Downtown residents express concerns about Berkman II blight


Laura Thompson, the head of the 206-unit Plaza Condominium Board of Directors, expressed concerns this week in a letter to Mayor Lenny Curry about continued blight at the stalled out Berkman II project on Bay Street in Jacksonville.

The Plaza has 360 residents, and is just a block away from the Berkman project, where construction halted in December 2007 after a parking garage collapsed.

Since then, Thompson asserts no improvements have been made, save “feeble attempts” to clean up the site.

Thompson notes the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has been called out to Berkman 803 times since 2013, with the unfinished construction offering shelter to “rodents, snakes, and other pests, not to mention homeless [people] and drug users.”

The “unsafe structure” meets the definition of blight, adds Thompson.

A special magistrate is going to hold a hearing on this case Nov. 29. Thompson expressed frustration at the city’s Municipal Code Compliance Division, which she says wants to give the landowners up to a year to resolve this issue.

For nearby residents, that simply is too much time.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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