MAYPORT, Fla. -- In Mayport, a lack of business means for rent signs and dark store fronts are a sign of the times. But if the Pentagon chooses it as home port for 14 littoral combat ships, or LCS, it could help a lot of now-empty shopping centers in the area.
The Atlantic Beach Commons has been without an anchor store for a year and much like a ship with no anchor, it's in rocky waters.
"If we could get more sailors in the area and more people in here shopping it would help all of us," said Jon McGowan of McGowan Firearms.
According to Congressman Ander Crenshaw, the LCS are the way of the future, with the Navy considering to relocate the ships to Naval Station Mayport or Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
The extra ships would bring about 3,600 sailors, family members and their expendable income.
"I've been here for three years and even from when I first got here," said Tom Campbell Manager of a Mayport Domino's Pizza. "I've seen businesses closing down and nothing really starting up."
Deliveries to the Mayport Naval Station equate for 50 percent of their business and they feel the pinch inside and outside their store every time the Navy makes changes.
There has been no final decision made yet, so if you would like to share your opinion on making Mayport home to the East Coast LCS hub, you have until March 29th.
First Coast News