Business Brief: DIA CEO Wants Master-Planned Development For First Baptist Property

Oct 17, 2019

Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer says a master-planned redevelopment could be the best option for First Baptist Church officials as they plan to sell 12.17 acres of its Downtown campus.

Boyer told DIA board members Wednesday the redevelopment opportunity for Downtown is in the property’s six contiguous blocks, but the impact would be diminished if the parcels are sold separately, according to WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record.

“What I see is that the collective property presents an opportunity for Downtown redevelopment that is bigger than may occur if it’s piecemealed,” she said.

She was responding Wednesday to board member Oliver Barakat, who asked about DIA’s role in the First Baptist sale. He said the First Baptist campus is privately owned and a sale will be a private transaction.

Barakat is a senior vice president at the real estate firm CBRE Jacksonville. 

Boyer said after Wednesday’s meeting that she contacted First Baptist after its Sept. 8 announcement that it wanted to sell most of its Downtown campus. Church leaders said they were interviewing real estate brokers but have not announced a hire or a strategy.

An expanded version of this story that includes a look at the properties going up for sale is at JaxDailyRecord.