Jacksonville News

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo


Date ArticleType
6/27/2024 4:00:00 AM Member News

Miami-based Developer Future of Cities Receives Unanimous Approval of $5.5 Million Incentive Package and Multifamily Rezoning from Jacksonville City Council for Phoenix Arts & Innovation District

Completion grant will support adaptive re-purposing of warehouses and greenspace while the rezoning will allow for 830 multifamily units to be built over the span of 8.3 owned acres



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — June 27, 2024 — Miami-based real estate developer Future of Cities (FoC) announced today it received approval of an incentive package totaling $5.5 million from the City of Jacksonville’s Office of Economic Development, as well as the approval of rezoning of its planned unit development (PUD) to permit commercial and multifamily residential uses for the Phoenix Arts & Innovation District (PHXJAX). The package and rezoning, outlined in Ordinances 2024-0418 and 2024-0348, were approved by the Jacksonville City Council on June 25, 2024.


“Today is a pivotal milestone for Phoenix Arts & Innovation District and the city of Jacksonville. This incentive package is a testament to the collaborative outcomes possible through genuine public-private partnerships,” said Tony Cho, CEO and Founder of Future of Cities and Founding Managing Partner of PHXJAX. “This is a major win for all of Jacksonville including the local artists, small businesses, greater Downtown residents and overall community to demonstrate to the world that creativity and capital investments work best when they work together.”



PHXJAX is a regenerative placemaking demonstration project comprising 10 separate properties across 8.3 acres located in a federally designated Opportunity Zone in the North Springfield neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida. The funds outlined in the Economic Development Agreement between Future of Cities and the City of Jacksonville will be provided in two phases as a Completion Grant in the amount of $2 million for each phase to support the adaptive rehabilitation of four warehouses and green space, transforming it into event and gathering spaces, creative office space, artist studios, galleries, retail and restaurants. In addition, the City of Jacksonville has authorized a 50% 15-year recaptured enhanced value (REV) grant not to exceed $1.5 million. In the Emerald Station’s creative offices property located at 2320 N. Liberty Street, PHXJAX is also providing dedicated office space to the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business (JSEB) organization, which is a small business incubator run by the City of Jacksonville.

These grants, coupled with Future of Cities’ investment of nearly $38 million into the project, demonstrate the strength of a public/private partnership approach when developing a community-focused project. 

“People always ask us, ‘Why Jacksonville?’ And we ask, ‘Why not Jacksonville?’” said Michael Weil, Chief Operating Officer of FoC and PHXJAX. “Jacksonville has all the fundamentals to compete with other major Florida metros and it has been a true pleasure to work in Jacksonville with the support of the Mayor’s Office, City Council and the City’s exceptional, dynamic and diverse communities.”

The first phase of the PHXJAX development began in December 2023 with the commencement of construction of The Emerald Station, featuring creative offices, community gathering spaces and a warehouse event facility. Construction has also begun on the Liberty Building, which will house 17,850 square feet of office, studios, galleries, small-format retail and restaurants. Complementing these buildings is a property located at 2335 Market Street that will be an outdoor market space serving as a greenspace for community activity. The district also includes a hub of the Emerald Trail, a planned network of 30+ miles of trails, greenways and parks connecting the urban core neighborhoods of Jacksonville. The Emerald Station is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2024 while the Liberty Building is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2025.

“This support from the City of Jacksonville is essential to the PHXJAX vision to co-create with the community a space for catalyzing art, culture and innovation to serve the greater good,” said Emily Moody, Vice President and Chief Experience Officer of PHXJAX. “As a third generation Jacksonvillian, I am so excited to help bring this project to life for Jacksonville as the first demonstration project of Future of Cities.” 


Tony Cho’s previous projects include the Wynwood Arts District and the Magic City Innovation District Little Haiti, both located in Miami, Florida. 


Emily Pierce and Hayden Phillips from Rogers Towers led the rezoning efforts on behalf of PHXJAX.  


The Emerald Station pre-leasing opportunities are available now. For more information, visit phxjax.com/emeraldstation.




About PHX JAX | The Phoenix Arts & Innovation District in Jacksonville, FL, is a regenerative placemaking project dedicated to building equity through community, arts, and culture, aiming to provide a global platform for artists and business incubation in Jacksonville's North Springfield neighborhood. Collaborating with artists, residents, cultural instigators, and change makers in Jacksonville, the initiative by the Future of Cities team focuses on creating a vibrant, diverse neighborhood. To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities to get involved, visit phxjax.com.


About Friends of Phoenix | The non-profit arm of the PHXJAX project, Friends of Phoenix, is committed to fostering community engagement, enhancing educational opportunities and cultural experiences, by driving innovation. Aligning with the broader mission of the Phoenix Arts & Innovation District, Friends of Phoenix operates through four pillars: Arts and Culture, Sustainability, Technology, and Financial Stability. 


About Future of Cities | Future of Cities was created to reimagine how we live, work, play and learn as a mission-driven platform invested in transforming the built environment. We take a holistic place-based approach to regenerative development to adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies that improve the quality of urban living across the globe.