Future of the Armory Building in limbo

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Updated: 12/16/2013 10:16 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Armory Building is one of the city's most valuable vacant properties. 

The Sons of Confederate Veterans wanted to lease the building from the city, paying $1 a year in exchange for renovating and restoring it. 

Jim Shillinglaw, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said, "The purpose of the Armory is to turn it into a military museum."

But Bill Hoff, president of Springfield Preservation and Restoration, prefered another tenant.

"We feel that there are much better uses for that historic city-owned building," he said.

Action News told you last week that a coalition of arts groups called the Artery has also expressed interest in the space.  Hoff said that would make more sense in the neighborhood "because it fits the vision that a lot of people see for the urban core."

But Shillinglaw said it makes more sense to keep the building what it was meant to be, a tribute to fallen troops.

"The building needs to be saved. It's a monument to the people that served in the military," he said.

The Armory Building was built in 1915, as a training facility for World War I troops. 

The property appraiser's office lists its value at $2.8 million.

The bill to lease the building has been withdrawn.  The building will remain vacant, until another bill is submitted.
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