According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Jacksonville, FL, realized a 1.5% increase in population between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. According to the United Nations population projection, Jacksonville is expected to reach a population of nearly 2.5 million people by the year 2060 (less than 40 years from now). Relative to other cities across Florida, Duval County (Jacksonville’s primary county) is one of the largest counties in Florida in terms of acreage and space/land. It is not a newer county and older retail can be found in nearly all parts of town. However, with the influx of people and population growth, it is exciting to dream and wonder about how Jacksonville will develop in the years ahead.
With all of the space in the county, the beautiful beaches nearby to the east, the St. Johns River flowing through the city, the presence of colleges and universities, and the emergence of an NFL franchise in the Jaguars, there is space for everyone and anyone who wants to become part of this community. Clearly, some older homes will need to be rehabbed, torn down, or replaced, along with older retail and outdated shopping malls and strip centers, but the space is here. Over time, Jacksonville may be slower to grow, but from a long-term perspective, we have the capacity. We are not running out of land here.
Yesterday, I drove out to a 3-acre homesite parcel in an estate community in a part of Duval County I had never been to before. It is one thing to review a land parcel on a map or on the GIS or the county property appraiser site, it is quite different to actually drive the area and walk the property in person and see it with your own eyes… see what is around it, see what is on it, see what is possible. After confirming with the planning and development department the allowable use of the parcel, I headed out to see the area in hopes of confirming an opinion of value for an out-of-state customer. On my way out to the land parcel, I passed so much fenced vacant land and so many newer residential communities built by Lennar and D.R. Horton. I also passed state parks and several newer industrial distribution centers that I did not even know were there. It is only a matter of time before the old narrow two-lane roads in that part of town will need to be expanded and widened for traffic capacity.
I admit, I am an explorer by nature, by personality, and I am excited to continue to wander around northeast Florida and everything it has to offer, whether it is for a client/customer, or for recreation/adventure. As downtown develops and investment goes into living and dining downtown, I believe there will be even more population influx. Florida is unique in this way, and Jacksonville is on the rise to become one of the biggest and greatest cities if it is not so already.