JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The blue lights on the Main Street and Acosta Bridges are noticeable pieces of downtown Jacksonville.
But soon you might notice similar lighting designs on many of the tall buildings in the city's urban core.
you take a look at our sweeping majesty by day, it really isn't there
at night," said Margie Seaman with Sellers Realty Group.
Seaman is a founding member of the grassroots organization called Illuminate Jax.
It has come up with what it considers to be a "bright" idea to spark more growth and economic activity downtown.
"Right now, many of these buildings have a vacancy rate of 50 to 60%," Seaman said.
She said it was a good start to add LED lights to the two bridges around the time of the Super Bowl.
But the group believes lighting up more of the city's skyline would have a larger, more lasting impact.
"It gives a perception of safety when a city is lit. It also brings joyfulness," she said.
So, Illuminate Jax wants to take the LED lights you see on the Main Street and Acosta Bridges and add them to many of the city's tallest buildings.
Jax presented its new renderings last week of what the lighting would
look like to the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce's Downtown Council.
Renderings show downtown lit up for a variety of events like a Jaguars game or for Fourth of July.
The group believes their plan would help make downtown look more attractive to potential residents and businesses while also putting the area in the national and international spotlight.
"Imagine seeing downtown Jacksonville all lit up while you're landing at the airport," Seaman said.
Illuminate Jax estimates the cost per building would range from $30,000 to $500,000 depending on the lighting design.
emphasized the city does not plan on paying for this idea. Rather, she
said the group is asking individual building owners to make this
"It's no more than a typical marketing plan for one of
these companies, and this has a much bigger payoff," she said, noting
the potential for branding opportunities.
Illuminate Jax does not
need the city's approval for its plan, but will be making a presentation
to the downtown investment authority on October 4.
Seaman invites the public to attend and offer feedback.
also said conversations are expected to begin next week with key
downtown players about potentially underwriting some of the costs.
Her hope is people will stop and take notice of what she believes Jacksonville has to offer.
"People always think of us as a passerby city. They pass by us on their way to south Florida," she said.
First Coast News