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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Feb. 27, 201805:22 AM EST

Pier lease, EverBank Field renaming on City Council agenda

Shut since Hurricane Matthew, Jacksonville Beach Pier could reopen at a lease discount.
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

An amended lease for the Jacksonville Beach Pier, a possible new Downtown hotel and renaming EverBank Field as TIAA Bank Field are on the agenda for today’s City Council meeting. 

Changes to the pier lease and to a sale of Sister Cities Plaza are scheduled for final votes.

Jacksonville Beach Pier

The management company that operates the Jacksonville Beach Pier hopes to reopen a portion of the structure by April, but first is asking the city to amend its lease. 

Diana Pier Management Corp. is asking the city for a discounted rent of $1,100 per month until the entire pier is usable, either this year or in 2019. That’s an 80 percent discount.

The pier has been closed since October 2016 after being damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The city suspended lease payments in January 2017.

According to a fact sheet filed with the legislation, the city has repaired about half of the pier’s walkable area, limiting access for paying visitors. 

Downtown Hotel

Another boutique hotel may be on the way Downtown in the next year.

The Downtown Investment Authority wants to amend some terms of an economic development agreement the city executed in 2011 with Parador Partners LLC, which built a parking garage next to the SunTrust Tower at Hogan Street and Independence Drive across from the Jacksonville Landing. 

The 2011 agreement gave Parador Partners a five-year option to buy the corner property. It was supposed to close on the sale by January 2017 and begin construction of a structure of at least two stories 30 days after that.

Parador eventually conveyed the 0.27-acre site, known as the Sisters Cities Plaza, to Mainstreet CV 76 S. Laura St. LLC, but the sale did not close. 

Mainstreet CV plans to build a boutique hotel on the site, although no brands or designs have been released.  

This bill moves the sale closing date to April, or 90 days after council approves the amendment, and extends the construction date to 12 months after the deed is conveyed.

 Among bills being introduced are those renaming the stadium and for a road at Cecil Commerce Center.

Everbank Name Change

The Jacksonville Jaguars will see the stadium renamed in 2018 after EverBank Financial Corp. became TIAA Bank this month.

The company announced the new name after acquiring EverBank’s assets. The city’s Office of Sports and Entertainment needs council approval to change the name of EverBank Field to TIAA Bank Field, as outlined in the naming rights agreement among the team, the company and the city.

The bill will be reviewed in the council Finance Committee and the Neighborhoods, Community Service, Public Health and Safety Committee in the next few weeks. 

Money For Road

The Department of Economic Opportunity is asking council to approve a project agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity that provides a $6 million Florida Job Growth Grant to the city.

The money will help the city build a 1.5-mile, two-lane road from New World Avenue north to the 600-acre mega site at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville. The city anticipates using $1.6 million in tax money and $600,000 in wetlands credits for the project. 

The council meets at 5 p.m. today at City Hall at 117 W. Duval St. 

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