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Miami-based Developer Future of Cities Receives Unanimous Approval of $5.5 Million Incentive Package and Multifamily Rezoning from Jacksonville City Council for Phoenix Arts & Innovation District

Completion grant will support adaptive re-purposing of warehouses and greenspace while the rezoning will allow for 830 multifamily units to be built over the span of 8.3 owned acres.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — June 27, 2024 — Miami-based real estate developer Future of Cities (FoC) announced today it received approval of an incentive package totaling $5.5 million from the City of Jacksonville’s Office of Economic Development, as well as the approval of rezoning of its planned unit development (PUD) to permit commercial and multifamily residential uses for the Phoenix Arts & Innovation District (PHXJAX). The package and rezoning, outlined in Ordinances 2024-0418 and 2024-0348, were approved by the Jacksonville City Council on June 25, 2024.

“Today is a pivotal milestone for Phoenix Arts & Innovation District and the city of Jacksonville. This incentive package is a testament to the collaborative outcomes possible through genuine public-private partnerships. This is a major win for all of Jacksonville including the local artists, small businesses, greater Downtown residents and overall community to demonstrate to the world that creativity and capital investments work best when they work together.”

Tony Cho | CEO and Founder of Future of Cities and Founding Managing Partner of PHXJAX

PHXJAX is a regenerative placemaking demonstration project comprising 10 separate properties across 8.3 acres located in a federally designated Opportunity Zone in the North Springfield neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida. The funds outlined in the Economic Development Agreement between Future of Cities and the City of Jacksonville will be provided in two phases as a Completion Grant in the amount of $2 million for each phase to support the
adaptive rehabilitation of four warehouses and green space, transforming it into event and gathering spaces, creative office space, artist studios, galleries, retail and restaurants. In addition, the City of Jacksonville has authorized a 50% 15-year recaptured enhanced value (REV) grant not to exceed $1.5 million. In the Emerald Station’s creative offices property located at 2320 N. Liberty Street, PHXJAX is also providing dedicated office space to the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business (JSEB) organization, which is a small business incubator run by the City of Jacksonville. These grants, coupled with Future of Cities’ investment of nearly $38 million into the project, demonstrate the strength of a public/private partnership approach when developing a community-focused project.

“People always ask us, ‘Why Jacksonville?’ And we ask, ‘Why not Jacksonville?’ Jacksonville has all the fundamentals to compete with other major Florida metros and it has been a true pleasure to work in Jacksonville with the support of the Mayor’s Office, City Council and the City’s exceptional, dynamic and diverse communities.”

Michael Weil | Chief Operating Officer of FoC and PHXJAX.

The first phase of the PHXJAX development began in December 2023 with the commencement of construction of The Emerald Station, featuring creative offices, community gathering spaces and a warehouse event facility. Construction has also begun on the Liberty Building, which will house 17,850 square feet of office, studios, galleries, small-format retail and restaurants. Complementing these buildings is a property located at 2335 Market Street that will be an outdoor market space serving as a greenspace for community activity. The district also includes a hub of the Emerald Trail, a planned network of 30+ miles of trails, greenways and parks connecting the urban core neighborhoods of Jacksonville. The Emerald Station is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2024 while the Liberty Building is scheduled to be completed in
the second quarter of 2025.

“This support from the City of Jacksonville is essential to the PHXJAX vision to co-create with the community a space for catalyzing art, culture and innovation to serve the greater good. As a third generation Jacksonvillian, I am so excited to help bring this project to life for Jacksonville as the first demonstration project of Future of Cities.”

Emily Moody, Vice President and Chief Experience Officer of PHXJAX

Tony Cho’s previous projects include the Wynwood Arts District and the Magic City Innovation District Little Haiti, both located in Miami, Florida. Emily Pierce and Hayden Phillips from Rogers Towers led the rezoning efforts on behalf of
PHXJAX. The Emerald Station pre-leasing opportunities are available now. For more information, visit

About PHX JAX | The Phoenix Arts & Innovation District in Jacksonville, FL, is a regenerative placemaking project dedicated to building equity through community, arts, and culture, aiming to provide a global platform for artists and business incubation in Jacksonville’s North Springfield neighborhood. Collaborating with artists, residents, cultural instigators, and change makers in
Jacksonville, the initiative by the Future of Cities team focuses on creating a vibrant, diverse neighborhood. To learn more about upcoming events and opportunities to get involved, visit

About Friends of Phoenix | The non-profit arm of the PHXJAX project, Friends of Phoenix, is committed to fostering community engagement, enhancing educational opportunities and cultural experiences, by driving innovation. Aligning with the broader mission of the Phoenix Arts & Innovation District, Friends of Phoenix operates through four pillars: Arts and Culture, Sustainability, Technology, and Financial Stability.

About Future of Cities | Future of Cities was created to reimagine how we live, work, play and learn as a mission-driven platform invested in transforming the built environment. We take a holistic place-based approach to regenerative development to adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies that improve the quality of urban living across the globe.

Demonstrating the value of art and innovation for neighborhood revitalization in the heart of Jacksonville, FL

Phoenix Arts & Innovation District is a pioneering organization dedicated to the practices of creative placemaking, regenerative development, and adaptive reuse of commercial real estate. We are passionate about transforming spaces into vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive environments that foster community and creativity.


Last week our Director of Community Engagement, Emily Moody and our Land Use attorney from Rogers Towers, Emily Pierce, successfully went in front of the City Planning Commission for unanimous approval of our PUD (Planned Unit Development) for the rezoning of our full 8.3 acre district. The final City Council vote will happen on June 18th. We have been diligently meeting with each and every council member on this and have been receiving positive feedback and support. 


It’s almost time to start hard hat tours for the Emerald Station! The 100 year old Emerald Station building houses a mix of 25 creative office spaces, a community gathering space and a 500 person event venue. Our team is on track to open in early Fall 2024 and is pre-booking both the offices and event venue now. This will become the creative and innovative HUB of the district with The Emerald Trail passing directly behind, offering convenient and accessible public transportation to and from the Arts & Innovation District including a small business incubator & accelerator program powered by Future of Cities | PHXJAX. 



“The City of Jacksonville, Groundwork Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) are celebrating a ‘major victory’ in their commitment to delivering the Emerald Trail to the Jacksonville community.”

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