JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Many eyes are watching what’s happening with development all across Jacksonville, with new housing going up everywhere, and of course, many are wondering what will happen next with the proposed Jacksonville Jaguars stadium renovation project.
Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said on Thursday that so far there have been only two meetings between city negotiators and the team.
“The third meeting will happen sometime before Thanksgiving and hopefully start to set a framework for the agreement,” Deegan said. “We’re still months away from this, you know, we’re not close at this point, we’re still setting up the board at this point. So hopefully after the next meeting, we’ll start to get a framework and then hopefully, by early spring, we’ll be having a better idea of what we’ve got.”
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While stadium upgrades will have a huge impact on Jacksonville’s Eastside, new studies show more people are moving into the downtown area. Mayor Deegan said that her office is looking at changing zoning in some areas of Jacksonville that would allow for more affordable housing to be built.
“While those things aren’t always popular, I think in certain areas, they make a whole lot of sense,” Deegan said. “And in order for us to successfully move the dial on those issues, I think we’re going to have to look at, especially in the downtown, that has density issues.”
Deegan also spoke about other issues, including the upcoming Martin Luther King Day Breakfast.
For the past few years, there have been two held in Jacksonville because of disagreements with the city, but now it looks like there will be one.
“I think that I have tried to create an atmosphere of collaboration here,” she said. “And one of the things that we immediately did is we brought them in and we brought in all the different groups that were involved in the different breakfast and said, we want to do one breakfast.”
There are issues she is talking about with the city council, including disagreements over business contracts, but overall she believes the city is moving ahead.
Deegan said she has hit the ground running with a packed schedule but she has no intention of slowing down.
“I’m not sure that’s in my nature,” she said. “I feel like there’s so much that because of crises that pop up, there’s so much goals that we’ve set that we want to get to that I just, I want to stay focused,” Deegan said. “I think a lot of people are frustrated with the pace of progress on a number of fronts, including downtown, and I think it’s in some of our underserved neighborhoods, so that’s really what I’m focused heavily on but take a breath, I don’t know, hopefully at Christmas.”