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

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Some popular local restaurants and other businesses say they’re being priced out of Jacksonville due to rising rental costs.

Action News Jax spoke with the owner of the Southern Roots Filling Station in Riverside.

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The owner, Juan Pablo Salvat, says his rent could go up 400%.

He says that makes it nearly impossible for him to stay at this location. It’s disappointing news for customers who walk through these doors every morning.

“What can be done to prevent this from happening,” says Salvat.

Salvat says other local small business owners are facing a similar struggle.

“It’s frustrating because it’s happening to a lot of people, not just us. We are one of many,” says Salvat.

Southern Roots Filling Station is a plant-based vegan restaurant with loyal customers like Cheryl Anthony who are outraged.

“It’s like I’m speechless. I’ve never heard of a 400% increase,” says Anthony.

Read: Jacksonville Starbucks closes for several hours as workers strike for wage increase

Anthony says without small businesses like the Southern Roots Filling Station she worries about her community.

“This is walking distance within some really small interesting places. I don’t want to see any big companies taking over, it changes the environment,” says Anthony.

Commercial real estate experts like Amanda Kinkade say there’s a simple reason why this is happening.

“The demand. So people are coming into our market. Depending on the side of town and the space. Yes we are seeing that,” says Kinkade.

She has this advice for small business owners in Jacksonville.

“If you can’t lock into a good rate, try to do that. We have been seeing rent increases per year. They use to be 3 to 4%, now we are seeing double,” says Kinkade

Now Salvant says nothing has been set in stone yet for this potential rent increase. He’s hoping to keep negotiating.

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