JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – No decision was made on a multimillion dollar development for Jacksonville's Southside, which was discussed during Wednesday night's City Council meeting.
The Village Center is slated to be built in the area of Interstate 295 and J. Turner Butler Boulevard, near the St. Johns Town Center.
Councilman Danny Becton is holding a public hearing during Wednesday night’s city council meeting for the development so residents can weigh in. The $300 million project will include a movie theater, an amphitheater, restaurants, and retail.
"It's an enormous infrastructure project that will start within a year," said Jeff Fuqua, the Atlanta developer behind the Village Center.
Fuqua, of Fuqua Development, said it won't compete with the St. Johns Town Center but, rather, it would complement it. He said he would not have tried to build a project like this anywhere else, but the land is valuable and businesses in the area make a lot of money.
Some residents said this area is a fast-moving development area.
“It sounds like it would just be more traffic, more people," Alan Mowbray, a Jacksonville Beach resident, said. "If they do smart development it might work. If not, you can expect more big city issues.”
Mowbray has seen the area burst with development over the last number of years. “Of course everyone’s concern is more traffic, more people, but I guess it is progress,” he said. “You deal with it the best you can?”
As reported by News4Jax news partner, the Jax Daily Record, the development is also expected to include, an indoor-outdoor bar, stationary food trucks, a specialty grocery store, apartments, two luxury hotels and office space.
Fuqua said the development will bring a lot of jobs.
"The construction jobs (will bring in) several thousand (jobs). But the permanent jobs -- 3,000," he said. "I think sales tax and property tax -- $10 (million) or $20 million a year. It's a giant generator for the economy."
People who live in the area, which has been bursting with development for well over a decade, said that they have become accustomed to all the construction. One of them, Roza Hirpa, said she welcomes the addition.
"I feel like Jacksonville is booming," Hirpa said. "There’s a lot for people moving to Jacksonville."