Southbank storage facility moves to City Council with LUZ approval

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Despite major pushback from neighbors and a staff report recommending denial, the third attempt at a storage facility on the Southbank moves to City Council with approval from Land Use and Zoning.


Neighbors have been fighting storage on the Southbank for years. The latest plan now includes retail, office space, and a restaurant on the ground floor, parking on floor two, storage on floors three through six, and 100 residential units above that.

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“Prime real estate is scarce in Jacksonville — especially right there on the Southbank,” Council Member Raul Arias said. “To have it converted to a storage unit? It just doesn’t make sense.”

He was one of three “no” votes Tuesday against rezoning the property for the storage facility and mixed-use space. But it still passed with four “yes” votes.

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The Downtown Development Review Board staff report recommends denial, as does the DIA and Urban Core Citizens Planning Advisory Committee. CPAC said the plan would be a “counterproductive precedent for future Downtown development deals.”

Storage facilities are currently not allowed under the downtown overlay, which includes the Southbank. The DDRB staff report said it would not be efficient use of downtown space.

“For us to disregard that — it just doesn’t make sense to me. Sometimes I know not everything is black and white — there are some grays. In this case, we have to do our due diligence to do what’s right for the community,” Arias said.

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Members who support the plan point to the empty lot in need of activation.

Arias hopes city council will take the staff report, DIA recommendation, and CPAC recommendation into consideration when the ordinance goes before city council as a whole next Tuesday.

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