This week in Building Up Jax, we’ve got updates on the long-unfinished Berkman Plaza II building on the Northbank, as well as updates about the Main Street Bridge, the St. Johns Town Center and more.
New zoning for Berkman Plaza II soon?
There may still be hope for the long-unfinished Berkman Plaza II building on the Northbank.
The building, which was abandoned during the recession around a decade ago, has sat dormant and largely unfinished along Bay Street ever since.
It was also the site of a construction tragedy shortly before it was abandoned, when one worker died after part of the parking garage structure collapsed. The subsequent legal action resulted in a change of ownership.
It currently functions as little more than an eyesore and a spot for the city’s homeless population to occasionally seek shelter.
However, after almost a decade of inaction, the building’s current owner (Choate Construction) is filing to have its zoning changed to Commercial Central Business District.
The agent listed on the application, according to multiple sources, is Indy Hotels LLC.
This would suggest that there are now preliminary plans to begin work on the building once again, perhaps in hopes of converting it into a hotel. The current structure stands at 23 stories tall.
It would be the second large unfinished construction project in Jacksonville to finally be seen through to completion in recent years. The Palazzo on St. Johns once sat vacant at the corner of Baymeadows Rd. and San Jose Blvd. for years before changing ownership and being completed.
Main Street Bridge gets hit
A large cruise ship hit the Main Street Bridge while attempting to dock along the Southbank Friday night. The accident occurred as thousands were gathered along the Northbank to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Jacksonville Landing.
The bridge is open now, but will likely need to be evaluated further for any structural damage. It has been closing periodically for maintenance over the past couple of months.
Town Center updates
Hyatt Place is expected to join The Strand at Town Center, according to Jax Daily Record.
Taco Bell will join the Town Center Promenade, also according to JDR.
- The Loop Pizza Grill will leave its location at the soon-to-be-redeveloped St. Johns Village in Avondale and move to Sadler Point Marina at 4619 Roosevelt Blvd., according to the Florida Times-Union.
- Linens by the Sea, a specialty linens company, intends to expand into Jacksonville according to a press release.
- Bold City Brewery’s bar on Bay Street next to Cowford Chophouse is expected to open around the beginning of the new year, according to Jax Daily Record.
- A new shopping center is planned for the southwest corner of the intersection of University Blvd. and St. Augustine Rd. next to an existing Verizon Wireless location, according to Jax Daily Record. Speculation suggests that the center may include Sprouts Farmers Market.
- Fifty Shades of Cigars will open soon at the Jacksonville Landing, bringing its retail occupancy to 80% for the first time in years.