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Downtown property owners would benefit from Lot J development, real estate agent says

Entertainment center would likely attract more money, investments for downtown Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A multimillion-dollar project in downtown Jacksonville could be complete in about three years.

If Lot J is transformed into an entertainment complex, one local real estate agent believes it would increase the value of downtown overall.

For downtown residents Jolie and Stan Delice, it seems only logical to have an entertainment district to accompany the football stadium and Daily’s Place.

“I think it’s necessary,” Jolie Delice said. “When you come downtown, you’re expecting to have things to do and fun and entertainment.”

“Something I would like to see downtown is more resources for the urban community,” Stan Delice said.

RELATED: Mayor Curry, Shad Khan unveil long-awaited plans for Lot J | Northside residents feel neglected again after Lot J plans unveiled

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Bill Watson III, president of the Watson Mortgage Corp., has been in the real estate business for 24 years. He’s ecstatic about the possible development, saying it would have a “tremendous ripple effect” on other properties in the area.

In addition to jobs during construction and staffing, Watson predicts property owners would reap the benefit of a new development, too.

“As property values increase, it’s going to be attractive to commercial, and that automatically will spread over into residential,” Watson said. “It’s highly likely it’s going to increase their property value.”

Watson said it could give downtown homeowners options, such as renting their home for additional revenue, selling their home and cashing in on the appreciation, and enjoying the amenities added to the community.

It’s a project that seems like a win for downtown, but it must be approved by the City Council.

Looking at entertainment districts in other NFL cities

If the developments around football teams in other cities are any indication, the Lot J development could be a powerful step for Jacksonville.

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The plan includes two residential buildings, a hotel, retail space, office space, two parking garages and an entertainment center. It’s a plan that Watson agrees with.

“They don’t have to leave the downtown area to find places to stay, places to eat, things to enjoy,” Watson said. “It will have a very large effect on our community.”

Watson explained other cities have had similar growth.

“Most NFL cities have a very vibrant downtown atmosphere,” Watson said. “If you look at any of the real large cities that you start to think of -- the Dallases, the New Yorks, the Seattles -- they all have a vibrant downtown area where people go to entertain themselves."

Kansas City, Baltimore and Detroit are other cities that have entertainment districts near their NFL teams. In fact, Detroit moved its baseball and football teams back into downtown Detroit in 1999 and 2000.

If this entertainment center is built in Jacksonville, it would likely attract more money and investments for downtown.


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