To support both the present and future development, ETM was contracted by Jacksonville Unity Plaza Inc., the non-profit hired to oversee the property, for a $3 million project that included civil design, permitting, coordinating with the City, JEA and Developer, and Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI).
As outlined in the Unity Plaza Business Plan, written by Jen Jones, Executive Director for Jacksonville Unity Plaza, Inc., “For Jacksonville, Unity Plaza will also be the focal point of what will become our city’s modern-day Central Park, an innovative first step in a larger vision to grow a walkable, greener, confident Jacksonville over the next five years. Unity Plaza will be the centerpiece of this larger vision providing thought leading entertainment, education and health and wellness activities where the people of Jacksonville can connect to celebrate our community’s rich heritage.”
One of the unique aspects of the Unity Plaza’s beautiful pond is the functionality as a master stormwater pond that collects and treats nearly all the stormwater from the Brooklyn neighborhood, from McCoy’s Creek down to Forest Street.
The pond’s dual purpose was designed by ETM during the master planning stages to address the growing concerns of the amount and quality of water that would drain into McCoy’s Creek (located on the North end of the site) and the Lower St Johns River. The solution was to redirect the drainage through a 66” pipe that spanned the neighborhood and deposit the water into the stormwater pond. Because it’s a historic district and predates today’s modern design and treatment standards, much of the area historically had stormwater runoff that discharged into surface waters without first being treated to remove pollutants that cause adverse impacts to receiving waters. The redevelopment and redirection of the water now provides additional treatment to urban runoff was never treated.