Rail Yard District / Durkeeville

53. Forest Street Classical School 391

A dream of Vestcor Companies chairman John Rood, remediation efforts are finally underway at the former Forest Park Elementary School brownfield site in Mixton Town. Now owned by the Vestcor Family Foundation, the end result will be a new urban charter school called the Jacksonville Classical Academy. With an anticipated fall 2020 opening, eventual plans call for a kindergarten through twelfth grade facility with 1,000 students. In addition, a portion of the former school (closed due to desegregation in 1971) and waste incinerator site will become a new public park and a historic building with ties to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune will be preserved.

54. Citrus Distillers, LLC

Citrus Distillers LLC is in the process of relocating from Riviera Beach, Florida to the Rail Yard District. Established in 2012, the artisan distillery produces its own brands and provides contract services for other brands and private labels. The distillery is now in the process of renovating a 16,980 square foot warehouse constructed in 1952, located at 2222 Harper Street.

55. Lemonstreet Brewing Company

Joaquin “Joe” and Maryn Baez and friend Andrew Parks are in the process of seeking zoning approval to open a new craft brewery and taproom at 2100 Dennis Street in the Rail Yard District. The Lemonstreet Brewing Company will be located in a 20,000 square foot building once used by the Ronco Machine Inc. to make cardboard cores for toilet paper rolls.

For more information: https://www.lemonstreetbrewing.com/

56. The 2100 Block Collective Co-LAB

The 2100 Block Collective Co-LAB will occupy a portion of a former paper products manufacturing plant being renovated into the Lemonstreet Brewing Company.

57. 546 Myrtle Avenue

546 Myrtle Avenue is being converted into an indoor soccer training facility. Originally completed in 1950, the 13,000 square foot building will contain three fields, exercise and locker rooms and a clubhouse area.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Davis is a certified senior planner and graduate of Florida A&M University. He is the author of the award winning books “Reclaiming Jacksonville,” “Cohen Brothers: The Big Store” and “Images of Modern America: Jacksonville.” Davis has served with various organizations committed to improving urban communities, including the American Planning Association and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. A 2013 Next City Vanguard, Davis is the co-founder of Metro Jacksonville.com and ModernCities.com — two websites dedicated to promoting fiscally sustainable communities — and Transform Jax, a tactical urbanist group. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com