Jacksonville's Downtown Investment Authority Board officially formed | News

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Jacksonville's Downtown Investment Authority Board officially formed
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nine people have been appointed to the newly-created Downtown Investment Authority Board, which will focus its efforts on revitalizing downtown Jacksonville.

The board's appointments went into effect Monday and all of those selected were confirmed on Oct. 9, according to a release from the city. Donald Harris, general manager of the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel, will serve as the board's chairman.

The board will meet for the first time on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at City Hall.

"The DIA marks an important step in making Jacksonville the most vibrant and competitive city it can be," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "We already have a great deal of momentum that's increasing our city's heartbeat. I'm excited to see this talented group engage with stakeholders to build even more jobs, launch more special events and refine the brand that shows who we are to the rest of the world."

Under state law, the DIA has been given the power "to use Community Redevelopment Area resources to revitalize downtown," the release said.

The following guidelines apply to those who were chosen for the board must be tied to Downtown and be Duval County residents. Six out of nine of the board's members must be:

-An architect or urban planner
-A practicing attorney
-A person with a commercial real estate background
-A person with business management experience
-A downtown resident
-A downtown property owner
-Involved in the banking or finance industry
-A downtown retail operator

Here are the bios of the board members, and who they were selected by, according to the release:

Mayor Brown's selections for the DIA board are:

•    Melody S. Bishop - An architect with Akel, Logan & Shafer who serves on the AIA Florida Board of Directors and the Florida Foundation for Architecture Board of Trustees. Her firm is located in the Downtown area.

•    Robert M. Clements - Chairman and CEO of EverBank, which recently relocated 1,500 employees to the new EverBank Center in Downtown.  

•    Kamaria (Kay) Harper - A practicing attorney with the Harper Law Firm and a Downtown resident.

•    Paul Perez - Former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida and current Chief Compliance Officer for Fidelity National Financial, which is located in the Downtown area.

•    Donald Harris - General Manager of the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel, which is located on the Southbank.

City Council President Bill Bishop's selections for the DIA board are:

•    Antonio Allegretti - Southbank resident with business management experience as the founding director of the Riverside Arts Market and a partner in Downtown's Burrito Gallery restaurant. Currently serving as the Director of Downtown Engagement for the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

•    James F. Bailey Jr. - Downtown business and property owner as the President of Bailey Publishing and Communications and Publisher of The Financial News & Daily Record.  

•    Oliver Barakat - A senior vice president for CBRE who represented EverBank in the company's recent move of 1,500 employees Downtown to the former AT&T Tower.

•    Donald A. Shea - Urban planner who serves as the executive director of the nonpartisan Jacksonville Civic Council and has extensive experience in economic development, including service as the executive director of the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority and President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership.

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