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After Lot J fails, other Downtown developments continue

One councilmember thinks if Lot J passed, it would’ve set a bad precedent for future development.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Lot J is a dead deal, so now what?

After the city voted against funding the massive development project outside TIAA Bank Field this week, it’s a good time to take the long view on just what is happening in the Urban Core.

One longtime Jacksonville resident is excited about other projects happening here in Downtown. One councilmember thinks if Lot J passed, it would’ve set a bad precedent for future development.

Renderings of several projects, from the various versions of Lot J and the Shipyards, to a Downtown aquarium, have come to light, but with no success.

People like Steve Williams, CEO of Harbinger Signs have seen plenty of them. He is excited about other projects popping up throughout the Urban Core area.

“There’s nothing but opportunity in Downtown Jacksonville, I hope we can all come together with a plan that we can all believe in and make it happen,” Williams said.

Williams is co-founder of the group Mapping Jax. Some of its goals include smart development of old and new concepts Downtown while preserving historic buildings.

A mix of old and new projects are on the horizon.

A new FIS building is being constructed in the Brooklyn area, while JEA’s new headquarters are under construction near the Duval County Courthouse.

The Doro proposal would build a new apartment complex in the sports district in place of the vacant Doro fixtures building.

Developers want to convert the Laura Street Trio into a Marriott Hotel.

The Jaxson Mag featured more than a dozen projects for downtown and surrounding areas that are either under construction or being proposed.

Below is a map of where those projects are located.

Williams thinks there are other opportunities beyond what could’ve been Lot J, although he was disappointed it didn’t pass.

Councilman Garrett Dennis, who voted against the Lot J deal is looking forward to more affordable housing being available.

“Before we can have retail, grocery stores, we need people living Downtown,” Dennis said.

He feels if the city invested that much money into the Lot J property, others would ask for a similar deal.

“If we would’ve passed it Tuesday night: bar the door because every developer was lined up to get the same exact deal that Cordish and the Jaguars would’ve received,” Dennis said.

Williams thinks the future for Downtown Jacksonville remains bright.

“I hear a lot of talk of big developers coming in from other areas and that’s super exciting. I’ve been a part of those groups and I think a lot of eyes are on Jacksonville because a lot hasn’t been done here. That could play to our advantage,” Williams said.

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