JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Boat owners, docked at the River City Brewing Company marina on Jacksonville’s Southbank, have less than 30 days to move out.
It comes after a redevelopment agreement to improve an area near Friendship Fountain with an apartment complex and restaurant got a thumbs-up from the entire Jacksonville City Council.
Some call their boats home, and they say finding another spot to live isn’t easy. They said not only are open boat slips few and far between, but those that are available, some say, are in more expensive marinas.
When he’s not working around town with his pressure washing business, Allen White is at home -- inside his boat -- where he answers to Captain Jack, his dog of 14 years.
“I raised him from a pup,” White said.
White and Captain Jack are among those boaters permanently docked at the marina.
Now, the city is telling them and everyone else at the marina that they have to move to make way.
“Basically, they wanted us out at the end of the month, but they were being gracious to give us until the 15th of next month,” White said.
“I have a 42-foot boat, so it’s a little over $500, but where I’m going to it’s going to be another 30% higher,” White said.
Boat owner Paul German snagged a boat slip elsewhere, he says, because the River City Brewing dock was still in disrepair since being hit by Hurricane Irma.
“The options are getting smaller and smaller,” German said. “Found a place. They said it was their last slip. And then when we got the word Friday, I jumped on it.”
Both men say making ends meet for many live-aboards could get difficult with a forced move.
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.