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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Mar. 21, 201902:34 PM EST

DIA to seek developer bids for old City Hall, Courthouse sites along East Bay Street

City abandoned earlier proposal for a convention center on property.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

The Downtown Investment Authority agreed Wednesday to solicit bids from developers interested in the old City Hall and Duval County Courthouse sites along East Bay Street along the Northbank.

The move comes six months after the board received an unsolicited bid to redevelop the 8.3-acre property at 220 and 330 E. Bay St. into a mixed-use development called Riverwalk Place.

A notice of disposition for new bids is expected to be advertised after the DIA procures a real estate consultant in the next few months.

Brian Hughes, interim DIA CEO, said Wednesday IDA hopes to have a real estate consultant in place “as soon as possible.”

Workers continue to demolish the former Duval County Courthouse on East Bay Street.

“We’re going to put this out through procurement and use that to generate a well-thought-out RFP process for development that makes sense this time,” said Hughes referring to a request for proposals.

Hughes, chief of staff for Mayor Lenny Curry, said the administration and the DIA board agree the city needs to prioritize the property for “the best and highest use.”

Developer Rimrock Devlin DeBartolo submitted a proposal last fall that comprised a hotel, residences, retail and riverfront dining.

Hughes said he expects the group will submit another plan.

At the time, the city also was soliciting ideas for a convention center complex.

The DIA halted the convention center talks in December at the request of Curry, who said Jacksonville didn’t have enough amenities to support a new complex.

Rimrock Devlin DeBartolo submitted a proposal as an alternative use for the property while a new convention center is under consideration near TIAA Bank Field along the Downtown Northbank on what is now Metropolitan Park.

Rimrock Devlin DeBartolo is working with Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s Iguana Investments Florida LLC to redevelop nearly 70 acres of property along the Northbank and next to TIAA Bank Field.

Those plans are not yet clear, but could include JEA’s new headquarters.

The public utility company is considering three sites and will decide at an April 2 board meeting.




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