JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Boat owners docked at the River City Brewing Company Marina have 30 days to leave.
This comes as the iconic spot on the Southbank will soon be closing its doors after decades.
A redevelopment agreement to improve an area near Friendship Fountain with an apartment complex and restaurant got a thumbs-up last week from the entire Jacksonville City Council.
City Councilman Matt Carlucci said that as River City Brewing Company closes in July, boat owners are now clearing out with notice from ownership and the city.
“The contracts for those boat slips are 30 days anyway, month to month, and part of the problem is the liabilities that are going to be associated with the marina particularly once construction begins,” said Carlucci.
Carlucci said everything is slow-moving right now and the city still has many damaged marinas from hurricanes Matthew and Irma that still need repairs. He said he understands the predicament boat owners may be in.
Bryan Sullivan sent News4Jax this comment about the notice: “I’ve lived in that marina for 3 years now and for them to suddenly give us a month to leave has been heartbreaking for all of us. Especially considering the fact that there are 0 places that we can go to. The city is displacing myself and all the other families that live there with no other option of where to live. Im sure that they don’t want us anchoring out all over the river and taking up space on the Riverwalk but most of us don’t have a choice or anywhere else to leave our boats at. A majority of these boats here aren’t just for weekend pleasure use they are our homes.”
With the green light from the City Council, the redevelopment is said to include improvements to the marina and area near Friendship Fountain, with an eight-story apartment complex, parking garage and a restaurant and bar.
“I hate to see it go, but it was showing its wear, and I understand that,” said Carlucci. “I think the big picture as we have more opportunity for places to have a drink, to have lunch and dinner along both sides -- Northbank and Southbank. It all adds to the big picture of successful environment downtown that was all trying to achieve.”
Carlucci said that during the next City Council meeting, there will be talks of a strategic plan of $1.35 million for waterfront parks in Jacksonville that would include marinas like this one and access to boat ramps.