Jacksonville, FL — Three companies have put forward bids to build a new Convention Center in Downtown Jacksonville.
Earlier this year, Jacksonville's Downtown Investment Authority decided to solicit proposals for a Convention Center, hotel, and parking garage for the site of the old County Courthouse and City Hall Annex close to the St. Johns River. Preston Hollow Capital, LLC; Rimrock, Devlin, DeBartolo Jacksonville, LLC; and Jacobs Project Management Company all responded to the DIA.
The details of their specific bids are not yet public record.
The DIA sees the more centrally located Convention Center complex as something that could enhance the surrounding areas, including the Sports Complex and Downtown Core. The City’s current Convention Center, the Prime Orborn, is on the fringe of Downtown in the Lavilla area. There has been no clear indication what plans would be for the Prime Osborne, if one of these new Convention Center proposals moves forward.
The request from the DIA was for a plan that would include a full-service restaurant, retail and recreation space, wedding and banquet space, and exhibit hall, and a ballroom. The hotel will have at least 350 rooms, and the parking garage will have at least 400 spaces for the hotel and 1,300 spaces for the Convention Center. Beyond that, the DIA asked for details on how each plan will be financed, be environmentally friendly, and connect and interact with the Riverfront and Sports Complex.
While the project photo includes the parking deck, the area has substantially changed because of the collapse and reconstruction of Liberty Street and Coastline Drive.
This exploration is taking place at a time that Jacksonville city leaders say things are starting to come together for Downtown. The Laura Street Trio is moving forward, Berkman Plaza II has been sold, the Jaguars are looking at redeveloping around the Sports Complex- including ongoing negotiations over the Shipyards- and more. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry requested additional Downtown economic development funding in his newly released $1.2 billion City budget proposal, to continue promoting Downtown.