Vacant business properties currently are plentiful around Jacksonville. While the blame for why businesses have left and what caused them to leave are many; currently, a few groups are working to try and get Jacksonville’s economy back on track right now.
With the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation’s recent online auction of the former AC-Humko complex currently underway this week; the JREDC is currently trying to find homes for other businesses to fill the vacant buildings in the area. Kristen Jamison, Vice President of Marketing of JREDC, says that the old ShopKo property currently just isn’t in the right position to sell just yet. She says that the holding group who has the property simply wants too much money for the property and the property taxes are prohibitive for potential buyers. Jamison anticipates that the price will likely come down over time as the holding group will get more motivated to sell.
The ShopKo building is likely to be completely closed after the eye center completes its move by the end of next week.
Jamison believes the greatest potential really lies in the downtown area of Jacksonville. In conjunction with the Jacksonville Main Street group, Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau president Brittany Henry, and the upcoming 20th anniversary of Jacksonville Main Street – Jamison is hoping to host an exclusive available space walk to put potential business owners in touch with downtown building and property owners. Any potential business owners should contact Jamison or Henry prior to October 10th to the invite-only event. The walk is meant to give out both potential businesses and property owners a way to coordinate efforts in the downtown area. The networking opportunity, Jamison hopes, will help answer questions and spur further conversations about some of the vacant buildings in and around the Downtown area. Jamison hopes the walk will help spur investment and eliminate vacant storefronts and space.