Añejo Cocina Mexicana will be coming soon to Unity Plaza in Brooklyn.

Unity Plaza opened in 2015 with much fanfare, promising to become the ‘Central Park’ of Jacksonville. Developed as a public private partnership between the City of Jacksonville, Hallmark Partners and Mid-American Apartment Communities, the privately-managed public park, amphitheater and adjoining retail complex never lived up to its significant hype.The retail spaces have sat empty since 2018, the non-profit that was to manage the plaza has been non-existent since 2016.

In August 2019, the vacant 17,053-square-foot retail strip was acquired by Memphis-based Mid-American Apartments LP for $3.3 million. Since the 2018 closure of Unity Plaza’s last retail tenant, redevelopment throughout Brooklyn has intensified. To the west, Greenbelt, MD based Baywood Hotels is in the process of developing a 135-room Residence Inn by Marriott in Brooklyn. Overlooking Unity Plaza, the $10.2 million, seven-story hotel will be located at 357 Oak Street.

Unity Plaza with a Residence Inn by Marriott hotel under construction in the background.

To the immediate north, at the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Jackson Street, construction continues on a 10-story, 308-unit high-rise apartment project. Called Vista Brooklyn, the $60 million development will include 14,000-square feet of street level retail when it is completed in 2021.

Vista Brooklyn

To the immediate south, construction continues on a $22.5 million, four-story parking garage for Florida Blue at the intersection of Forest and Park Streets. Replacing a stormwater retention pond, this project will include a 0.05-acre public plaza and future ground floor retail space.

A parking garage under construction for Florida Blue.

In addition, preliminary land clearing efforts are underway for a $145 million world headquarters for Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. Expected to be completed by June 2022, the 12-story, 300,000 square foot tower will be located just east of Unity Plaza.

Renderings of the proposed global headquarters for Fidelity National Information Services, Inc.