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  • Florida House moves forward on vacation rental bill
    by Dara Kam on February 21, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    For the first time, online platforms such as Airbnb would have to collect and remit taxes on vacation rental properties, ensure that only properly licensed rentals are advertised and provide the state with specific information about the rentals, under a proposal headed to the House floor. In exchange, regulation would be “preempted” to the state, largely preventing local governments from regulating vacation rentals. Local governments could only regulate the rentals in the same way as other properties…

  • New safety program created for Jacksonville hotels
    by Ellen Schneider on February 21, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Jacksonville now has a new crime fighting initiative aimed at the tourism industry. Council member Danny Becton, Visit Jacksonville, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Northeast Chapter, along with the Jacksonville Sheriff's created the Tourism Industry & Public Safety Alliance, or TIPSA. The program was announced at press conference on Friday morning at the Four Points by Sheraton on Baymeadows. "Our goal is to improve, with the area stakeholders and industry partners, by working more…

  • DIA board laments low bid count for courthouse site, blames 1998 deal
    by Will Robinson on February 21, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    Board members are happy with the quality of the bid they chose, but wanted to see many more bids.

  • DIA approves $136M plan to develop Ford on Bay
    by Will Robinson on February 21, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    The Downtown Investment Authority voted unanimously on Friday to award New York-based Spandrel Development Partners the right to construct a mixed-use development at the site of the former courthouse and city hall annex, known as the Ford on Bay. "We believe in the market," said Spandrel co-founder Emanuel Neuman. "We believe that building out the downtown core is the right decision for the long-term." A scoring committee and a DIA property disposition committee both preferred Spandrel over a…

  • Downtown office tower sells for $67 million as Georgia company expands in Florida
    by Will Robinson on February 21, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    The 22-story One Call office tower on downtown's Southbank has sold for $67 million. Miami-based Easton & Associates represented the buyer, ShareMD, and CBRE represented the seller Chicago-based GEM Realty. The building at 841 Prudential Drive was 80 percent leased and had undergone a $6 million renovation in the last two years, according to Easton & Associates. “My client is strategically acquiring medical office buildings throughout Florida to meet increased demand for healthcare services as…

  • Party bike franchise launches, looks to expand routes
    by Alex Wilson on February 21, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    A franchise that offers patrons a chance to drink and ride is now up and running in Jacksonville, and the owners are already hoping to expand their operation. Pedal Pub Jacksonville, co-owned by Theresa and Rick Pontieri and Eric and Amanda Blocker, began operating on Feb. 1. Although they haven’t yet held their grand opening – an event slated for March 1 – Theresa Pontieri said they’re already hoping to add a third bike to their franchise due to the concept’s popularity. “It [the reception]…

  • Calling the good and the bad: ESPN’s approach to XFL coverage
    by John Ourand on February 21, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    'Rawness is cool. Rawness is real. If everybody is not perfect, that’s OK.'

  • See where Jacksonville ranks among iBuyer growth markets
    by Brendan Ward on February 21, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    A recent report from Ownerly, a New York-based housing data company, identified Jacksonville as a top market for iBuyers, companies that purchase houses completely online, as well as a potential growth market for iBuying.  Jacksonville ranked as the 11th most popular metro for ibuying based on the percentage of sales that were from iBuyers. Although the report did not give specific numbers, a Redfin report from last year found 1.1 percent of all homes sold on the platform were bought by an iBuyer.…

  • DIA to decide Ford on Bay's fate on Friday
    by Will Robinson on February 20, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    The Downtown Investment Authority will vote on Friday whether to grant New York-based Spandrel Development Partners the right to develop the former courthouse and city hall sites on downtown's riverfront, a property marketed as the Ford on Bay. Spandrel was the preference of a scoring committee and a DIA property disposition committee over a bid from Miami-based The Related Group, and the board will vote Wednesday whether or not to accept the recommendation of its committee. Spandrel is proposing…

  • 'A life of legendary proportions': Community says farewell to former Mayor Jake Godbold
    by Timothy Gibbons on February 20, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Fittingly for the man who brought what is now the Jacksonville Jazz Festival to the city, Thursday’s celebration of Mayor Jake Godbold’s life kicked off with a New Orleans-style brass band, setting a vibe that carried throughout the event. Hundreds gathered at the Prime Osborn Convention Center to say farewell to a man responsible for shaping much of modern Jacksonville, from putting into motion the awarding of an NFL team to attracting Mayo Clinic, championing the Landing and putting into motion…

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