Mayor: Jail could move from downtown Jacksonville in 4 years

By Jim Piggott

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Calling it a top priority, Mayor Lenny Curry told News4Jax on Monday that he sees the jail moving out of Downtown Jacksonville within four years.

Curry said moving the jail out of downtown is important, and it's still in the works.

“I made a commitment to the people of Jacksonville that they would not recognize our downtown,” Curry said. "It's part of my vision. I said it last year, I will say it again, to move the jail from out of downtown."

Curry talked about developing the old City Hall and courthouse sites along with The Jacksonville Landing. He said the city will ask for developers to submit plans and hopefully tie all three sites together.

The mayor also talked about six smaller hotels coming to downtown. He said hotel occupancy is up and the old Ambassador Hotel is being renovated.

Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field, or the entertainment district, is also key to Curry's plan. He hopes to see something happen in 2020 after football season.

"We are in verbal discussions with the Jaguars and their executives over Lot J and I believe we are close. Really close," Curry said.

Curry said office space is filling up downtown, saying there is only a 15% vacancy rate. He sees that going down further.

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