Northeast Florida Roundup
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens celebrates 60th anniversary
- The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The museum holds 5,000 works of art and includes 2.5 acres of historic gardens overlooking the St. Johns River.
Mayfair Investment Partners and Navarino Capital have purchased a 114,640-sq.-ft. industrial warehouse property near I-10 and I-295 in Jacksonville.
- The University of Florida has opened a branch of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in Newberry. The facility replaces an old Alachua County facility in Jonesville.
- Santa Fe College in Gainesville has partnered with Vystar Credit Union to establish a financial wellness center where students can access financial resources and learn about personal finances.
- The University of North Florida has created a Smart Innovation Manufacturing Center with Purdue University and West Virginia University. The center will help transform manufacturing for small to mid-size companies by using artificial intelligence and data. The goal is to democratize A.I. solutions to help industries achieve greater efficiency, quality and productivity.
- The North Florida Land Trust, the American Beach Task Force and Amelia Forever have raised the money necessary to pay off a $1.3-million loan used to purchase three parcels of the Little Nana Dune, the tallest dune in Florida. The purchase protects the land from development.
- Jacksonville-based coffee shop Southern Grounds plans to grow through franchising. The coffee shop’s initial target territories will be in the southeastern U.S.
- Jacksonville-based Firehouse Subs has been sold for $1 billion to Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International, owners of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Horton.
- Jacksonville entrepreneur Darrin Eakins has signed a supplier deal with Sam’s Club for his small-batch whiskey, DuBlase. Launched in May 2021 using all Florida-sourced materials, Eakins spent three years developing the whiskey, which incorporates vanilla and natural spices, with his uncle, who is a winemaker in Chicago.
- The Department of Corrections has closed the Baker Correctional Institution and Bradford County’s New River Correctional Institution as part of a consolidation. Staff will be temporarily reassigned to neighboring institutions.
- HCA Healthcare plans to build a 60-bed acute care hospital at The Villages and another 90-bed acute care hospital in Alachua County at an undisclosed location.
- UF Health has received approval for a 28-acre neighborhood hospital complex in northwest Ocala. The proposed development will include a hospital with emergency department services, medical offices and two commercial parcels.
- Permits have been approved for a $64-million, 173,200-sq.-ft. VA outpatient clinic and 30,000-sq.-ft. domiciliary on Jacksonville’s northside. The domiciliary will provide residential rehab and treatment services for homeless veterans.
- The Marion County Commission has approved plans for multi-family housing on a 1.2- mile stretch of SR 200 in Ocala. The plans involve building 498 townhomes and duplexes and 230 apartments.
- Construction is nearly complete on the $60-million Reef Village on Mayport Road in Atlantic Beach. The development, which includes 456 apartments and 25,000 square feet of retail space, is scheduled to open this spring.
- Jacksonville City Council has approved $29 million in incentives for Fuqua Development of Atlanta to repurpose the old Florida Times-Union property on the St. Johns River. Plans call for demolishing the building and erecting a $184-million, 378-unit apartment complex with space for a grocery store, three restaurants and a parking garage.
- Intelligent Office opened its second Jacksonville location in Nocatee in January. The Nocatee location includes 18 offices, two conference rooms and a reception area. The Intelligent Office concept also offers virtual assistants, answering services and virtual mailboxes to its clients.
- Carnival Ecstasy will resume cruises out of JaxPort in March, two years after the Centers for Disease Control issued a no-sail order because of risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philanthropist Betsy Lovett
Lifelong Jacksonville resident and philanthropist Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross Lovett passed away Oct. 26, 2021, at 91.
Lovett was known for her work with the library, museums, the zoo and the Jacksonville Historical Society. She was active with Ascension St. Vincent’s Medical Center for many years and supported the Betsy Lovett Surgical Center. She also made the lead gift for the St. Vincent’s Lung Institute.