Crowne Plaza Hotel agrees to Riverwalk replacement

Published On: May 21 2014 11:10:24 AM EDT
Updated On: May 21 2014 07:11:18 PM EDT

One of the biggest hang-ups in renovating the Southbank Riverwalk has been with a local hotel. Crowne Plaza was concerned construction would keep guests away. But as Channel 4's Jim Piggott explains, all sides of this issue came together to come up with a solution.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The city has reached an agreement with the Crowne Plaza Hotel to allow replacement of the deteriorating wooden Riverwalk structure behind the hotel.

Jacksonville's Department of Public Works and a City Council member Don Redman have been meeting with one hotel group to discuss their objection to replacement with a concrete boardwalk adjacent to their property.

Earlier negations failed and the city was going to have to replace that portion of the Riverwalk with wood to avoid pile-driving and other construction that hotel management felt would disturb its guests. 

DOCUMENT: City of Jacksonville memo outlines agreement with Crowne Plaza

"I don't know where the communication breakdown was," Redman said. "I was a little bit upset about that I wasn't involved all along with the process, but when I did get involved... it wasn't so difficult to work it out."

In the agreement announced Wednesday, the city agreed to complete the pile driving in July and early August, which avoids the hotel's busier seasons.

"Our contractor came up with a strategy to meet their concerns about the amount of time or the length of time that pile-driving activity would occur in front of their establishment," said Public Works Director Jim Robinson. "So it's a great day for the Southbank Riverwalk and a great day for the taxpayers."

Work on the replacing the rest of the three-mile span began at the beginning of the year and is expected to be complete by February 2015.  The cost of the entire project will remain $17 million.

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