One Spark: Starting, Building & Scaling New Ideas In Jacksonville

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A couple friends of mine started this movement and I’m very intrigued. These people hold weight and follow through well, so I can see some positive things coming our way from One Spark.

One Spark is a faction of innovators focused on encouraging idea generation and disruptive thinking in Jacksonville, FL. Learn more about One Spark at beonespark.com.

If you want to learn, One Spark will hosting a very informal Q&A on Wednesday, June 1st from 6:30pm – 7:30pm in the atrium at 5 West Forsyth Street. Stay tuned to the movement on Twitter and Facebook.

Be One Spark Teaser

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Black Sheep Restaurant Group Planning New Restaurant for 5 Points Next To Mossfire

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Proposed restaurant for 5 Points by John Insetta
photo credit Design Cooperative

Jonathan Insetta’s restaurant group (Black Sheep) has an ambitious plan for building a modern, efficient infill project in the fast growing 5 Points district of the Urban Core. Insetta, of Chew and Orsay fame, is planning to open a new restaurant as the anchor of a three story commercial building which will feature a rooftop bar and gathering space.

The name has not be determined, but the location has. The group has been working hard to reach a complex set of goals, to
place the restaurant at the corner of Margaret and Oak, next to Mossfire Grill. The flatiron lot where the restaurant will sit, presents a unique set of hurdles in terms of parking and some existing trees.

Black Sheep is proposing to add 23 new spaces on Oak Street and upgrade the 13 spaces on Margaret adjacent to the property.  All spaces will be open to the public with a 3 hour limit to encourage visitors to eat, walk and shop. You can bet there will be a sizable bike rack to support the large number of cyclists in the community.

As you can glean from the designs and scale model shown, the plan is an efficient use of space using true urban density design principles while also creating new parking. This project also creates new jobs and new street front retail which finishes a continuous retail link from Riverside Park to Memorial Park, one of the longest retail strolls in the city.

Proposed restaurant for 5 Points by John Insetta
photo credit Design Cooperative

While urban development and the food and beverage industry are both fraught with risk, especially in today’s climate, Insetta’s experience and reputation from Downtown’s Chew and Avondale’s Restaurant Orsay (both in historic buildings) will be helpful. The neighborhoods of Riverside, Avondale, and Historic Five Points have been aware of and involved in the project for weeks.

There is much work left to do for the project to become a reality including the final city approval and a unique commercial zoning change called an Urban Transitional Area (UTA) added to HB 485 that would make this district much like downtown’s with regards to seating capacity required.

HB 485

HB 485 Amendment Map
graphic credit Wingard Creative

The addition of 5 Points to this well supported bill will make it easier for bona fide restaurants to survive and thrive in the spatially constricting spaces that a historic retail area presents.

The UTA – The Riverside Overlay set up the Urban Transitional Area (the Commercial area of 5 Points) to encourage this type of infill development – imagine, living, working and shopping all within a ½ mile radius.  As projects like this, Publix, 1661 and others are developed, the area can truly live up to it’s Urban name.

So not only is Black Sheep investing in the neighborhood it is also paving the way for the further proliferation of destinations in Five Points, opening an economic development zone that allows a more reasonable seating requirement for historic districts. See map below.

Should this change work, expect further developments, local restaurants, jobs, and foot traffic in from Historic Five Points all the way to the river. Our neighbors and co-workers seem galvanized at the idea of further local, sustainable development in 5 Points and hope that urban infill and historic development spreads with the success of this project.

Site Plan
photo credit Design Cooperative

A statement from Jon Insetta

“We at Black Sheep Restaurant Group are very excited for the opportunity to become part of the 5 Points neighborhood. At Chew and Orsay we pride ourselves in the symbiotic relationship we maintain within our surrounding community and hopefully we can be a force for positive change with this new project. As owner operator of both the restaurant and the building itself we bring a level of commitment to the community that few can match.

I also believe that we can act as a bridge between historic 5 Points and the newer commercial district to the south. The project will create more jobs as well as fit the spirit of the urban transition area overlay. We plan on being a part of 5 Points for many years to come and see ourselves as a very positive addition to an already amazingly diverse community of independent and national businesses. 5 Points has a synergy and identity that we feel right at home in.”

What are your thoughts on the project and the design?

Parking Plan
photo credit Design Cooperative


video credit Design Cooperative

Disclaimer: the restaurant group involved in this project is a client of Wingard Creative where I work.

Interview with Jack Diablo: Jacksonville Music Video Revival

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Watch the video in HD

I shot this interview yesterday at the Wingard Creative office (where I work). Jack learned three things during our interview yesterday:

  1. Not a good idea to shoot in front of a bright window
  2. An external microphone would be a great idea
  3. Jack mumbles. A lot.

One thing Jack mentioned in the interview, that I did not pick up on, is he has a few professional video-types who are eager to work with local bands to produce music videos for the contest. Send your band’s info to jdiablo If they like your stuff, they might be willing to offer their services.

Banksy in Jacksonville! Exit Through the Gift Shop Sneak Preview and Ticket Giveaway

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We’ll be showing a couple minutes of the new Banksy film Exit Through the Gift Shop at the LIVE Urban Jacksonville Weekly show on June 24th at the 5 Points Theatre.

We’ll also be giving away tickets for the opening on Friday the 25th

Hilarious! Hitler in Jacksonville

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Hitler In Jacksonville from Solorio Bonaparte on Vimeo.

I’m Board IV Kicks Off Urban Jacksonville Interview Series

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I’m Board 4 – Interview with Chad Landenberger from Thought & Theory on Vimeo.

I understand quite a few people have seen this video, so re-posting here is just to close the loop of people who will be interested to see it, but haven’t.

This is part of new interview series for Urban Jacksonville so keep an eye out for more. We’re taking recommendations for who to interview next if you have suggestions.

Dennis Eusebio came to me a couple months ago with an idea to shoot a series of videos for Urban Jacksonville. This aligned perfectly with my assertion that 2010 would be the year Jacksonville moved beyond text and branched out into audio and video.

We moved this trend along with the Urban Jacksonville Weekly podcast so I was excited to have Dennis work on this video interview series.

This piece stands by itself as a testament to everything that is fun and good in the city. I would love to see Downtown Vision or the Jacksonville Convention and Visitors Bureau use this video as a promotional tool for promoting city life.

Please enjoy the hi-res versions on Vimeo or Facebook and share with a friend next time they say Jacksonville is boring, lame, uninteresting, etc.

Filmed and Edited by: Dennis Eusebio and Varick Rosete. Thanks to Chad Landenberger, 229 North Hogan with music by Holy Ghost “Hold On”.

Video Response to 4 Suggestions for the Jacksonville Jaguars

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4 Things the Jaguars Can Do To Help the Team from Joey Marchy on Vimeo.

Today Bonnie Upright, who happened to get totally annihalated in our fantasy football league, posted 4 Suggestions for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is my video response to that post.

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