Community Meeting - May 2022

Date: 5/3/2022

Location: Hyperion Brewing Company (1740 N Main Street)

Time: 6 pm

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 50 guests to the meeting. 

Kelly introduced Ralph Davies, Real Estate Chief Investment Officer for Future of Cities. Ralph presented on the development and regenerative placemaking strategies taking place in the Phoenix Arts District. The vision of Future of Cities is that with patience and careful, thoughtful planning that you can create outside social and economic deterrents. Ralph discussed how Historic Springfield and Phoenix Arts District can support each other, as well as how excited they are to jointly work with Groundwork Jacksonville on bringing the Emerald Trail to fruition given that it will run right through the property. He also introduced Jacksonville local Emily Moody, as Future of Cities’ new Director of Community Engagement. 

Kelly Rich introduced Billy  from Corner Lot Development Group who is developing the project at 1st and Main Streets. This will be a mixed use project and they will be repurposing the current structure (closer to JEA) and then expanding further north up to 2nd and Main. Corner Lot has been working diligently with SPAR and the local community to pay homage to local architecture. They expect to have 201 residential units with an interior courtyard, pool, and fitness facility. In addition, they are working with COJ to have about 8 units that are on the ground floor for residential on Main Street. Corner Lot has been working to beautify the adjacent alley in its traditional historic state and to keep it open for residential units along it. There will be a parking garage inside their property with an entrance on 2nd Street. This bodes well with the planned construction on Main Street with FDOT and looks to not cause any additional congestion. Permits and paperwork are currently with the City of Jacksonville, so there’s no official groundbreaking date yet. Corner Lot is optimistic for a late Fall/early Winter start date. 

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Community Meeting - February 2022

Date: 2/10/2022

Location: Boys & Girls Club - Citi Teen Center (313 East 10th Street)

Time: 6 pm

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 25 guests to the meeting. 

Kelly introduced Gloria McNair, Community Engagement and Equity Manager for Groundwork Jacksonville, presented on Activating Jacksonville’s Riverfront.. This project has the goals of bringing people and energy to Jacksonville’s Riverfront, connecting to new and diverse audiences, developing community trust and engagement, creating a robust program calendar for an active riverfront year-round, enhancing the riverfront experience through activities and public space interventions, and providing recommendations for sustainable governance and funding models. She went over the progress so far, including sharing information and feedback that Groundwork Jacksonville has received from stakeholders via community meetings, surveys, and public programs and tours. 

Kelly and Gloria discussed Hogans Creek Fest, which was held the very next day in Klutho Park, as a chance for stakeholders and residents to get a chance to talk to the engineers and designers of the creek’s restoration 1-on-1. The designers take the feedback from the community and immediately find ways to implement it into the overall design. 

Kelly reminded attendees of the  2021 launch of the Joyce Holbrook Springfield Advocacy Award. Living in Historic Springfield for just over 50 years, Joyce Holbrook was a central influence in the revitalization of the neighborhood in the 1970's as a charter member of both SPAR and Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services. Joyce was central in the work to designate Springfield as a Historic District, and was fondly referred to by many as the “Mayor of Springfield.” Over her many years of community involvement, Joyce worked tirelessly to make the one-square mile of Historic Springfield what it is today. The Joyce Holbrook Springfield Advocacy Award will be presented to members of the Historic Springfield community who have proven their leadership, volunteerism, and a love for the neighborhood. SPAR worked with local artist, Ed Malesky, to create a beautifully carved wooden sculpture in the shape of the Prairie Cross, which is a well known symbol used in architecture designed by Henry Klutho. The Prairie Cross design is also incorporated into SPAR’s logo.

In 2021, the inaugural Joyce Holbrook Springfield Advocacy Award was presented to immediate Past President of the SPAR Board, Todd Hollinghead. In 2022, the SPAR Board awarded Christine Farley with this recognition. Christine has a wealth of knowledge about Historic Springfield and has dedicated much of her time to preserving the history of the neighborhood, volunteering her time with both SPAR and SIAA.

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Annual Meeting - December 2021

Date: 12/7/2021

Location: Hyperion Brewing Company (1740 North Main Street)

Time: 6 pm

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 45 guests to the meeting. 

Kelly introduced Reggie Gaffney, Jr, who was representing Councilman Reggie Gaffney. Councilman Gaffney had a prior engagement with a City of Jacksonville LUZ meeting and could not attend.

Kelly introduced Greg McGarity, President of Gator Bowl Sports. Greg shared that the 77th Annual Gator Bowl is taking place on Saturday, December 31st, at 11 am and Jacksonville is hosting Wake Forest vs Texas A&M. Each team will arrive between December 26th and 27th, so there should be a noticeable uptick of fans in Historic Springfield and Jacksonville as a whole. The Gator Bowl Committee works to generate a lot of excitement for the game within the community, including encouraging companies and corporations to buy and donate tickets so local kids can attend the game.     

Kelly introduced Jeremy Smith of Patriot Services, a Jacksonville-based nonprofit that provides affordable housing and support services to low-income individuals and families, but also Veterans. Specifically, those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. As of 10:30 am on the day of the Community Meeting, Patriot Services closed on what is being referred to as The Springfield Initiative, five properties that contain a total of 68-units of which 20% will be designated for homeless Veterans and families. These affordable housing units will be renovated and rehabilitated over the next year. Patriot Services will be developing relationships with the local VA Clinic on Jefferson Street to assist in placing any homeless Veterans in need of housing. Included in the development is a Veterans Resource Center nearby to the VA Clinic, where VA caseworkers and others can work and meet one-on-one with Veteran residents. Additionally, two of the five properties will prioritize women Veterans and their children as they are an underserved population.  

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Community Meeting - September 2021

Date: 9/2/2021

Location: SPAR Office Virtual Meeting (1321 North Main Street)

Time: 6 pm

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 35 guests online to the meeting. 

Kelly apologized for the last minute change of venue due to the weather, but informed attendees that there will be a rescheduled on-site meeting at the Main Street Food Park to be announced soon. This will be for members of the community to meet business owners, Hector and Cherron, and learn more about what they plan for this space, ask questions, and voice their concerns. 

Kelly discussed Groundwork Jacksonville’s continued work on envisioning what Hogans Creek will look like as part of the Emerald Trail. The goal of the Hogan’s Creek Task Force is to look for ways to reduce flooding, improve the water quality, provide better habitats for fish and wildlife, improve access, increase recreational opportunity, increase resiliency and look at the impact of sea level rise, using the natural channel design instead of restraining that is current in place, and maintaining historically significant features. There will be changes to the width of the creek, which means there is a possibility that the historic balustrades will be moved. The overall goal will be to repurpose, recreate, and keep the branding and design that is so instrumental to Hogans Creek and Klutho Park. 

Groundwork’s goal for a completed conceptual design of Hogans Creek is for the end of January 2022, and they hope to host a creek festival to share preliminary designs at the end of November 2021. So far, through Groundwork’s online survey for the Hogans Creek redesign, they have only received about 250 responses. They have also held multiple Hogans Creek Vision walks, as well as two visioning sessions during the last week of August. It is imperative that Historic Springfield stakeholders make their voices heard. Groundwork’s Executive Director, Kay Ehas, asked if members of the Springfield community could answer questions (provided here) and email responses to her at [email protected] as soon as possible. Community input provided from stakeholders will be shared with consultants who are working on the Hogans Creek redesign. Additionally, Kay and the Groundwork Jacksonville team will be attending the September 29th Music on Main for anyone who would like to have a conversation with them directly.

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Community Meeting - May 2021

Date: 5/6/2021

Location: SPAR Office Virtual Meeting (1321 North Main Street)

Time: 6 pm

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 25 guests online to the meeting.

Kelly introduced the Perkins & Will Team. They shared their vision for the Park Redevelopment Design Competition underway for the site formerly known as The Landing. 

Kelly discussed the progress of moving back into the SPAR Building at 1321 North Main Street and the Building for the Future Capital Campaign. The campaign has raised approximately $350,000 of the $500,000 goal. Every donation would greatly help SPAR move closer to the goal of covering the costs of the total restoration of the building. She showed before and after pictures of the progress within the building so far, including the layout of the downstairs Community Collaboration Center, outside staircase to the 2nd floor, and the upstairs headquarters for SPAR. Kelly shared a mockup of the Prairie Cross glass etching, which will show appreciation for donors, and will be displayed outside of the Community Collaboration Center.

Kelly gave an update from SAMBA (Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association) and the Springfield Commercial Corridor. She informed attendees that there are currently 76 members of SAMBA, who are represented by the SAMBA Advisory Committee within the Commercial Corridors discussions. SAMBA meetings are free to visit and open to anyone in Springfield or those who want to do business in Springfield. SAMBA membership levels include two tiers for returning members (General at $100 and Executive at $250). New members of SAMBA can join at $50 for the first year with an Introductory membership. SAMBA works to invite quality speakers and include resources beneficial to small businesses.

SAMBA sponsors two grant programs for its membership - the Quarterly Mini-Grant for members’ events and the Facade Grant. The SAMBA Mini-Grant helps offset costs for members’ events and programs. In 2021, SAMBA doubled the budget for the Facade Grant and awarded three businesses (Hof’s Printing, Bishop Classic Motors, and RE/MAX Supreme) with grants so far. Applications for both grant programs are available on the SPAR website.

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Community Meeting - February 2021

Date: 2/4/2021

Location: SPAR Office Virtual Meeting (1334-1 Walnut Street)

Time: 5:30 pm

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 25 guests online to the meeting.

Kelly introduced Kristin Keen, Executive Director of Rethreaded, who will soon be moving to Historic Springfield at 9th and Ionia Streets. Rethreaded is a nonprofit whose mission is to renews hope, reignites dreams and releases potential for survivors of human trafficking locally and globally through business. They do this by providing survivors with long-term employment coupled with mental health care and care management. Rethreaded has been in the Railyard District for the past 9 years in a location with only 2600 square feet, and they employ 27 people. The retail, production, and administration branches for their organization have all been within that space with no room for them to grow.

Kristin announced that Rethreaded has officially closed on the building at 9th and Ionia streets and are officially moving to Springfield. The campus and it’s included buildings are about 36,000 square feet. Rethreaded will be using 20,000 square feet of the campus and renting out the additional space. This nearly quadruples Rethreaded’s capacity to hire and serve more survivors of human trafficking.Renovations are currently taking place with a soft move-in date of April 2021. Rethreaded plans to build out an industrial kitchen, running a third party logistics company, and expand their sewing production. The retail space will be expanded to 2800 square feet with business hours from 9 am to 5 pm.

Kristin expressed that when the Rethreaded team came to Springfield for the initial tour of the space, they were impressed by the welcome they received from the neighborhood with representatives of SPAR and members of the neighborhood in attendance. They still have funds to raise for the property and are creating a prayer and meditation garden for survivors. Members of the community can purchase a personalized brick to be added to this space for $125. The community can literally pave the way for Rethreaded to help more survivors of human trafficking to reclaim their lives. Rethreaded can’t wait to help change more lives with the Springfield community and bring restoration and hope to continue to rethread.

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Annual Meeting - December 2020

Date: 12/3/2020

Location: Uptown Kitchen & Bar (1303 N Main Street)

Time: 5:30 pm

Tim Hope, SPAR Board President, welcomed the approximate 50 guests, both in-person and online, to the meeting. He shared with attendees that there are a lot of ways to get involved with Springfield and SPAR: you can volunteer at an event, join a SPAR committee, donate to a SPAR program, and, also, share the positive changes that are occurring in the neighborhood with friends and family.  

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Community Meeting September 2020

Date: 9/3/2020

Location: Sesquicentennial Park (1527 N. Main Street)

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcomed the approximate 45 guests to the meeting. She announced the cancellation of Jacksonville PorchFest 2020 and offered thanks to the local community for their continued support throughout the pandemic. Kelly announced, in lieu of the event, that SPAR is selling a t-shirt to commemorate “The PorchFest That Never Was” with funds raised going towards next year’s festival. 

Kelly Rich presented news about the repair of the SPAR building at 1321 N. Main Street, which was damaged during Hurricane Irma two years ago. The SPAR Asset Management Committee has chosen to work with a local construction company - Auld and White. SPAR is currently working with the City of Jacksonville on the permits with construction starting within 30 days. The goal is to have SPAR building open and operational by early December of 2020. Kelly went on to describe the space, including two office spaces and a full conference room for use by the Board, as well as other Springfield organizations for meetings and events.

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Community Meeting May 2020

We were not able to meet in person for our Spring Community Meeting. We took our notes and put in a slideshow video to share. Please watch and see! Not as much content as a normal Community Meeting since the COVID crisis has slowed some progress but we're all moving forward! Thank you Springfield for your continued support. 

May Community Meeting

We were not able to meet in person for our Spring community meeting. We took our notes and put in a slideshow video to share. Please watch and see! Not as much content as a normal community meeting since the COVID crisis has slowed some progress but we're all moving forward! Thank you Springfield for your continued support.

Posted by Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) on Monday, May 11, 2020

Community Meeting February 2020

Due to extreme weather, the February 6th Quarterly Community Meeting was canceled. Please take a look at the following video, which will show some highlights of what we had planned to discuss.

Due to the approach of extreme weather impacting the Jacksonville area later today, tonight's Quarterly Community Meeting has been canceled. Please mark your calendars for the next SPAR Quarterly Community Meeting - May on May 7th. In the mean time, please take a look at the following video, which will show some highlights of what we had planned to discuss this evening.

Posted by Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) on Thursday, February 6, 2020