Duval County

Laura Street Trio development faces setback; Jacksonville mayor says restoration is ‘priority one’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The developer behind the historic Laura Street Trio of buildings said it is committed to moving the project forward despite the Downtown Investment Authority’s new push to reject the proposal.

It’s another setback for the historic buildings, which have set empty downtown for decades.

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There was a disagreement over funding for the project. The DIA offered three different incentive packages, none of which would fund the new construction of a Marriott hotel. The packages only focused on renovating the existing Laura Street Trio.

DIA and the developer, Steve Atkins, have had ongoing conversations about an incentive package for months.

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But a new DIA resolution calls on the Jacksonville City Council to take a step back from investing in Atkins and his company, Southeast Group.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said the project will continue with someone else, but didn’t have an exact timeline.

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“I can tell you that those buildings are priority one for us to get restored. Very, very important to us,” Deegan said.

This letter that Action News Jax’s Robert Grant got from the developer said DIA’s resolution is “reflective of most of development projects proposed by private interests for downtown.”

Why the city said the incentive package proposed wasn’t in the best interest of taxpayers, coming up at 5 on CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax.

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