After over a decade of sitting untouched – and unfinished – along the Northbank of downtown Jacksonville, the blighted Berkman Plaza II property has firm plans for redevelopment.
Biloxi, MS-based Barrington Development revealed their plans for a $122 million revamp of the riverfront property earlier this week as the city’s Downtown Investment Authority weighs an incentive package for the project valued at up to $36 million.
The project is set to feature a 340-room, resort-style hotel with a water playground and multiple restaurants, as well as a “family entertainment center” featuring a massive, 200-game arcade, rock walls, a ropes course, and small amusement rides including a Ferris wheel.
As part of the project, the city would give the developer an adjacent 3-acre site on which a parking garage will be built. A portion of that garage’s spaces will be set aside for public parking.
The project is aimed at bringing family-friendly activities to downtown Jax – as well as providing a family-friendly, riverfront hotel for out-of-town visitors. It would also bring a small amusement park to downtown Jacksonville’s riverfront for the first time since the days of Dixieland.
The Berkman Plaza II property has sat dormant for over a decade after a death during construction, and subsequent litigation, brought the condo building’s development to a halt. The city recently turned its attention toward finding a new use for the property, which has attracted vagrants and annoyed residents of the original Berkman Plaza building.
The property was purchased by Barrington Development, through a related LLC, in July. They were the development team behind Biloxi’s Margaritaville Resort, which features a family entertainment center very similar to what’s described in the plans for the Berkman project.
It’s unknown at this time what branding the hotel and entertainment center will adopt.
What do you think about the plans to redevelop Berkman Plaza II? Let us know in the comments section or on social media!