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Business Brief: Downtown Development Promises 'Just Rhetoric' So Far, But Change Is Coming

Jeff Wright

Some Downtown Jacksonville residents remain without power after part of Liberty Street collapsed into the St. Johns River last weekend. Jacksonville Business Journal Editor John Burr says the road collapse is part of a larger problem.

“Despite all the cheerleading for redeveloping downtown, the city itself has not put the resources into doing much, certainly not as much as anywhere close to what is needed to really a spark a renaissance," he says. 

Burr says in addition to poor maintenance in the urban core, the city has yet to take an inventory of government buildings and other property it can sell to spur private development. And above all, he says the amount of money the city has set aside for Downtown development is far lower than what's needed.

But part of that could soon change. As the Jacksonville Business Journal first reported, the City Council is set to vote on a plan next week allowing the Downtown Investment Authority to control its own money.  

Hear Burr's entire conversation with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo here: 

Photo Credit: "Downtown Jacksonville from Riverside" is a derivative work of "Jacksonville" by Jeff Wright used under CC BY 2.0 "Downtown Jacksonville from Riverside" is licensed under CC BY 2.0 by WJCT. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP