Unfinished Condo High-Rise Still Downtown Eyesore | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- You may have heard the term "billion dollar mile" in reference to parts of downtown Jacksonville.
It was part of a plan to redevelop the stretch of Bay Street, from the Jacksonville Landing to the Stadium.
Of course, the billion dollar plan never fully materialized. Now, there is a nasty reminder of what could have been.
The Berkman Plaza 2, that vacant condo building, still stands unfinished, after a fatal accident and legal issues halted construction in Dec. 2007.
But, there are some who still have hope for the mile that could forever change our downtown.
Terry Lorince of Downtown Vision, a group that aims to develop downtown, said, "I think that still has the potential to be the billion dollar mile. It may be a little more long-term."
Lorince said long-term could mean 20 to 25 years for a downtown revitalization. In the meantime, the Berkman Plaza 2 is still tied up in legal proceedings.
The city has a vested interest in the area. It owns 40 acres right next to the vacant building.
"We've had two projects fail on that site in the past just down from there," said Abel Harding, from Mayor Alvin Brown's office.
Even though the mayor pledged to revitalize downtown, his office wants to be cautious and make sure they are smart about redevelopment.
"There becomes an eventual process where the city could, at some point, weigh in on what happens to the future of that property," Abel added. He said he is not sure the city would go that direction.
In the meantime, Lorince is hopeful change is coming. "We know this isn't the best market to make this happen, but we're certain in the coming years it's going to get better and stronger."
The Mayor's office told us they are working on public-private partnerships to accelerate development.