JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four historic downtown buildings that have sat vacant for years are about to get new life.
The Downtown Investment Authority on Wednesday approved over $9.8 million in incentives to renovate the old Barnett Bank building and three other properties known as the Laura Street Trio.
A developer is planning a hotel, apartments and office space for the buildings. The plan has been in the works for years, but met with delays and other problems. It now looks like the deal will close in mid-February, then the incentives will have to be approved by City Council.
"We have worked on this project since Day 1, since I got here, and it has finally come together," said Audra Wallace, the head of the DIA.
City officials specified that the money would not be paid to the developer until the projects are complete.
"No public funds are at risk on the front end, on construction at all," Wallace said.
Construction could begin this summer.