JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ticco Zhao wants to turn a boarded up building on Baymeadows Road into a high-brow bikini bar he'll call "Paradise."
He said, "Miami has all this stuff. It's very upscale. So does Tampa, Orlando. And I think Jacksonville should be like that. I don't understand why it's not."
But in what's traditionally been a family-friendly neighborhood, another local businessman and City Council candidate, Danny Becton, is protesting.
He said, "This is not the right place in this city for this type of establishment."
He worries what other businesses a bikini bar would attract.
He said, "Let's go over to Emerson where Wacko's is. Right next door there's an adult bookstore. Triple X."
Zhao said he's planning to go to great lengths to keep "Paradise" classy, exclusive. He said he wants to help the neighborhood, not hurt it.
"We want to see Baymeadows grow," he said. "We just hope that everybody understands that it's not bad for the community. It will be safe. It will be great."
The city of Jacksonville has confirmed that Zhao and his business partner have applied for a zoning exception that would allow a bikini bar in that area. It still needs approval by the Planning Commission. It meets again Nov. 14.