Build Up Downtown

Thriving downtowns are the heartbeat of every major city around the world and Jacksonville should be no different.

Over the years, the momentum to (re)develop Jacksonville has had many starts and stops. Right now Jacksonville is on the doorstep of a major change and Build Up Downtown was created to help facilitate that change.

For over a decade, stakeholders, both public and private, have created an unstoppable momentum that will revitalize our Downtown and ensure our sustainability moving forward. Jacksonville’s Downtown will soon be a unique epicenter for business, history, culture, education and entertainment.


A dynamic, 24-hour, pedestrian-friendly Downtown Jacksonville that serves as a premier center for the arts, dining, retail, entertainment, business and urban living in North Florida.


Build Up Downtown will facilitate and advocate for preservation, smart development and great public spaces in Downtown Jacksonville through communicating, connecting and informing current and future businesses and stakeholders.

We serve as a privately funded, nonprofit resource and supporter of the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) and Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI) to reinforce Downtown as the City’s unique epicenter for business, history, culture, education and entertainment.

Meet the Build Up Downtown Team

Executive Director



Director of Development


Phillips Edgecombe

Meet Our Board of Directors

Alex Sifakis | President | JWB Real Estate Capital

Andy Allen | CEO | Corner Lot Development

Chris Allen | Design Principal | The Haskell Company

Ennis Davis | Principal | Community Planning Collaborative; The Jaxson

Ashley Folladori | VP Public Affairs | JAX Chamber

Jake Gordon | CEO | Downtown Vision, Inc.

Kerri Stewart | VP of Business Analytics and Strategy Initiatives | Miller Electric

Madelen Salter | OE&S

Matt Brockelman | VP of Government Affairs | VyStar Credit Union

Meet Our Advisory Board

Abel Harding | Market President | IBERIABANK First Horizon

Alan Bliss | CEO | Jacksonville Historical Society

Alan Cottrill | President | Opus Group

Allan Iosue | Director of Strategic Accounts | The Haskell Company

Brian Bush | Vice President | Tom Bush Family of Dealerships

Carmen Godwin | Program Manager | Florida Association of Museums Foundation, Inc.

Chris Flagg | Vice President, AE Operations Principal | The Haskell Company

Daniel Davis | CEO | JAX Chamber

Debbie Buckland

Elias Hionides | Vice President | Petra

Heather Schatz | Senior Producer | WJCT Public Media

Jamie Sandifer | Vice President, Business Development and Strategy | Charles Perry Partners, Inc.

Jason Gabriel | Attorney – Land Use and Zoning | Burr & Forman

Jason Roth | Regional Manager, External Affairs & Economic Development | TECO

Jessica Santiago | CEO | Wall Street Fine Art; Art Republic

Jessica Shepler | Assistant Vice President | Jacksonville Transportation Authority

Kay Ehas | Executive Director | Groundwork Jacksonville

Mari Kuraishi | President | Jessie Ball duPont Fund

Nicole Hamm | Executive Director | Blue Zones Project Jacksonville

Olivia Frick | Business Development Strategist | LS3P Associates

Ryan Sitnik | Business Development Manager | Gilbane

Sean Jagroop | President | Sessa Properties

Shawana Brooks | Curator | The Corner Gallery

Steve Crosby

Heather Schatz | Senior Producer, Talk Shows | WJCT Broadcasting

Toni Smailagic | Owner | Cre8Jax

Trip Stanly | Managing Member | Blackwater Capital LLC

William Tutwiler | Director, Development Projects | Jaguars | Bold Events | Iguana Investments

Yanira ‘Yaya’ Cardona | Owner | YaYa Productions

Thank You to Our Patrons