Jacksonville’s plans for Downtown revitalization and historic preservation may get a boost.
City Councilman Matt Carlucci spoke about legislation to replenish a trust fund for historic preservation during an interview on Tuesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.
Carlucci spearheaded the original creation of the Historic Preservation and Revitalization Fund when he first served as City Council President in 2002. The goal was to create a permanent tool for supporting projects that would restore historic downtown structures.
Today, the fund has less than $820,000 dollars. Carlucci estimates that about $6 million is needed just for projects that the city is committed to, including the work already underway at the Barnett Bank Building and Laura Street Trio.
“People say why put money Downtown. Well every project this fund has supported has been a success. 11 East Forsyth, The Carling, the [Cowford] Chophouse. There’s an old warehouse – a dry goods - on Bay Street that’s doing well,” Carlucci said.
The warehouse project Carlucci was referring to is the Churchwell Lofts in the old J.H. Churchwell building on Bay Street, which was a dry goods distributor and warehouse at one time.
Preservationists arguing for more money say it’s important to keep up older buildings that define a city’s unique local identity.
Melissa Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.