Duval County

‘It’s a battle:’ Concerning trend putting pressure on pockets of Five Points businesses and customer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For Jacksonville residents, Five Points serves as a bustling rush of constant entertainment, fine dining and plenty to do. However, for businesses and restaurants alike, that rush can be one of just trying to make ends meet and trying to avoid suffocating from the high costs of rent in a high-demand area of the River City.

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“You have to start making choices of do you pay for health insurance? Or, do you do, you know, add another employee because your carpal tunnel is so bad that you can’t keep working all these hours?” explained Natasha Burton, owner of Mixed Fillings Pie Shop. “So, it really puts you in between a rock and a hard place.”

Burton’s shop isn’t the only business in Five Points struggling to stay afloat.

Action News Jax told our viewers and readers when Southern Roots Filling Station in Five Points closed down when confronted with a 400% rent increase.

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More recently, Black Sheep Restaurant closed its doors because of what its owners reportedly described as high costs.

“When the rent is so high, you have to decide well, how much of this can I as a person take on?” Burton added.

Read: PRICED OUT OF JAX: Southern Roots Filling Station owner says he’s facing possible 400% rent increase

While higher rents place added pressure on the businesses, their increased costs are often passed along to customers, something restaurants also have to be wary of for customer satisfaction.

“We have not been able to absorb going from a $2 egg breakfast to a $10 egg breakfast,” said James Farah, clinical professor of management and law for Jacksonville University. “So, there’s a lot of pressure on the restaurants on managing price controls.”

While this economic struggle in Five Points affects businesses and restaurant owners, Farah added that there are options to make sure business owners stay alive in the Five Points area.

“Understand the lease terms,” advised Farah. “Restaurant owners are typically not lawyers, and as a lawyer, I’ve read many leases. I can tell you that oftentimes, more than 75% of the time, restaurant owners are surprised when they find out provisions are in the lease.”

Read: ‘With heavy hearts’ Black Sheep restaurant at Five Points is closing

There’s also always the option to try renegotiating rent with the property’s landlord, something Burton and Mixed Fillings Pie Shop were lucky enough to do.

However, not everyone’s so lucky, as demand in Five Points’ rush will continue to place pressure on existing businesses there.

Read: Man arrested for aggravated child abuse after disturbing viral video, Jacksonville police say

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