Categorized | Breaking News, JAX Briefs

Unity Plaza hires new Executive Director

Jacksonville Unity Plaza Inc., the 501(c)(3) non-profit better known as Unity Plaza, announced today that Jen Jones has been hired as Executive Director. Unity Plaza, adjacent to the 220 Riverside mixed-use project currently under construction on Riverside Avenue, is a public-private partnership that will effectively deliver downtown Jacksonville’s premiere ‘central park’ with full-time staff, a dedicated funding source and 260-plus days of programming throughout the year. Unity Plaza is currently in design with a fall construction start and a scheduled opening summer 2014.

“Jen Jones is a long-time advocate for Jacksonville’s creative class and brings a passion for community and place-making that will assure Unity Plaza is developed and delivered with world class results,” said Alex Coley, visionary of the Unity Plaza project and Co-Founder and Principal at Hallmark Partners, developer of 220 Riverside. “We like to say this is actually a community service project disguised as a real estate deal. Jen will direct a great deal of planning over the next year until our 2014 grand opening when we welcome a new era for Jacksonville.”

Jones appointment is announced today in conjunction with a press conference to be held at the 220 Riverside construction site where she and Mayor Alvin Brown will receive a ceremonial deed on behalf of Jacksonville Unity Plaza Inc., the 501(c)(3) non-profit which will serve as the managing entity of the public-private partnership. The media event is being held at 1:30 pm today at 220 Riverside.

Jones community involvement is extensive. She is the Visual Arts Chair for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Boards of the Cathedral Arts Project and Patrons of the Hearts – a Wolfson Children’s Hospital initiative, and is a supporting Board member of the Florida Hospital Engineer Association. She is an honorary board member for the University of North Florida – Thomas G. Carpenter Library.

Unity Plaza is the cornerstone in the current redevelopment of Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood. It is located at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Forest Street, adjacent to the 220 Riverside project featuring 294 market rate apartments and 18,000 sf of retail. The Unity Plaza project development team is led by Hallmark Partners, Inc. Jacksonville-based Studio 9 Architecture is leading the park’s design.

In 2012, Hallmark Partners announced its affiliation with Princeton, NJ-based NAI Global ( creating NAI Hallmark Partners. As a result, Hallmark now benefits from the largest network of independent commercial real estate firms worldwide, comprised of over 5,000 professionals in 55 countries with more than 350 offices. Working cooperatively, NAI offices complete over $45 billion in combined transactions annually and manage 300+ million square feet of commercial space.

Hallmark Partners was formed in 1993 as a full-service commercial real estate development company offering sales/leasing brokerage, property management, real estate intelligence and turnkey development services. Over the past 20 years the company has developed more than $250 million in commercial projects. Hallmark Partners is currently involved in the leasing and/or management of a portfolio in excess of 3 million square feet in the Jacksonville market.

For more information, please visit or contact Dave Auchter at and by phone at 904-955-7412. Jen Jones can be contacted at 904-206-0902.

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