This fenced-in lot on 1st Street North will be reopned to parking in Jacksonville Beach. | GoogleThis fenced-in lot on 1st Street North will be reopned to parking in Jacksonville Beach. | Google
This fenced-in lot on 1st Street North will be reopned to parking in Jacksonville Beach. | Google

#AskJAXTDY l What’s the plan for fenced-off lot in Jax Beach?

Published on June 10, 2024 at 4:32 pm

Q: Jacksonville Today reader Jennifer S. wants to know when Jacksonville Beach will finally do something about an empty lot that she considers a eyesore.

The fenced-in lot lies in the 500 block of 1st Street North, between the sand dunes and Lynch’s Irish Pub.

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“It is basically the center of our beaches and has been an eyesore for several years now,” Jennifer says. “We’ve asked people at the building department and they don’t seem to have any answers. Is there a plan for this property? I think most of the community here at the beach and surrounding community wants to know at this point.”

“Is there a plan for this property?”

A: Good news: The city says the lot will soon be converted back into public parking, with several improvements.

Jacksonville Beach spokesman Jacob Board says the vacant lot dates back to 2016, when Hurricane Matthew destroyed a portion of the nearby 1,300-foot-long Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier, followed by even more damage a year later with Hurricane Irma.

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When work began to repair the battered pier, a section of its parking lot was fenced off and initially used for construction gear and supply storage for the pier reconstruction from 2019 to 2022. When the pier reopened in spring 2022, the fenced-in site got more use, but just not for public parking, Board says.

The Springhill Suites Jacksonville Beach used the space for its own construction purposes, Board says. Then the Starbucks in the Springhill Suites also used the area for equipment and supply storage, he says.

“The prolonged use of this space for various construction activities was due to the extensive permitting process required for the pier parking lot project,” Board says. “This project had to undergo multiple rounds of approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, given its proximity to the ocean and sea turtle nesting areas.”

With the permit now in hand, work on transforming the lot should start in the next few months.

The fenced-off section will get new signage, a redesigned driveway entrance to the pier parking lot, and newly landscaped areas flanking the driveway, Board says. “The project as a whole aims to significantly enhance the aesthetics of the pier parking lot.”

The enhancements will also include a relocated Dumpster enclosure, updated parking medians, new bike racks and additional landscaping, he says. 


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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