By Sheri Leonard Webber
In the shadow of I-95’s Arch Bridge, beyond the historic Myrtle Avenue tunnel, and amid the grumble of passing trains, you will discover the up-and-coming Rail Yard District, one of Jacksonville’s most unique historic communities. A relic of the Jacksonville Terminal Company has now become a hotbed for start-ups, adaptive reuse, and inventive development. At the gateway of the Rail Yard District, stands an ode to renovation and design: Dennis + Ives. The former cold storage warehouse has been reimagined as a premier mixed-use commercial suite. Its master plan encompasses over seven contiguous acres with easy access to I-95, I-10, and downtown Jacksonville.
So, what happens when 95 Arch Partners, Design Cooperative (DCOOP), Colliers Urban Division, and Fogle Art Consulting step onto a qualified Opportunity Zone property and get to work? Well, nothing short of market-driven, history-inspired beauty, and phase one is nearing completion. “Our creative office building is coming online right now,” says Trip Stanly, development partner, as he stands just beyond an arcade of original industrial columns. Behind him, a 7-by-5-foot canvas by Christie Holechek, “Rising Expectations,” breathes life and color onto a 16-foot wall. He credited DCOOP with several inspirational design decisions, including cutting out new 8-by-8-foot windows around the entire building