retail Enhancement Area. In 2019, the program was expanded to incorporate the Southbank Core Retail Enhancement Area. More than $425,000 in program funds have been deployed, leveraging more than $2.8 million of investment and activating more than 23,000 square feet of retail space. (Note: Investment and square footage listed in this report is for completed grants only.
Targeted Retail Activation: Food and Beverage Establishments (FAB-REP)
The DIA's Targeted Food and Beverage Retail Enhancement Program (FAB-REP) aims to cluster restaurants and bars in two distinct, walkable corridors of Downtown: the Laura/Hogan Street Corridor and The Elbow Entertainment District Corridor in the Central Core. Beginning in 2020, the DIA will incentivize investment through five-year forgivable loans to eligible businesses. The program will fund capital improvements up to 50% of the build-out costs. Over $3 million is earmarked for FAB-REP and incentives will be scaled by type of business. Eligibility requirements for businesses include certain dedicated hours of operation, service type, size and locations with ground-level access and street-level visibility.
Storefront Facade Grant Program
The new DIA Storefront Façade Grant Program will provide grant funding for the improvement of storefronts, and, if applicable, second story façades in the Downtown Jacksonville Historic District — located in the Northbank CRA — to activate the streetscape and the overall revitalization of Downtown Jacksonville. This program is focused on physical improvements to the exterior of buildings, unlike the DIA's Retail Enhancement Grant program, which is focused on the operating business and interior and exterior improvements required for such business operations. Interested parties may receive funding at a maximum amount of $30 per square foot of eligible storefront façade. The grant is capped at 50% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant award of $75,000 per applicant.