JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Mayor Alvin Brown is keeping his promise of downtown development one block of Brooklyn at a time. With the stroke of a pen, the mayor made it official Wednesday afternoon; 11 grassy blighted acres of downtown's Brooklyn area will be replaced by 300 housing units and 65,000 square feet of retail space.
"Right now, you see an empty lot but a world of potential," said Brown. "Very soon that potential can come true."
Riverside neighbors are singing the mayor's praises. Mary Lalama has lived in and seen cities all over the world and says this is exactly what's needed to make downtown a destination.
"Why not? It'd be nice to build some beautiful homes over here apartments and things to do of course," she said.
"It's exciting to me to have more stuff to do down here," said Sarah Randle, who goes to the YMCA in Brooklyn. "There hasn't been and its a waste."
The project's neighbor, which broke ground last month is well on its way, proof that the multimillion dollar investment in downtown is starting to work.
"This is not just about bricks and mortars its about opportunity its about the opportunity to refine the look of our city increase our pulse and be more competitive," said Mayor Brown.
The new development is expected to create 247 new jobs and generate nearly $17.8 million in new tax revenue. Completion is expected sometime in 2014.