Multi-million dollar building condemned on Jacksonville’s riverfront

A notice posted at the $3 million piece of waterfront land, reads: “This building is subject to demolition. Human habitation prohibited.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The long-vacant Berkman II highrise on Jacksonville’s riverfront has been condemned.

A notice, posted Friday at the $3 million piece of waterfront land, reads: “This building is subject to demolition. Human habitation prohibited.”

City of Jacksonville spokeswoman Nikki Kimbleton said the posting of the notice is “part of the process" and is meant to notify people that the building is being inspected by code enforcement personnel.

“At this time, there is no slated schedule or time for demolition,” Kimbleton said.

According to the city, there are four open cases regarding the property:

  • Unsafe Structure: Cited property for uncompleted construction without an active permit, and various other structural/safety issues.
  • Commercial: Cited property for damaged fencing.
  • Graffiti: Cited property for graffiti on the structure.
  • Nuisance: Cited property for overgrowth and trash/debris.

Each of these cases is in the notification stage of the process, Kimbleton said. The building will be reinspected once the process is complete and each case will be assessed for further potential action at that time.

According to the graffiti citation, the current property owners, 500 East Bay LLC, have until Jan. 24 to fix that problem. It’s unclear what the deadlines are for the other citations.

News4Jax tried to reach the owners for comment, but we received no response by Monday afternoon.

As recently as 2019, there was a lot of hope for the property and structure because 500 East Bay LLC planned to turn the never-occupied, unfinished Berkman Plaza II tower into a resort. Instead, it withdrew its $112-million development contract with the city last April.

At the time, a spokesperson for the city cited several issues, including the unfortunate loss of the historic USS Adams Museum and contamination of the land, that forced the developer to change its plans to develop the Northbank Riverwalk property.

The developer said it still wanted to build a “right-size hotel” and residential space at the site, but the deal would have to be renegotiated.

Work on a set of luxury condos on the property stopped in 2007 after a six-floor parking garage under construction collapsed, killing one person and injuring several others.

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