News

City unveils $37 million plan to repair collapsed Liberty Street


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- A $37 million project that would permanently repair downtown's collapsed Liberty Street and expand the area's riverfront got early approval from the City Council on Wednesday.

Council President Greg Anderson, along with top officials from Mayor Lenny Curry's administration, unveiled the plan to a council panel reviewing next year's budget, calling it a crucial investment to fix two failing downtown bridges that have become a "dangerous and ugly reminder" of the city's neglected infrastructure.

"We could transform a showcase for blight into a showpiece for our city," Anderson said.

The council panel unanimously approved including the project in next year's budget. If the full council approves the plan, the city would begin work immediately and complete it within 30 months.

JSO: False bomb threat reported near Hemming Park


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Reports of a bomb on the 100 block W. Monroe Street downtown near Hemming Park turned out to be false, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

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The suspicious package was found on the corner of Laura Street and W. Monroe Street.

Police said they got a call about a bomb threat Thursday night. After searching the area, they determined the threat wasn't credible.

The area has since reopened.


Your voice in redeveloping the Jacksonville Landing


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The firm charged with redeveloping the Jacksonville Landing said they can't do it without input from the people that would use it.

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Tuesday, in a 2 hour discussion, dozens of people from all across the city did just that.

"It's nice to see we can be involved too," said Lola Thompson. She's lived in Jacksonville all her life, and said being involved will help with the success.

"It's very important to keep this and revitalize it," she said.

Some of the ideas tossed around Tuesday include a movie theater, more parking, local restaurants, even a floating amphitheater on the St. Johns River.

State Attorney's Office settles into old federal courthouse


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — History lives on in downtown Jacksonville as the State Attorney's Office settles into the old federal courthouse newly connected to the Duval County County Courthouse.

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"History lives on," said State Attorney Angela Corey, who is proud of the $32 million dollar renovation and restoration of the building constructed in 1932.

The federal building that housed courtrooms until 2002 was deeded to the city. What followed were numerous design plans and delays, where possible historical features of the old building were saved - including a courtroom that is now used by attorneys for conferences and mock trials.

DIA moving forward with Khan's Shipyards plan


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville's Downtown Investment Authority is moving forward with a Shipyards proposal floated by Jaguars owner Shad Khan's investment firm following a unanimous vote Thursday.

Negotiations are underway with Khan's Iguana Investments following an hour-long discussion of the firm's plan, which calls for a massive facelift of the property and hundreds of millions of dollars in private investments.

A DIA review committee previously awarded Iguana top scores after combing through three bids received by the city.

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Parts of Coastline Drive to remain closed in wake new FDOT order


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Coastline Drive, between Liberty Street and Market Street will remain closed, per order from the Florida Department of Transportation in wake of the Liberty Street collapse.

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The order, along with four others, was released in an email from Mayor Alvin Brown's Chief of Staff, Chris Hand, to City Council members Friday afternoon.

It comes on the heels of a request of the city to FDOT for a review of Coastline Drive between Liberty Street and Market Street in front of the Hyatt Hotel on the St. Johns River.

Downtown businesses evacuate after gas leak


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A natural gas leak is now impacting about a dozen businesses around the 100 block of N. Davis Street near W. Forsyth Street, according to TECO Peoples Gas. The leak was reported around 8:00 Tuesday morning and contained around 5:15 that evening. Crews capped the pipe's valves at both ends, stopping the flow of gas.

TECO says they are working into the night so they can restore gas as soon as possible for the area.

According to Tom Francis with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, no evacuations were ordered, but a nearby glass company, Pilkington, did evacuate on it's own when the odor from the leak filled their building.

Francis says the gas fumes got into the building's piping, which is what created the strong odor, but he emphasized that the gas was not a threat to anyone.