On Wednesday, January 6th, SPAR and the City of Jacksonville held a joint public meeting to discuss plans for the implementation of more bike infrastructure in Historic Springfield. This meeting focused on the future resurfacing of two streets: (1) 1st St from Main St to Palmetto St and (2) Boulevard St from 8th St to 19th St. The overall goal is a change in striping to add bicycle facilities and motorized safety improvements.
For more information on this upcoming 2021 project, please refer to the links below:
For Files presented at the meeting: view this page (this link expires 7 days from 1/7/2021)
To download the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, sign-up for quarterly newsletter updates, or request a bike rack see: https://www.coj.net/pedbike
For the Northeast Florida Regional Trails Master Plan, see here: North Florida TPO Regional Trails Report
If there are any other questions or comments, please reach out to Karissa Moffett, the COJ Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, via email or phone (904) 255-7830. For PDFs of the full renderings, please email email@example.com .
Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association (SAMBA) has grown and flourished throughout the past four years since its merger with SPAR.
Since the inception of the Facade Grant program in 2017, over $18,000 in grants have been disbursed to sixteen Springfield businesses. Due to the success of the Facade Grant program, there will be an increase in available funds in 2021.
In late 2019, SAMBA introduced the Quarterly Mini-Grant, which will assist neighborhood businesses in the planning and promotion of business-related events in Springfield. A total of $750 in mini-grants have been disbursed to three Springfield businesses in the last year with a handful of applications ready for 2021.
During the COVID19 Pandemic, to benefit Historic Springfield businesses, the SPAR Boost Gift Card Campaign was successfully launched. Participants could sell gift cards whose values were boosted $10 or $25 (depending on the starting value) thanks to a donation from a generous neighbor. This initiative alone invested $7500 in our small businesses. SPAR hosted some smaller promotions to honor local frontline workers at SAMBA businesses. During the month of May, SPAR put together a Mother’s Day Gift Basket which was filled with goodies from five different Historic Springfield small businesses, as well as highlighted our local Black-owned SAMBA members in June. At the height of the pandemic, Springfield didn’t lose a single business, rather quite a few opened over the course of 2020.
Throughout 2020, while respecting social distancing protocols, SAMBA hosted meetings, provided funding for grantees, and continued to grow in membership. In grand total, SAMBA held:
5 SAMBA networking meetings
1 virtual webinar on Cares Act funding
1 virtual webinar on Diversity Training
1 virtual webinar on Sustainability solutions
6 Facade Grants
12 New members
28 Renewing Members
12 Increasing level Members
In 2019, SAMBA formed an Advisory Committee, made up of SAMBA members, to assist SPAR’s Commercial Corridor and Beautification Committee with the disbursement of SAMBA funds and with future projects for our commercial districts. This committee was designed to represent business owners from each aspect of the community. Positions are designated as follows: two in the food/beverage industry, one in retail, one in home-based business, and one property owner.
SAMBA leadership continually works with local governmental agencies to provide beautification and pedestrian upgrades to the neighborhood; including improvements to crosswalks, plantings in tree wells and on Main Street medians, more trash cans for our sidewalks, and electrical improvements on Main Street.
We’ve had a lot of growth in the last four years. In 2017, we had an average of 12 attendees at our meetings, in 2018 we grew to an average of 24 attendees, and in 2019, we maintained our average of 25 attendees. Despite the pandemic in 2020, we still held monthly meetings both online and in person welcoming speakers and resources directed towards helping our businesses gain access to vital funding and assistance.
Membership has grown from no regular dues paying members in 2017 to 73 members as of 12/29/2020. An interesting note is that many of our members have joined or renewed at our highest tier giving an 100% increase in Executive Level membership in 2020.
SAMBA works with local publications that are willing to offer discounted promotions for the Springfield business community. In November 2020, SPAR’s “Business is Booming” video is being aired, via a partnership with WANDER Media, in 75 hotels from St Simons Island to St. Augustine and at Jacksonville International Airport. By SAMBA funding this amazing promotional opportunity, our goal was to utilize holiday traffic and encourage visitors to come check out Springfield during the holiday season.
SAMBA leadership is consistently working with Visit Jacksonville to promote our local businesses through their Springfield neighborhood page, Top Lists in Jax, and social media. And for the first time in 2020, SAMBA partnered with the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl for our local businesses to be highlighted to ticket holders as part of the Fan Experience. This was successful in a positive economic impact right at the New Year.
As an addition to Historic Springfield’s Sesquicentennial celebration in 2019, we coordinated a collaboration between Springfield’s three breweries, Aardwolf Brewing Company, and Intuition Ale Works to create a special beer called the Ses-Q Saison. Through our partnership with Champion Brands, we hosted pop-up events throughout Northeast Florida for this beer. This gave the Springfield breweries significant additional exposure for their brands and built awareness of Springfield as a whole.
We are generally one of the first points of contact for businesses who are interested in opening in Springfield. From meeting with business owners to discuss neighborhood needs, logistics, and playing “match maker” with commercial property owners; we are a valued resource for new business owners. We also have ongoing discussions with developers about Springfield neighborhood needs; and have had multiple meetings about potential grocery stores and gas stations coming to the neighborhood. We are also a resource for established businesses, and have helped find sponsors, vendors, musicians, and volunteers for events hosted by Springfield businesses.
If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved, please join us at a monthly SAMBA meeting held every 2nd Monday at 6pm (hosted by a member each month).
STAY in our Historic District
Established in 1869, and located north of Downtown Jacksonville, Springfield is the oldest neighborhood in Jacksonville. Once home to the city’s wealthiest residents and famous silent firm stars (Jacksonville used to be the winter film capital of the world!), our historic neighborhood is now filled with restored mansions (and bungalows), hip restaurants, locally owned shops, murals, some of the city's oldest parks, craft breweries and tons of southern charm with majestic oaks providing protective shade and a beautiful visual along its residential streets. Popular festivals like PorchFest and the Springfield Tour of Homes attract thousands of visitors each year.
There are plenty of options for travellers to stay in Historic Springfield during their visit to Northeast Florida. Consider Jax Brickhouse, which opened in 2016, the building holds five apartments with three available for vacation rentals in a beautifully renovated historic property.
SHOP with our Local Businesses
You’ll find a variety of fantastic and award winning dining options in Springfield, including 1748 Bakehouse, 1 Foxy Lady Café & Catering, Crispy’s Springfield Gallery, Hola Mexican Restaurant, Icecapade Frozen Treats, Uptown Kitchen & Bar, The Cookbook Restaurant, and Wafaa N Mike’s Café . For delicious coffee, don’t miss Social Grounds Coffee Company. For those on the Ale Trail, don’t miss Springfield breweries Hyperion Brewing Company and Strings Sports Brewery. Beer not your style? Check out Springfield's newest wine bar, The District.
Springfield has seen a steady influx of small retail shops popping up over the last few years. Simply Ke’say Boutique specializes in the latest fashions for elegant, classy, and sophisticated women. Beauty needs can be met by stopping Avela Day Spa, Makeup Craze Beauty, and AMillion Strands. If skateboarding is more your speed, head to The Block Skate Supply which boasts the coolest footwear, apparel, and hardgoods from both local and global brands. If you run into any home and hardware needs, check out family-run, An Olde Tyme Hardware, which has been in the Springfield area for over 70 years! And for some fun, Sweet Christi's offers fantastic bath and body products in the shapes of some of your favorite sweets. Owner Christianna Alexander is only 15 years old, making her the youngest of Springfield's entrepreneurs!
ENJOY Art, Nature, History, Sports
Historic Springfield offers a plethora of amenities for all interests. Henry J. Klutho Park offers Jacksonville's first StoryWalk, a baseball field, tennis courts, and is home to the Springfield Disc Golf Course. For the art and museum lovers, Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum sits near the southeast corner of Klutho Park and is always ready for visitors to peruse its current manuscript or regional art collection. Don't forget to cruise around the neighborhood to see the collection of public art on display with our curated Art Tour.
If you want a personal and unique guided tour of the neighborhood, be sure to check out Go Tuk'n or Pedal Pub. They each have several tours to choose from with themes such as breweries, art, and history all in the beautiful Springfield neighborhood.
According to WalkScore.com, Springfield is the most bikeable neighborhood in Jacksonville’s urban core. You’ll find bicycle repair stations in Henry J. Klutho Park (intersection of Pearl and 3rd St) and behind the SPAR building at 1321 N Main Street. Visitors can enjoy a ride on the S-Line Urban Greenway or easily ride to many of Jacksonville’s other attractions. Whether it's to the Riverside Arts Market, Jacksonville Farmers Market, or the Stadium Area, Springfield continues to be one of the most connected and easily bike-able neighborhoods in the Urban Core. Want to experience it yourself? SPAR organizes bike socials throughout the year, free and open to all ages and skill levels. In the meantime, you can Explore the Core yourself using these suggested routes and activities.
Mandie Marron published SPAR's 2020 Accomplishments in SPAR Accomplishments 2020-12-11 21:11:28 -0500
2020 has been a challenging, albeit rewarding year, for Springfield Preservation and Revitalization. Despite the cancellation of our beloved PorchFest, there have been an incredible amount of achievements and accomplishments for both SPAR and the neighborhood as a whole.
During the COVID19 Pandemic, SPAR chose to put its attention on the Historic Springfield Small Business community when business owners needed the most support. SPAR successfully launched the SPAR Boost Gift Card Campaign, where gift card values were boosted $10 or $25 (depending on the starting value) thanks to a donation from a generous neighbor. This initiative alone invested $7500 in our small businesses. SPAR hosted some smaller promotions to honor local frontline workers with a free drink at Social Grounds Coffee and a free cookie at The Sweet Spot and Urban Lounge. During the month of May, SPAR put together a Mother’s Day Gift Basket which was filled with goodies from five different Historic Springfield small businesses, as well as highlighted our local Black-owned SAMBA members in June. At the height of the pandemic, Springfield didn’t lose a single business, rather quite a few opened over the course of 2020.
Throughout 2020, while respecting social distancing protocols, SPAR hosted programming with appeal to both our neighbors, as well as residents across the city. In grand total, SPAR held:
12 Community Clean Ups
7 Music on Main Events
6 Bike Socials
4 Quarterly Community Meetings
3 Historic Preservation Workshops
3 Holiday-Themed Porch Decorating Events
2 Springfield Sunday Events
6 weeks of Kickball in Klutho with JaxFray
2 Speaker Series Events
1 Local Vendor Market
The Holiday Society was incorporated into SPAR in 2020 and the already established group of volunteers was eager to get to work on making Springfield an even bigger holiday destination. They worked with Visit Jacksonville to create self-guided tours of decorated houses for Halloween and Christmas to be added to the Visit Jax website. These maps were used to incentivize people to walk, bike, or drive and enjoy the beauty of the neighborhood during the Holidays. This project was successful in bringing visitors from all over the City of Jacksonville and the NE Florida region to visit Springfield.
SPAR is grateful for the ongoing partnership with the We’re For Jesus Center which allows us to continue to activate Sesquicentennial Park at the corner of Main Street and 6th Street. This year, after conferring with representatives from Riverside Arts Market and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, SPAR adopted protocols to help with social distancing including drawing out social distancing squares before each performance to provide space between attendees. Sesquicentennial Park has become the place for outdoor live music on Main Street and hosted our seven Music on Main events, as well as our Holiday Market this year. We partnered with local food trucks and vendors to make each event unique.
One of many reasons that Springfield is a fantastic place to live is the bike-ability of the neighborhood. Our Bike Socials have become a mainstay in our programming lineup and has seen considerable growth since its inception. This year, we hosted six coordinated Bike Socials in Historic Springfield and throughout the Urban Core, including RAM, Evergreen Cemetery, and the Railyard District. We hosted our first Bike-A-Boo!, a brand new tradition to explore and enjoy Historic Springfield’s fall decorations. Our Bike Socials experienced a record-setting year with 50+ riders attending each Bike Social of all ages and skill levels.
In 2020, SPAR offered three free Historic Preservation Workshops to our community. One workshop was hosted at the Hyperion Brewing Company, while an additional two were held virtually on Zoom with 15-20 current and potential Springfield residents at each. We partnered with the City of Jacksonville’s Planning and Development Department staff to administer informative presentations about different aspects of what is expected when renovating historic properties. Presentations focused on guidelines for windows, doors, and fencing, as well as the COA Process for both residents and real estate agents. Through our promotion of these events, we’ve had other preservation-focused nonprofits from elsewhere in the country reach out to us for guidance on how to host their own workshops. The recorded webinar on the COA Process can be found on our YouTube Channel.
SPAR hosted two Speaker Series events in 2020 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. The first took place in February and focused on the Lost Streetcars of Springfield and was hosted by Robert Mann, who took us back to a time when Jacksonville once had the largest streetcar system in Florida and chronicled their popularity until their eventual demise. The second took place in July, both in person and online, where we welcomed local author, Tim Gilmore, who shared the story of serial killer and Springfield resident, Ottis Toole.
SPAR hosted a Community Clean Up during each month of 2020. At the height of the pandemic, Block Captains focused on encouraging the Adopt-Your-Block dynamic so that neighbors could focus on the areas around their residences, rather than getting together as a large group. Block Captains also made sure that each quadrant of the neighborhood was spotlighted throughout the year. Over 91 volunteers collected 182 bags of debris and trash. Thanks to these volunteers there is less waste on our streets and in our waterways.
In the Fall of 2020, SPAR launched our Building for the Future Capital Campaign to raise $500,000 in order to renovate the SPAR office building at 1321 North Main Street. Thanks to the generous donations of our friends and neighbors, we have reached the halfway point of this integral fundraising campaign. Throughout the first half of the campaign, we have had a number of great partnerships to help us along the way. A friend of Springfield approached us with a $50,000 matching grant which specifically targeted the donations of SPAR members. Through this matching program, SPAR members could have any donation given to Building for the Future matched, as well as the value of any new or renewed membership. Historic Springfield’s small businesses stood up to the task by offering small fundraisers, including a jello shot fundraiser at Crispy’s in September, 5% of beer sales at Strings Sports Brewery or $2 off every breakfast sandwich at 1748 Bakehouse in October, Hyperion Brewing's PatioFest, or the current promotion of 10% from each booking offered by Pedal Pub Jax. SPAR is working with local construction company Auld & White, with a goal to have the lights turned back on along Main Street in February 2021.
Due to the success of PorchFest, SPAR is continually able to provide and install public art in the Springfield Historic District. In 2020, SPAR partnered with local Springfield artist, David Nackashi, on a set of murals which were installed on three pump station buildings in two sections of Klutho Park with a third being installed in the Springfield Dog Park. This project was a partnership between JEA, JaxParks, and SPAR titled “Klutho Corners,” which was designed to highlight Henry Klutho’s distinct architectural detail and iconic Springfield symbol, the Prairie Cross.
Our Executive Director, Kelly Rich, has been a guest speaker at events throughout the city to promote SPAR and Historic Springfield. Kelly was invited to speak at the AARP and Florida Council on Aging’s Virtual Conference, alongside Suzanne Pickett from Eastside CDC, who both spoke on Racial Equity in Historic Neighborhoods. Kelly led tours of Historic Springfield to multiple organizations and potential investors throughout the year to highlight the neighborhood’s revitalization with a focus on the Commercial Corridor. Kelly, on behalf of SPAR, has been involved with conversations and serves on city-wide committees surrounding business, growth, and quality of life to include the Jacksonville Economic Development Forum organized by LISC, the COJ Homeless Task Force, the Gator Bowl Planning Committee, ULI North Florida, Jax Chamber Downtown Council, Jacksonville’s Historic Neighborhood Coalition, and the COJ’s Resiliency Subcommittee on Education and Historic Neighborhoods. She also is one of Visit Jacksonville's local Ambassadors promoting all of our local historic neighborhoods but with an obvious focus on Springfield. In efforts of her continuing her professional development, Kelly attended the VIRTUAL Southwest Greenways and Trails Summit as well as three webinars (Using Parks to Increase Connectivity, COVID-Safe Streets NOW, and Telling the Story of Place: Branding for Public Spaces).
Our Community Coordinator, Mandie Marron, recently completed the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida’s LGBTQIA+ Emerging Leaders program. This was the first time that the Nonprofit Center held this program with a sole focus on LGBTQIA+ and Mandie was one of ten selected for this inaugural cohort. The program designed to provide outstanding LGBTQIA+ individuals working in the nonprofit sector with access to social capital, leadership development, and network building to advance their careers.
Springfield (and SPAR!) has had lots of positive media exposure throughout the year. Head over to our Media link for the complete list. Our organization even received two awards in 2020! SPAR Council was given one of the Jacksonville Business Journal's 'Community Impact Awards' for our Small Business Support during the Pandemic. The City of Jacksonville also highlighted SPAR's impact in the community by choosing our installation of the Sesquicentennial Mosaic for their official 2020 Neighborhood Award.
SPAR would like to take this opportunity to thank LISC and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville for their continued support, as well as our ardent sponsors, donors, and volunteers. SPAR is looking forward to 2021 and we hope you will continue to support, not only SPAR’s energies and efforts, but to help us vocally advocate to everyone in Jacksonville about our beloved one square mile historic community of Springfield.
Mandie Marron published Annual Meeting - December 2020 in Community Meeting Notes 2020-12-08 11:16:54 -0500
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.Read more
Mandie Marron published 2020 Candidates for the Board of Directors in Media & Blog 2020-11-27 15:27:51 -0500
Let us introduce you to our 2020 Candidates for the SPAR Board of Directors! The Board of Directors is presenting Benjamin Alcorn as a new candidate who would bring valuable skills, passion, and knowledge to our organization. In addition, Kelly Lezama (current Secretary of SPAR), Soner Acar, Janie Coffey, and Michael Montoya are all seeking reelection to the Board for a second and final term.
Please learn more about the candidates by reading their bios below. If you have any questions for them prior to voting at the annual meeting, please submit them before December 3rd to firstname.lastname@example.org and the candidates will provide their answers at the Annual Meeting.
SPAR members will be able to vote on candidates at our Annual Meeting this coming Thursday, December 3rd at Uptown Kitchen & Bar. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Aside from voting, SPAR members will receive updates about on-going projects and have the opportunity to tour the SPAR office building right next door in the midst of renovations.
Mandie Marron published Shop Springfield: Holiday Gift Guide 2020 in Media & Blog 2020-11-25 15:04:39 -0500
Are you in the middle of your holiday shopping? Not quite sure what will make that certain family member's day or need to stick to a little closer to a budget? Don't you worry because our local SAMBA (Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association) members have plenty to offer with gift ideas that will show how much you care. You can find all the gifts below in Historic Springfield for under $50.
1FoxyLadyCafe, 1837 N. Pearl Street
Strawberry Pound Cake infused with fresh strawberries with a cheesecake center. This scrumptious cake is topped with cream cheese icing, graham cracker crumbs, strawberry glaze, and fresh strawberries.
Mandie Marron published SPAR Welcomes Merge with Historic Springfield Holiday Society in Media & Blog 2020-07-09 10:30:19 -0400
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – July, 9, 2020 – Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR) is pleased to welcome the merger of the Historic Springfield Holiday Society (HSHS) as of July 2020.
HSHS was established in 2017 by neighbors wanting to enhance the holiday experience in Springfield. SPAR and HSHS have shared a mission of improving Historic Springfield’s quality of life, raising spirits, and fostering fellowship between all neighbors. To provide the best possible community engagement moving forward, HSHS is being incorporated into SPAR, including the seasonal events, popular traditions, and boundless energy for which HSHS has been consistently recognized. Activities have included celebrations for Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, and especially the Winter Holidays, where lighted wreaths and trees decorate Main Street.
SPAR looks forward to continuing traditions, and starting some anew, to benefit the entire community.
To learn more about our holiday activities, visit https://www.sparcouncil.org/holiday_society
Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Springfield Historic District since 1974. To learn more, visit https://www.sparcouncil.org
Mandie Marron published COVID-19: Springfield is Open for Business! in Media & Blog 2020-03-25 10:22:53 -0400
Like the rest of you, SPAR Staff and Board have been monitoring the rapidly evolving situation with Coronavirus. With information changing so quickly, we wanted to make sure that we provide the most up-to-date and current information in regards to our local Historic Springfield businesses, as well as encourage social distancing measures for everyone's overall safety.
Small businesses within our historic neighborhood will be heavily affected by the precautions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have the means, the suggestions in the above graphic are a great way to continue to support the small businesses that we know and love.
Additionally, we are proud to see our local Springfield businesses adapting to this new status quo and coming up with innovative ideas to continue to serve the community. Take a look at our list below of what businesses all around our neighborhood are doing to uplift all of us through these challenging times.Read more
Tickets for the 2019 PorchFest Patrons Party are $75 - food and drinks (beer and wine) are included.Donate
Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association is very excited to announce the launch of our new Quarterly Mini-Grant program for Springfield businesses!
The Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association (SAMBA) offers $250 programming mini-grants to SAMBA members wishing to put on events or programming that promote the Springfield neighborhood.
The goal of the grant is to encourage events in Historic Springfield to show off the history and culture of our community. It is not intended to be used for fundraisers or political gatherings. Preference will be given to those public events that attract a diverse range of participation and promote development in Historic Springfield.
Awardees in 2020 include The Sweet Spot & Urban Lounge, Simply Ke'say Boutique, and Sweet Christi's.
The SAMBA grant committee has the right to refuse any applicant if it is deemed the event does not fall under the goals of the Programming Grant.
- Priority will be given to events held within the boundaries of Historic Springfield.
- Events can be ticketed or open to the public, but must not be restricted to private or exclusive participation.
- First-time events OR existing events adding enhancements can qualify.
- Events must be finalized with exact date and location, include a link to the Facebook event or attach a promotional poster image to corroborate.
- If holding the event off-site of your business/property, include contract agreement with the chosen venue.
- All necessary insurance and security must be provided with application.
- Event Organizer must complete a Grant Application and provide contact information.
- Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis, which makes the deadline for application submission within 30-60 days prior to the event.
- Grant applications will be judged on a number of criteria to include the creativity of the event, potential impact of the event, marketing of the event, and how well the event meshes with the mission of SPAR and SAMBA within Historic Springfield.
- In the case of cancellation or postponement for more than 30 days, business will reimburse grant payment to SAMBA.
- Organizer is limited to one SAMBA mini-grant every 12 months.
- Organizer must turn in any feedback/survey documentation that they are asked to complete.
SAMBA requires that our organization is mentioned and advertised as a sponsor of the event on social media, and that the SAMBA logo is placed on any printed promotional materials.
DOWNLOAD THE GRANT APPLICATION: HERE
Mandie Marron published Volunteer Spotlight: Mallik Singareddy in Media & Blog 2019-09-11 15:02:55 -0400
For our most recent Volunteer Spotlight, we interviewed Mallik Singareddy.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Mallik Singareddy was born and raised in India, moved to Jacksonville, and has lived in Historic Springfield for 13 years.
What kind of volunteer work have you done in Springfield?
I have been volunteering on two SPAR boards: the finance committee (for over a year) and asset management committee, which also includes the SPAR building restoration.
What has been your favorite event where you've volunteered?
Restoration of Historic houses is my passion. I enjoy volunteering my time working on the SPAR building project. I hope to see it brought back to its former glory in the near future.
What inspired you to volunteer with SPAR?
I had learned about SPAR when I first moved to Springfield and was trying to find out more about the history of my new home. I was fascinated by historic homes in the neighborhood and a very special community that welcomed me and my family to the Springfield. As we settled in the area, I felt the need to give something back to help our community to further flourish.Read more