In a letter to Mayor Lenny Curry and City Council, the Civic Council conditions its support of the taxpayer subsidized proposed Lot J development on four things: ample “Time for Review,” “Transparency,” “Accountability and Contractural Protections for the City’s Investments,” and “Financial Terms” that are “reasonable for the taxpayer.”Lot-J-Draft-11132020-final
The letter notes that Civic Council, a private membership organization of Jacksonville chief executive officers, has long sought downtown revitalization, and as an organization “would support an initiative as significant as the Lot J proposal” if the four conditions are met.
In discussing accountability, the letter suggests that the Downtown Investment Authority should be involved, pointing out that “DIA was specifically designed to oversee and implement large scale projects like this one to ensure compliance with the Downtown Master Plan and Chapter 163, part 3, Florida Statutes, by requiring an independent market analysis and providing oversight throughout the project implementation period.”
According to the City Council’s Auditor’s Office recent report, the required market analysis of the Lot J proposal has not been conducted. This, despite, according to the Civic Council letter, Lot J’s proposed taxpayer investment being “significantly more than the original costs of the football stadium, Arena and Baseball Grounds combined.”