Sights and Scenes: Stadium District and Eastside tour

Sights and scenes from The Jaxson's recent walking tour of Jacksonville's Sports & Entertainment District and Historic Eastside. Photographs courtesy of The Jaxson's Ennis Davis, AICP and @caroneats Caron Streibich.

Platted in 1869 by Jessie Cole, the Eastside is a historic African American community located just northeast of Downtown Jacksonville and east of Springfield. Many cities are looking for solutions to the issues caused by gentrification and displacement. One emerging strategy is ‘withintrification,’ where revitalization and investment are driven by the current residents instead of outside developers, planners, consultants, and politicians.

While common thought is that displacement is inevitable as revitalization occurs, Jacksonville’s Eastside neighborhood is working to become the latest example of withintrification that suggest otherwise. A collaboration being spearheaded by two nonprofits, the Historic Eastside Community Development Corporation (HECDC) and LIFT JAX, the Eastside Withintrification strategy is designed to preserve and transform the neighborhood through equitable community development by improving access to social services, cultural development, wealth building, education, safety and an innovative approach to stimulating and preserving affordable housing opportunities. (Ennis Davis, AICP)

Built in 2003 at the cost of $130 million, the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena currently serves as the home arena of the Jacksonville Icemen of the ECHL, the Jacksonville Giants of the American Basketball Association, and the Jacksonville Sharks of the National Arena League. (Ennis Davis, AICP)

Built in 2003 at the cost of $34 million, 121 Financial Ballpark currently serves as the home stadium of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Minor League Baseball team, who play in the International League. (Caron Streibich)

Rise, a Valdosta-based development firm, is in the process of constructing a new eight-story, 247-unit mixed-use apartment development at A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and East Adams Street in the Sports and Entertainment District. Called The Doro, the $35.6 million development will include a 284-space parking garage, 4,875 square feet of ground floor retail space and additional roof top amenities. (Ennis Davis, AICP)

David Paulk, a Financial Analyst, Real Estate and Development for Jacksonville Jaguars, shares the team’s future development plans for the Sports & Entertainment District. Development plans include the construction of a Four Seasons Hotel and Residences at Metropolitan Park and a $120 million practice facility adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. (Ennis Davis, AICP)

The Avenue Grill on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. Historically known as Florida Avenue, “The Avenue” is the center of commerce in the Eastside. A former streetcar route, the corridor is home to many businesses within walking distance of the Sports and Entertainment District. (Caron Streibich)

Lunch at the Avenue Grill. (Caron Streibich)

The new Historic Eastside Cultural Center is located in the former Jacksonville International Longshoremen’s Association building at 920 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. (Ennis Davis, AICP)

The new Historic Eastside Cultural Center at 920 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard is free and open to the public. (Ennis Davis, AICP)