Downtown development at a cost, how much the city is dishing out

A 30-acre lot on the Southbank will soon no longer sit empty. RiversEdge will bring hundreds of residential units, a hotel, retail, and park to the area. The development’s official unveiling kicked off Wednesday night.


It’s good news for siblings Greg Stratton and Chris Murray who were walking along the Riverwalk.

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“It’s great to see some of the changes here, but some more entertainment. Some more points of interest,” Stratton said.

Action News Jax caught up with the developers at Wednesday’s unveiling. Ramiro Albarron said action speaks louder than words, which he says is what RiversEdge proves.

“Proving that you can come out of the ground with a project, even with tough times in front of us with interest rates etcetera.”

Read: ‘Prices will go up:’ The hidden costs of downtown development on Jacksonville homeowners

But it does come at a cost. The $693 million project is getting $97 million in incentives from the city and it’s not the only one. On the Northbank, Shad Kahn’s $387 million Four Seasons project is getting $129 million from the city. At Riverfront Plaza, DIA approved $36 million for American Lions’ $166 million proposed skyscraper.

That’s a total of about $262 million in city tax breaks or grants for just those three projects. There’s many more in the works downtown. Albarron said that partnership is key.

Read: ‘I think we finally did it:’ $2 billion project set to revamp 20 blocks of Downtown Jacksonville

“It is absolutely critical to deliver a special project. What we’re unveiling today is impossible to do without those incentive monies from the city.”

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The park space at RiversEdge could be open by the end of 2024, Albarron said.

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