Jacksonville University College of Law establishes permanent campus
As the Jacksonville University College of Law completes the fall semester of its second academic year, it announced plans to move into its permanent space in the heart of Jacksonville at 121 W. Forsyth St., the historic former Atlantic Bank Building, in summer 2024.
The law school formally signed a long-term lease of more than 50,000 square feet on four contiguous floors of the building. The space will accommodate the growth of the school and provide the opportunity to expand as it continues to welcome additional classes and hire more faculty and staff. The move to a larger, permanent space had been planned since before the law school’s inception in 2022. It will continue to hold classes on its current campus in the VyStar Tower until the new space is completed.
“We’re proud and energized to be able to move into this new space, even closer to the federal and county courthouses and city hall,” said Dean Nick Allard. “It is a priority for us to maintain a presence and contribute to the city’s vibrant, growing urban core, and we look forward to being part of the rapid development of downtown Jacksonville. Our location is ideal, especially for our students, who regularly make good use of the libraries and observe law in action in the county and federal courthouses. This keeps them embedded in the legal epicenter of the region with unparalleled access to these invaluable resources for learning.”
The new space will be completely renovated to include flexible classrooms, study and common areas, meeting spaces, faculty and staff offices, and library spaces.
The city is also continuing its support for the law school with a planned investment of $6.5 million in 2024 for the $12.5 million project, subject to approval by the city council.
“We are grateful for the continued extraordinary support of the legal community and the City of Jacksonville and we fully intend to return their investment with interest by activating an iconic historic building serving as an essential part of the legal ecosystem that brings much needed services to the community,” Allard said.
Karen Bowling, chief administrative officer for the City of Jacksonville, said the new law school’s home “is exactly the type of transformational project that Jacksonville needs in its downtown revitalization goals – the economic vitality of hundreds of college students living and learning in the downtown core and the preservation of one of Jacksonville’s iconic historic buildings.”
The building at 121 W. Forsyth St., also known as 121 Atlantic Place, will be renamed for the Jacksonville University College of Law. The 10-story former home of Atlantic National Bank was the tallest building in Florida at the time it completed construction in 1909. Longtime tenant Jacksonville Transportation Authority once occupied the majority of the building but moved to its current location in 2020.