A while back, we noted that the Downtown Investment Authority had indicated a desire to receive bids for the demolition of the old Duval County Courthouse and City Hall Annex buildings, and subsequent redevelopment of the property into a new hotel and city convention center.
Now, the city appears to be taking further steps to make that plan a reality.
Over the weekend, the city posted a bid for the initial demolition job. The winning bidder would “provide all labor, equipment and materials for the complete demolition, debris removal, and site restoration of the Old City Hall Annex located at 220 East Bay Street and the Old County Courthouse located at 330 East Bay Street.”
The demolition would make way for a new convention center to replace the increasingly inadequate Prime Osborn Center.
A mandatory pre-bid conference for vendors will occur on May 22, before the bid opening date of June 13.
A subsequent meeting in regards to bidding for the new convention center is scheduled for August 1.
The new convention center project would likely include a high-capacity hotel and a parking garage, ensuring that the center would be surrounded by both the new hotel and the existing Hyatt Regency next door.
With a Hotel Indigo location planned a few blocks away, the existing Omni, the Marriott proposed as part of the Laura Street Trio development, and the potential for the long-abandoned condo construction site along Bay St. to one day be redeveloped into a hotel as well, that would mean thousands of hotel rooms within walking distance of the hypothetical new convention center.
While actual development on a convention center is likely still a few years away, it’s clear that the city is already preparing for the future.