Most Jacksonville voters oppose city’s stake in Lot J development

Only 17 percent of voters polled support the city’s investment

Artist rendering of proposed Lot J development

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An overwhelming majority of Jacksonville voters are opposed to the city’s plan to invest over $200 million in the development of an entertainment complex at Lot J near TIAA Bank Field, according to a new poll.

The public opinion poll conducted by Barcelo & Company found 70 percent of those surveyed object to the city having such a huge stake in the project, with 25 percent strongly opposed to it. That’s compared to 17 percent who support it, 6 percent of them strongly in favor of it.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of respondents indicated they’re generally pleased with how the city spends taxpayer money while 30 percent said they’re not pleased. They were split on how well the city has done improving neighborhood services and infrastructure, with 49 percent having negative feelings about it compared to 48 percent who felt positively about it.

Individuals surveyed were also presented with different scenarios and asked if those factors would make them more or less likely to support the city’s Lot J investment. Here’s how they responded:

More LikelyWouldn’t MatterLess LikelyDon’t Know
Land contains significant pollution6%17%72%5%
No DIA approval or consultation7%18%68%7%
No agreement on design specs9%19%66%7%
Land is in a flood plain6%28%60%5%
No lease extension past 20307%28%59%5%
Councilmen aboard Khan’s yacht7%31%55%6%
No agreement on # of London games7%34%54%5%
City to borrow $250 million25%25%43%7%
$65M no-interest loan to developer22%22%49%7%

Besides Lot J, the poll gauged residents' attitudes toward public figures, including Mayor Lenny Curry and Jaguars owner Shad Khan. Below is a summary of the survey’s findings:

  • More than half of those polled (56 percent) have a positive impression of Curry;
  • Less than half (49 percent) gave the mayor a favorable job approval rating;
  • Khan is viewed positively by more than half (52 percent) of those polled;
  • More than half (58 percent) have negative feelings about the Jaguars' community impact;
  • An overwhelming majority (71 percent) of voters have a positive image of City Council;
  • Most respondents (73 percent) have a positive impression of their council representatives;
  • Councilman Matt Carlucci holds a strong public approval rating (76 percent);

The survey of likely and active voters across Duval County was conducted over the phone from Oct. 18 through Oct. 24, according to Barcelo & Company. The statistical margin of error is 4.7 percent.