City of Jacksonville


men biking on street

City of Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority Receives Statewide Recognition for Riverplace Boulevard Complete Street Project

October 29, 2021
The City’s Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) was recently honored with the Capital Project/Infrastructure award for its project, Riverplace Boulevard Complete Street, in the 2021 Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) Awards. The FRA Awards are presented each year at the association’s annual conference and recognize outstanding achievement in a variety of categories, from annual reports to cultural enhancement.
“We’re immensely honored to receive this award,” said Lori Boyer, DIA CEO. “This project was a great way to bring Mayor Curry’s focus on Downtown development and healthy lifestyles to fruition, to use Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) resources for both economic benefit and to improve quality of life, and to implement the adopted CRA plan for the Southbank.”

The new street eliminates two automobile lanes in favor of enhanced pedestrian amenities, protected bicycle lanes, improved on-street parking and low impact design (LID) stormwater raingardens. The plan also includes enhanced bus transit and service from JTA, and utility enhancements completed with JEA.

“As a former councilmember for this area, I was contacted by residents in 2014 with concerns about a proposed dedicated bus lane that had been planned before the residential population boomed,” said Boyer. “DIA, in collaboration with their consultant GAI Community Solutions Group, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, and the Mayor’s office worked together to design a project that listened to stakeholders, facilitated all modes of mobility, promoted access to the Riverwalk, and will carry us into the future as the Southbank grows over time.”

The project goal was to reposition the corridor to better support new investment and diverse community needs, including the growing number of residents who call Southbank home and street level retail that will follow. GAI’s Community Solutions Group led inclusive community visioning sessions to confirm the preferred design for the Street, as well as leading the landscape architecture and civil engineering for implementation. 

“We truly enjoyed the discussions and visioning sessions where we explored the needs of the community’s residents, workforce, and property owners, as well as gaining the guidance and leadership of the DIA and City team necessary for bringing this project to life,” said Pete Sechler, PLA, AICP, MBA, GAI Vice President and Community Solutions Group Director. “The process of looking at the past, present, and future of Southbank was revealing for all of us and will serve as a positive example for other community planning and livable infrastructure design efforts.”

The Riverplace Blvd Complete Street is a landmark project for the CRA that has brought renewed focus to the future of Downtown’s Southbank as well as expanded discussion about the general evolution of Downtown. The original urban planning and community workshops were conducted in 2015-2016.  Final design, engineering and construction were completed in 2017-2020. 

About the Downtown Investment Authority: The Downtown Investment Authority was established by the City of Jacksonville to revitalize Jacksonville’s urban core by utilizing Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) resources and is guided by a nine-member board of directors. The DIA seeks to attract investment, facilitate job creation and increase residential density through capital investments, planning, marketing and public-private partnerships including the provision of incentives for the general community and Downtown stakeholders. For more information, visit and

About GAI Consultants: GAI Consultants is an employee-owned company that delivers award-winning engineering, planning, and environmental expertise to energy, transportation, development, government, and industrial clients. GAI’s accomplished specialists are dedicated to earning our clients’ trust—they approach every initiative with enthusiasm and integrity, delivering multifaceted services to meet the greatest challenges.

About GAI’s Community Solutions Group: Experienced People, Open Minds, Fresh Ideas. GAI’s Community Solutions Group integrates landscape architecture, urban planning, economics, and finance in an idea-driven strategic consulting practice committed to enhancing community in ways that are practical, sustainable, and authentic to the people we serve while being politically aware, financially feasible, and aesthetically compelling.

About FRA: FRA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting Florida professionals and volunteers in community revitalization efforts. With its mission of “transforming spaces, revitalizing places,” FRA is committed to providing a forum for its more than 300 members to share knowledge and common experiences regarding revitalization opportunities and issues throughout Florida. For more information, visit