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Bright idea to light up downtown office buildings

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Updated: 9/04/2013 8:05 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The bright, blue lights lined along the Acosta Bridge are an iconic sight in downtown Jacksonville.

Action News has learned there is a new push to string similar eye-catching LEDs along downtown office towers.

"Imagine being on a plane and having everybody crowd by the windows as you're landing in Jacksonville, saying, 'Look at that building, look at that building,'" said Margie Seaman with Illuminate Jax.

The bright idea is the brainchild of Seaman and a couple of other local business owners.

Illuminate Jax is working with the same architectural lighting designer who lit up the Main Street and Acosta bridges.

Mayor Alvin Brown, who has made developing downtown a pillar for his administration, says he looks forward to seeing what can come of this project.

"Make sure they work with all the right stakeholders, like Downtown Investment Authority, Downtown Vision, everybody working together for a shared vision for downtown," said Brown.

Action News has learned the project won't cost taxpayers a dime.

Illuminate Jax is lobbying building owners to foot the bill for the project as a marketing tool.

According to Seaman, some of the iconic buildings downtown stand up to 50 percent empty. She says the building beautification will attract more tenants and spur further development.

"We would like to be associated with that building that has a million square feet of empty space, or a quarter of a million square foot empty. So when you bring in these people, it is a direct benefit to the perception and the reality of security in the street," said Seaman.

Illuminate Jax is trying to get support from the JAX Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Investment Authority. It will make a presentation to those groups Sept. 20.

"We are excited to learn more about Illuminate Jax and are honored to be hosting the group's first presentation to the public. The JAX Chamber Downtown Council is the perfect venue to share this new idea with the business community," said Dan Dawson with the Chamber of Commerce.
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