JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The old Duval County courthouse sits vacant and boarded up. Located along the beautiful St. Johns River, it's considered to be an eyesore in downtown Jacksonville.
"Downtown Jacksonville is dead and we need to change that," said Toney Sleiman.
That's why Sleiman says it's time to for the city to take action and put the prime property to use.
The Landing owner recently presented his idea to infuse life into downtown at a leadership forum. Action News obtained photos of his plan, renderings of a convention center built where the old county courthouse now sits. TVS Design, an Atlanta-based architecture firm, drew up the proposal which paints the picture of a more scenic Bay Street.
"If we build a convention center, we're going to bring in thousands of tourists. Last year we missed out on 61 conventions that would have come to this city, filled it up and spent money," said Sleiman.
Downtown Vision Inc. has also expressed interest in demolishing the old courthouse and building a convention center next to the Hyatt Hotel. The property is currently valued at $19 million. Sleiman says his plan would put Jacksonville on the map for tourism.
"They come here, they pay money, they pay taxes and then they leave. Then we get a whole new group coming in. If we can keep that rotation going, that's what works."
The City of Jacksonville has stated the land would be open to redevelopment, although there are no immediate plans approved for future use by the City of Jacksonville.