If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That’s the position the JEA is in with its 30-acre waterfront parcel of land Downtown along the Southbank, the former site of the Southside Generating Station.
The authority is proposing a land swap involving Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and the city that is approved by all parties would improve access to the site for a future developer.
Nancy Kilgo, JEA director of government affairs, said at Tuesday’s JEA meeting that a “right-of-way framework” document has been prepared for introduction to the school board detailing the proposal to extend Prudential Drive through the school district’s parking lot to the JEA site, which JEA is marketing to potential buyers.
The proposed road would merge with Broadcast Place and then continue under Interstate 95 to connect with the parking garage along Kings Avenue owned by JTA.
According to the proposal, which is posted on JEA.com, the school board would be giving up .47 acre of its parking lot to JTA for the connector to the JTA site. JEA would transfer 1.33 acres of the site to the school board to replace parking lot space transferred in the property exchange.
“JEA is giving up the most land, but it’s important for the site to be developed,” said Kilgo.
She said the school board should receive the proposal at its meeting in July. The JTA board is expected to begin its evaluation in August. At that point, she said, the proposal with modifications, if any, will be considered by JEA’s board. Assuming approval at that point, the agreement would then be sent to City Council.
Kilgo said JEA has been interested in selling or leasing the property since the generating station stopped production in 2000. Since then, a few ideas for the property were put forth, but nothing developed past that initial stage.
In 2013, multiple parties indicated interest in possibly developing the property, she said, so the authority issued a formal Request for Proposals. Responses are scheduled to be opened in July 1.
The Daily Record reported in April that Deutsche Bank is seeking to consolidate its Jacksonville operations and could be considering the JEA site.
If the land swap is completed, the next step will be to identify a funding source to build the new access road. Kilgo said the cost estimate for the project is $10 million, which could be invested by the developer, the public sector, or a public-private partnership.
“We don’t really know,” she said.