Alvin Brown holds Renew Jax groundbreaking in Springfield

Alvin Brown Groundbreaking

On a sunny Tuesday morning in Springfield, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown came together with community leaders for a groundbreaking on a 14-unit apartment building on West Eighth Street, in an area city leaders have been trying to revitalize for decades.

The multifamily apartment building, called the Dozier apartments (named after architect Henrietta Dozier) was designed using, in part, principles that Dozier utilized during her trailblazing career. She was the first female architect in the state of Georgia and, indeed, one of the leading architects in the Southeast in the first half of the 20th century, with her imprimatur on churches, buildings, and residential structures in Jacksonville and Atlanta both.

Notable about Dozier was her belief that structures should be designed for the Florida climate, using Florida materials and labor. Dozier even went so far as to purchase all materials used in Jacksonville structures right here in Jacksonville.

Stakeholders at the event included the mayor, Kevin Gay of Operation New Hope, former Jacksonville City Councilman Johnny Gaffney, former Councilwoman and current candidate Pat Lockett-Felder, and Abel Harding.

Gay described the event as an “exciting day for us.” Operation New Hope, he said, worked with the city and various corporate partners to forge a public-private partnership to build the multi-income building in “one of the most unique, diverse, and vibrant communities in Jacksonville.” He said it will serve those who work at UF Health and Florida State College at Jacksonville, both within walking distance of the apartments.

He also acknowledged Dozier as a trailblazer, citing that she worked in a time when men did not want to work with female architects, which required her to dress in male clothes and sign her name as Henry Dozier.

The mayor, meanwhile, lauded the project as an example of his administration’s holistic vision for urban redevelopment.

“When we launched Renew Jax, this is exactly the kind of project that I had in mind,” he said.

The Dozier Apartments will have a diverse population, in terms of income. The 6 two-bedroom units will be for moderate income families or couples (with expected monthly rent in the ~$1300 range); meanwhile, other one bedroom and studio apartments will be for single people or couples only, not families. Those rents will start at $525 & up.

Questions not related to the project dominated the contentious Q&A between Action News Jax and the Mayor after the event. For details on that, click here.

Dozier Apartments

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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