Some prime riverfront real estate in Jacksonville could soon become a parking lot.
The Duval County School Board building on the Southbank is making plans to move part of its parking lot closer to the river to make room for a road.
The lot serves as a cut-through to Montana Avenue. Adjacent to it is land JEA wants to sell.
To do that, the school board would need to move its lot to some of JEA's land and build a road through the current lot.
Twelve years ago, the Southside Generating Station on the Southbank came tumbling down. The site was cleared for development, which never took place.
It's been used for special events like the Super Bowl NFL Experience, but because of contamination and a bad economy, the property is still sitting empty. One reason is that there is no access to it, except through the school board parking lot.
"We have been working with the school board over the years trying to figure out a way to get access to the JEA land," said Bud Para, of JEA. "So the idea is we can sell the land to someone who wants to develop it."
Now JEA and the school board are working on a land swap to basically open up the property. The school board parking lot would move to the JEA land, and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority would build a road.
"The school board would transfer property to the JTA, and then JEA would transfer property to the school board to make up their lost parking," Para said. "Because the idea is, this will provide better access to the JEA site and make it more valuable, and it will also make the transportation in that whole area better."
While it would move some parking to the riverfront land, without the move, JEA believes it could not sell it. As for buyers, it should become apparent next month who is interested in developing the land. JEA sent out a request to developers and said there have been some nibbles. But this time it is hoping it will get a bite.
The matter will be discussed at the JEA meeting June 17.