JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Crime, jobs and downtown development were among some of the things discussed Monday by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry as he spoke to a crowd at the JAX Chamber.
Each year, Curry hosts the event, speaking to ImpactJAX, which is a group of young professionals.
One topic addressed: what's next for The Jacksonville Landing after recent acts of violence including a mass shooting in August. Curry said pending current litigation, he hopes the city can take ownership sooner than later.
The mayor also brought up the topic of gangs in the city when speaking about crime.
"Much of the violence we see is gang-on-gang," Curry said. "That's why we've invested in technology, and it's why we're adding police officers. You've got to disrupt these guys."
Curry also referenced this month's bust of dozens of Jacksonville gang members. He said those operations will continue.
Alex Jenkins is a Jacksonville native who attended the event Monday night. He wishes the best going forward for the city.
"(I) would love to see a big economic boom from the likes of cities like Austin have experienced before," Jenkins said. "Get the young millennial generation that loves to live, work, play in the same areas."
News4Jax asked the Mayor about his vision for the downtown area. Some residents feel there's been more talk than action.
"Well, people are now seeing maybe for the first time in many years dollars really appropriated to getting projects done," Curry said. "Knocking down the old City Hall and courthouse. We worked hard and pushed it."
Curry said he planning to work with the Jaguars to turn the downtown Lot J into an entertainment complex along with commercial and residential space.
He also talked about remodeling the Hart Bridge Expressway ramp, which he says will enhance the traffic flow. He says that project is expected to start in summer of 2019.