JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A representative for the company that owns a deserted tower on Jacksonville’s Northbank said Thursday the company is actively looking to sell the 23-story building and is not planning on making any changes.
The Berkman II Plaza has been vacant for more than a decade after a deadly construction project derailed plans to develop the structure into a luxury condominium complex.
Homeless encampments inside the building’s concrete shell have recently been reported to the City of Jacksonville by frustrated neighbors.
A message received by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry by a near-by homeowner reads in part:
“…Last week I contacted the Sheriff to report the homestead on the eleventh floor. I made a second call after no action was taken except to walk around the site. A second call resulted in my discussing with a uniformed officer the problem, the safety concern issue, as well as the trespassing, and he advised me that he would make the necessary report.
Several days later a pair of uniformed officers entered the building, went to the eleventh floor and tore down the temporary siding/shelter.
ONE DAY LATER, the shelter is back! So I called the Sheriff again and reported the issue, again. We'll see what happens now…”
Mike Hampton, Chief Administrative Officer of the company that currently owns the building at 500 East Bay Street, could not comment on the process of any potential sale.
Duval County Property Appraiser records show the Atlanta-based Choate Construction Company has owned the Northbank business since 2014.
Mayor Curry previously pledged to include the property in Northbank redevelopment plans but has not publicly released an exact timeline for the structure’s demolition.