North Point Town Center, Jacksonville

01 July 2011

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North Point Town Center to bring new look to Northwest Jacksonville. Hopes are that the project can be a catalyst for the area.

Florida Times-Union online.
Posted: November 17, 2010 - 5:32pm
By David Bauerlein

The $3.5 million building that will rise up from an abandoned piece of property at the junction of Moncrief Road and Myrtle Avenue won’t look anything like the surrounding northwest Jacksonville neighborhood. That’s by design, said Paul Tutwiler, executive director of the Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corp.

“It’s essential that we take a community built in the 1930s and 1940s into the 21st century, which is where we should be,” Tutwiler said Wednesday. Tutwiler was joined Wednesday by Mayor John Peyton, Sheriff John Rutherford and City Council member E. Denise Lee for a “retail revitalization” ceremony touting upcoming construction of the North Point Town Center. He said the two-story, 10,600-square-foot building should be finished by the end of next summer.

The community development corporation, a nonprofit group that focuses on neighborhood turnaround, is taking on its first commercial development project after building 67 new homes in an area in which residents suffer high levels of unemployment. Over the years, commercial and retail activity has exited the neighborhood. But with new rooftops in place, Tutwiler said it’s time to focus on bringing back retail. The city is giving financial assistance by using the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund. The city will loan $527,579 to the project and provide a $351,719 grant. Other funding sources for the project are the Florida Community Loan Fund, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants, the nonprofit group LISC Jacksonville, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program for brownfield redevelopment, and Wachovia, a Wells Fargo company.

The city donated the land in 2008 but an environmental report found soil contamination from a long-ago service station, resulting in the brownfield designation for the property. The Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund was created by the Better Jacksonville Plan, which voters approved in 2000 with a half-cent sales tax. The $25 million economic development fund has had a rocky performance over the years. A Times-Union investigation in March found the fund has fallen short in creating jobs, in part because some costly projects remain unfinished.

In the case of North Point Town Center, the project met all the criteria for job creation, enhancing a commercial corridor, and bringing commercial activity back to a neighborhood, said Wight Greger, director of the city’s housing and neighborhood department.

She said the city also asked a credit underwriter to review the feasibility of the project and got a positive report. “We treated it as if it was a business decision,” she said.

The city is confident Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corp. will be able to lease the building, she said. Signing tenants is still something that needs to be done. Tutwiler said his organization will lease a chunk of space for its activities, but the building still needs an anchor tenant and others to fill up the space. A pharmacy and a pharmaceutical company are among the businesses that have shown interest, he said.

Tutwiler said North Point Town Center can help the neighborhood on two fronts: adding jobs in the neighborhood will help lower the crime rate. “We’re going to build our way out of crime,” he said.

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Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
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TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
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Support from Valley Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
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FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
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FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
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FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
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FCLF and the NMTC Program renovated a historic building into a small business incubaor.
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FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
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Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, financed the land for farmworker rental housing with FCLF.
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FCLF Financing to Neighbor Up Brevard helps provide affordable rental housing.
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
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FCLF supporter, the Northern Trust Company, hosted a housing roundtable in Sarasota.
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
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Residents at Neighborhood Renaissance's Mathis Place enjoy affordable rent.
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Support from Axiom Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education  for the whole child in Brevard County.
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education for the whole child in Brevard County.
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ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
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FCLF staff and US Legislative staff at an event honoring Youth of the Year.
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FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
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FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
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FCLF Staff are on hand at conferences and events to discuss our programs.
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
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Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
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FCLF staff are active at statewide conferences and events.
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The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
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FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
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Core Purpose FCLF exists to maximize opportunities for people and places outside of the economic mainstream.
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