After sitting unfinished for more than a decade along the Northbank downtown, Berkman Plaza II is finally set to be redeveloped.
Mayor Lenny Curry announced yesterday that Chaote Construction Co., current owners of the property, recently closed on a sale of the property to a developer who wishes to build a hotel on the property. The developer has yet to be publicly identified.
The property had previously been re-zoned for a hotel a couple years ago, and the city has been working with Chaote Construction to find a new purpose for it. Curry also alluded to an entertainment element in the new developer’s plans.
The property has sat largely untouched since 2007, when a high-profile construction failure in the adjacent parking garage caused the death of a worker. Subsequent lawsuits brought construction to a halt, and led to Chaote Construction acquiring the property a few years ago.
Despite the addition of a gate around the property and heightened JSO presence, the unfinished building has frequently attracted the homeless. And it’s been a source of frustration for years for many in downtown Jax – especially those living in Berkman Plaza, who didn’t expect to be living next door to an abandoned construction site a decade later.
Details on the sale, and the developer’s plans, are still pretty sparse. But for a blighted property like Berkman Plaza II, just about anything will be better than what’s there right now.