This rezoning would allow The Simpson Organization, Inc. to develop a five-floor mixed-use self storage building on a 1.01-acre site at the intersection of Prudential Drive and Hendricks Avenue in the Downtown Southbank.

Called the “Downtown Southbank Mixed-Use PUD and designed by Shamrock Building Systems, Inc. the project would include 16,042 square feet of commercial space and 149,033 square feet of self-storage space and 33 covered parking spaces.

The project drew considerable opposition from the community, leading to City Council deferring a bill to allow self-storage buildings in downtown. A rezoning to PUD is an alternative path that would allow this project to move forward.

On February 9, 2023, the DDRB will review and discuss a report and recommendation provided by staff regarding the proposed project.

General Information

Application for Planned Unit Development 2023-007 seeks to rezone approximately 1.01 acres of land from Commercial Central Business District (CCBD) to Planned Unit Development (PUD). The subject site consists of four (4) parcels. The parcels are within the Downtown Overlay Zone, Subpart H of Chapter 656, and as such, development is subject to the Downtown District Use and Form Regulations.

The rezoning to PUD is being sought to allow for a mixed-use structure with ground floor retail, office, restaurant, or other commercial programming with personal property self-storage uses on the second through fifth floor. Approximately 16,042 square feet of retail space; 149,033 square feet of personal property self-storage; and 16,730 square feet of covered drives and parking are planned for the proposed development.

The subject site is located at the southwest corner of Hendricks Avenue and Prudential Drive. The site abuts office and retail development. Offices and restaurants are located across Hendricks Avenue from the subject site, and hotels are located across Prudential Drive from the subject site. The intersection of Prudential Drive and Hendricks Avenue is a major commercial node as it establishes a change in character from mid-rise office and commercial uses to high-rise, hospitality-driven uses that address, or cater to, the Southbank Riverwalk, which is less than 1,000 feet from the subject site.

Source: February 9, 2023 DDRB Meeting Agenda Packet

DDRB Staff Review

The Downtown Investment Authority’s vision for Downtown, as stated in the recently adopted Business Investment and Development (BID) Plan (Ordinance 2022-0372-E), is that Downtown Jacksonville is a dynamic, resilient, people friendly, urban center that capitalizes on the importance of the River and is the premier center for business, sports and entertainment, culture, and urban living in the heart of the Southeastern U.S.

The evaluation in this staff report shows that the proposed rezoning from CCBD to PUD conflicts with the City’s Land Use Regulations; does not further the goals, objectives, and policies of the Comprehensive Plan or BID Plan; and is not aligned with the spirit and intent of the Zoning Code. Furthermore, the proposed zoning district would constitute spot zoning and would also deviate from the established and intended development pattern for the Southbank District of Downtown.

While the ground floor retail/restaurant use is a welcome addition at this location, the proposed use of personal property self-storage poses a significant obstacle to Downtown’s continued growth and revitalization as that use lacks the intensity and density needed for this location to achieve the vision of a dynamic, populated, urban center.

Source: February 9, 2023 DDRB Meeting Agenda Packet

Staff Recommendation

Based on the foregoing, it is the recommendation of the Downtown Investment Authority that Application for Rezoning 2023-007 be DENIED.

  • Source: February 9, 2023 DDRB Meeting Agenda Packet*

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Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at