City Council President Bill Bishop named his four selections Thursday to fill the nine-member board of the recently approved Downtown Investment Authority.
“All four of them are highly qualified individuals who are very invested in Downtown,” Bishop said.
Bishop’s selections are:
• Tony Allegretti, JAX Chamber Downtown Engagement director. Allegretti is a partner in the Gallery Restaurant Group, which owns Burrito Gallery among other business ventures. Bishop cited Allegretti’s enthusiasm and “outside-the-box thinking” in creating viable ideas for Downtown improvement. “He’s an extremely talented individual,” Bishop said.
• Jim Bailey, publisher of the Financial News & Daily Record. Bailey also is on the City’s Downtown Development Review Board. “He’s very invested in Downtown and has lived it for decades,” Bishop said. “He’s enthusiastic and he knows the people.”
• Oliver Barakat, CB Richard Ellis senior vice president. He also is a board member of Downtown Vision Inc. and a member of the NAIOP commercial real estate group. Bishop said Barakat has the real-estate background and passion for Downtown he was seeking in an appointment and is well-versed and invested in the neighborhood. “He knows Downtown and he knows what it will take for redevelopment,” Bishop said.
• Don Shea, Jacksonville Civic Council executive director. Shea has been a consultant with a focus on Downtown to Mayor Alvin Brown and assisted City Council during its review of the legislation that created the authority.
“He knows the Downtown redevelopment business,” Bishop said. “He has the experience and knows how to do it.”
Bishop also said Shea is fairly new to the City and can offer an outside perspective that can be beneficial in determining “what this needs to be.”
Mayor Brown will select the remaining five board appointments.
David DeCamp, Brown’s communications director, said Thursday that the administration is preparing the final appointments for release.
All nine appointments will be confirmed by Council.
The board will meet to determine the criteria to hire the authority’s first executive director. The criteria also must be approved by Council.
However, the executive director will not need Council confirmation.
The executive director and board will create a business plan to revitalize Downtown.
The plan will be reviewed annually by Council, which will appropriate funding.