Jacksonville backs off plans for new convention center – News – The Florida Times-Union


Jacksonville’s whirlwind courtship of a firm to construct a brand new conference middle officially entered the chilly-ft stage Thursday when a Downtown Funding Authority committee unanimously voted to advocate the DIA board break off negotiations and reject all proposals.

The recommendation of the committee, which has 4 DIA board members on it, will go to the complete board Wednesday.

The town had been getting ready to getting into negotiations with a improvement staff lead by Dallas-based mostly Jacobs after the DIA board selected that firm as the highest-ranked agency for constructing a conference middle, lodge and parking garage on the Bay Road website of the previous county courthouse and metropolis hall annex.

Jacob stated it will pay the up-entrance value of building the convention middle complicated, and the town would pay about $1.2 billion over a 25-yr interval to use it for reserving huge conventions that bypass Jacksonville now.

Mayor Lenny Curry sent a letter last month to the DIA board saying that given the high value for a brand new convention middle, the town ought to focus first on bringing extra points of interest to downtown so a conference middle can be a hit.

“We are working on lots of those pieces already,” DIA board member Marc Padgett stated in the course of the committee assembly.

He stated the development of The Shipyards on the Northbank and The District on the Southbank would end in extra resorts and restaurants, which might end result within the city circling back in the future to rethink a brand new convention middle.

Board member Braxton Gillam stated if the town does construct a new conference middle, the proposed website on the previous county courthouse and city corridor annex seems too tight, and the town would end up repeating the problem it has now with the small measurement of the Prime Osborn Conference Middle.

The discussion did not end in any suggestion on whether or not the town ought to change gears and search proposals for a unique type of improvement on that land.

DIA interim CEO Brian Hughes stated after the assembly the complete DIA board might think about what the perfect use is for that land.

“Clearly, the first thing that happens to these parcels is what’s on them comes off, so between now and the top of January, that might be taken care of,” Hughes stated of the town’s move to demolish the vacant government buildings.

Jaguars proprietor Shad Khan has proposed a special location for a convention middle as a part of a $2.5 billion improvement he envisions for The Shipyards, Metropolitan Park and Lot J subsequent to TIAA Bank Subject. Khan’s group urged the town to build the conference middle there quite than at the previous county courthouse spot. The town nonetheless must negotiate a improvement agreement with Khan for his proposal.

A marketing consultant employed by DIA to assess the prospects for a new convention middle issued a report in 2017 that stated based mostly on current demand, a new convention middle is just not warranted, but that would change as downtown features more improvement.

In January 2018, the DIA board voted to seek proposals from developers after…



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