Businesses "optimistic" about new ships at Mayport

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The USS Iwo Jima and USS Fort McHenry are scheduled to arrive at their new home port, Naval Station Mayport, on Sunday. About 1500 sailors are also making the move from Norfolk, Virginia.

"It's a great opportunity," said Deanna Bongirno, owner of Bongirno's Philly Steak Shop on Mayport Road. "More businesses will open, more people will move here, it's going to boost everything."

Bongirno, and several other business owners, say the Mayport part of Jacksonville hasn't been as booming as it was in the past.

"When we first opened it was kind of slow," Bongirno said.

Wes McCall is the Commanding Officer of Naval Station Mayport. He says in addition to these two ships arriving Sunday, 6 littoral combat ships will move to Mayport in 2016.

"It's nice to see activity back here on the base and what a great deal for us and what a great deal for the city," he said.

All the action is leaving business owners like Bongirno optimistic about the business boom they've been looking for.


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