With smart planning and marketing, and an influx of new companies repurposing old industrial buildings, a wholesale district in Jacksonville is poised to become a hub for the city and the region. Thanks in part to technical assistance and investment from LISC, the poetically named “Honeymoon Yard” holds 346 businesses, creating 6,289 jobs and generating $2.6 billion in annual revenue.
This excerpt below is from:
Business Owners Uniting Over Urban Wholesale District
By Modern Cities
Jacksonville's own wholesale district is getting major boost with the formation of a business owner's association to enhance the neighborhood's appearance and functionality.
As highlighted in this previously published article, Jacksonville possesses a neighborhood hidden in plain view that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in local economic impact. Buoyed by an influx of new businesses reimagining industrial buildings, the area once known as Honeymoon Yard has the potential to become a regional destination and could eclipse Detroit's Eastern Market as the largest wholesale district in the country. Now, area business owners are formally organizing in an effort to capitalize on the area's assets, market the area appropriately and improve on infrastructure that has gone neglected for decades.
One of the district's newest business owners, Annie Murphy of Eco Relics, was present at a gathering of business owners last week organized by LISC Jacksonville and was excited about the neighborhood's future. "There is so much we can do as a group to improve the economics of the business community as well as improve the livability of this district," she said. "A coalition of strong and viable businesses can help bring change both physical (sidewalks, greenery etc) and conceptual (safety, run-down). I have high hopes that we can bring attention to this vibrant area to encourage more entrepreneurs and residents to make it their home."
“After talking to many of the local business owners here, it became evident that this might be a place where LISC can do what we are in business to do,” said Janet Owens, LISC Jacksonville’s Executive Director. “LISC Jacksonville is a local chapter of the national Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Since 1999 the local organization has supported a variety of efforts aimed at stabilizing and rebuilding some of Jacksonville’s most-struggling neighborhoods. LISC doesn’t lead efforts like (organizing the Business Innovation District). Instead, we provide support to those who are leading these kinds of efforts. We want to see this group realize the goals that they have agreed on at our latest meeting.”
Business owners like Murphy heard from a consultant hired by LISC to examine the area's current status as well as identify areas where improvements are necessary. “The conclusion we reached,” said Joel Bookman, one of the consultants LISC hired to conduct the market analysis, “was that the area is a strong economic engine; not just for Northwest Jacksonville, but for all of Jacksonville." The neighborhood currently houses 346 businesses, creating 6,289 jobs and accounting for over $2.6 billion in annual revenue. Continue Reading[+]...
“Business Owners Uniting Over Urban Wholesale District,” Metro Jacksonville