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Mayor Alvin Brown: Foreclosures Not A Downtown Development Plan

Jacksonville Historical Society

Although the city of Jacksonville has begun foreclosure procedures on the Bostwick Building downtown, officials don’t expect that to happen with other empty buildings downtown. They’re looking at other ways to spur downtown redevelopment.

Downtown advocates said the Bostwick situation is unique because the Bostwick family was looking to demolish the historic building and a potential buyer had come forward.

Foreclosure proceedings are difficult and time consuming.

Mayor Alvin Brown said he wants to work with building owners and developers on other projects.

"There's this great working relationship, public-private partnership owners of buildings would be more proactive and say 'you know what we're going to sell it, we're going to make it happen, we want to bring life back to downtown," he said.

"We want to create jobs and we want the entrepreneurs to really continue to thrive and grow in Jacksonville."   

Last week the Jacksonville City Council rejected a request to tear down the Bostwick Building and instead designated the structure as an historic landmark.

Proponents of downtown said the Bostwick family is responsible for the building’s dilapidated condition.

They said the Bostwick’s should not be rewarded with a demolitions permit if other parties are willing to redevelop the building with it’s Jaguar-themed facade.

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.