JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Another hotel project could soon be underway in Jacksonville Beach after City Council recently approved a six story mixed use hotel and apartment project, but some nearby residents are unhappy about the plan.
The project is planned for the west side of 1st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues North, on the opposite side of another project that is set to be a resort-style hotel.
“We are always very pro-business,” said Tye Wallace, president of Void Media.
Wallace said he is happy when he hears about development in Jacksonville Beach, but he also has concerns. The lot where the hotel is planned to be built, located just outside of his business, could soon become a six-story building with apartments and hotel rooms. Officials with Jacksonville Beach feel that it will help attract younger working people and tourists.
Many people living in homes along 2nd Street North said they are not happy about these developments. They said that they are concerned the development will bring more congestion to the roadways and that the new buildings will block their view of the Atlantic Ocean.
“It's going to block out our air,” said resident Richard Landes. “It's going to block out our light. I discovered the trash compactor for this entire development is going to be right outside of our front doors. Could this be repositioned? Could this be put somewhere else? The developer seems to have little to no concern on how he is going to impact the residents that live here.”
Landes and others are concerned about how the development will increase the number of vehicles driving in the area.
“During a busy beach day we are already completely slammed,” Wallace said. “It is already hard finding parking for our clients, so that would be a question and concern for me.”
Michelle Foret lives in Jacksonville Beach. He echoed some of the same concerns as Wallace and Landes.
“With more people, it's going to be more chaotic in those areas. I feel like that's what I need to focus on the safety for everyone,” Foret said.
Councilmember Phil Vogelsang told News4Jax that the developer plans to provide more parking than needed, saying it shouldn’t be an issue, only a positive move for the city of Jacksonville Beach.
The complex is planned to include 57 apartment units and 57 hotel units. Vogelsang says the hotel units will be geared towards people who are traveling in to visit the nationally known Mayo Clinic, which is only about seven miles away.
The Jacksonville Beach City Council is expected to give the development final approval next week.