Jacksonville, FL — With a number of proposals on the table that could change the look of downtown Jacksonville, the City’s Downtown Investment Authority met Wednesday to weigh options on how to move forward.
During Wednesday's meeting, the DIA board voted to move ahead with a re-development plan for the Berkman II site on the Northbank.
That $122 million effort would include bringing a 340-room hotel, a Family Entertainment Center, a water park, and a parking garage for the site. It would also potentially include space for the U.S.S. Adams.
During Wednesday's meeting, the DIA board also ranked the three bids that were solicited to bring a new convention center, hotel, and parking garage, to replace the old Courthouse and City Hall Annex.
The Jacobs Engineering Group’s proposal was ranked the highest of the three proposals.
One of the DIA's board members, Oliver Barakat, says the plan showed proficiency in convention center and hotel development, but admitted it had the downside of being expensive. It’s estimated by the developers that this project would cost around $705 million.
But the DIA's CEO says while it won't be cheap, he calls it a “generational decision.”
The Jacobs Engineering Group said their proposal was about honoring Jacksonville as the City of bridges. That vision includes having the design of the hotel tower to emulate a tall ship, river views, an amenities deck, and “crows nest” on the upper level which could be used for a signature dining venue.
The Convention Center is reminiscent of the water, according to the proposal. Read full details, by clicking HERE.
What remains unclear at this time, however, is what this all means for the proposal put forward by Jags owner Shad Khan and his idea of having a convention center included as part of his long-running shipyards development plan.
The DIA did not address Khan’s proposal during Wednesday’s meeting.