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Deal for apartments at former River City Brewing Company site terminated, new plan expected

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — We’re learning new details about a long-awaited project on the Southbank that will no longer be moving forward.

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A large-scale apartment community was slated for the former site of River City Brewing Company.

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According to the Downtown Investment Authority, a new plan is still expected for the site.

The project was one of many aimed at bringing in thousands of people to downtown.

According to the city: Related Group was planning a new eight-story, riverfront tower with 325 apartments, a 5,000 SF restaurant space and 511 parking spaces.

On Thursday, Action News Jax spoke with Lori Boyer, CEO of the Downtown Investment Authority.

“The thing that made the most sense was let’s clean up our contract, terminate this agreement, you don’t have any responsibilities, we don’t have any responsibilities. And we’ll come back to City Council with a new agreement and to the DIA board as soon as you have those new plans. So we’re expecting that this spring.”

Read: New community under development on Jacksonville’s Southbank

In a letter on Jan. 11 from Boyer to the Related Development, LLC and RD River City Brewery LLC, the reasoning was due to “changes in market conditions the current project is not economically feasible in the immediate future.”

Boyer said the developer hadn’t started construction because of factors like increasing interest rates and construction costs.

“Well, obviously we’re disappointed in the delay on this one,” Boyer said. “But overall, I think on this specific site, we may end up with a product that we like better and that blends better with the park and with our vision for downtown.”

Action News Jax also spoke with Luis Huerta who had a boat at the marina behind the former River City Brewing Company site for about 10 years.

He desperately misses the space.

“This is the place to gather, place to network and a place that all the residents nearby really enjoyed coming to,” Huerta said.

The city still plans to finance the restoration of a 29-slip marina and boat ramp at the site.

“Coming in here and kicking up your feet on the back of the boat to have a River City libation makes you feel like you’re one 1,000 miles away right here in our downtown avenue,” Huerta said.

Related Story: Permits issued to demolish old River City Brewing Company building

Boyer made it clear that the city is not out of any money from the deal.

“When you look at other projects up and down the riverfront, we have many of them that are moving forward even with current economic conditions,” Boyer said.

On Feb. 8 downtown leaders will gather for an event called: Riverfront 2025: A Look Ahead.

You’ll have the chance to learn about many downtown riverfront projects. There will be networking, a formal presentation, Q&A and an opportunity to meet with project leads.

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