Developer Announces Plans For Downtown Jacksonville Resort

Sep 18, 2018

Renderings for a downtown Jacksonville resort at the site of the never-completed Berkman II have been released.

Barrington Development plans to turn the shell of the Berkman II condo complex into a 341-room hotel and resort featuring restaurants and a "family entertainment center."

The downtown entertainment center will feature indoor and outdoor amusement rides along with arcade games.

“We are excited to bring Jacksonville a fun and exciting family friendly resort. The resort brand will be announced very soon after final agreements are completed and signed, but it is a brand that we are all very familiar with,” said Cono Caranna, Vice President at Barrington Development in an email to WJCT News.

Caranna said the arcade will have more than 200 games along with indoor attractions including rope courses and a rock wall. He says the property will have something for all ages.

Our Jacksonville Daily Record news partner reports the owners of the Berkman Plaza II are seeking $36 million in incentives from the city ahead of a proposed $122 million redevelopment. 

The project is one that the Downtown Investment Authority is expected to consider at its Wednesday meeting, according to the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Caranna hasn’t announced a price tag for the project or specifics, but the renderings clearly show a Ferris Wheel, an outdoor lazy river and a ship next to a pier that appears as though it could be the USS Adams.

A non-profit group has been trying to bring the decommissioned USS Adams back to Jacksonville as a tourist attraction that would also serve as a naval museum.

WJCT News has not been able to confirm whether the rendering does in fact indicate that Barrington may be working with the USS Adams Museum organization.

The rendering shows a hotel that appears to be different in height and design than the old Berkman II would have been had it been completed.

However, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry told the Jacksonville Daily Record in July that developers plan to renovate what’s left of the 23-story structure.

The two-acre site is at 500 E. Bay Street next to the existing Berkman Plaza and across the street from the Duval County Jail.

“For three years now we’ve been working with Choate to resolve the problem that is Berkman II,” said Curry in July. “It’s been incredibly hard at times but we’re there.”

In his email to WJCT News Caranna thanked Curry, his administration and the City of Jacksonville “with bringing this project to reality.

Barrington Development was incorporated in 2012 and is based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, according to Bloomberg.

Among the projects it lists as successfully completing is the White House Hotel, a 76-room hotel, and the 373-room Margaritaville Resort, both of which are in Biloxi, Mississippi.

WJCT News has reached out to Caranna for additional information. This story will be updated if more information is received.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.