Local businesses impacted by RISE Doro apartment fire face financial strain

Businesses around the fire-gutted RISE Doro apartment complex are feeling the effects of being closed.

These businesses are losing money because they can’t operate since they’re in the collapse zone.

The building will have to be torn down, but it can’t happen soon enough for those adjacent businesses.

Jim Webb, vice president of Manifest Distilling, said he wishes they weren’t closed right now. But he also said he’s thankful his business, which is only separated by a street from where the fire happened, is still standing.

“It’s devastating,” Webb said.

Webb said what hurts him the most is what this devastating fire means for the city, especially downtown development.

“I’m a big downtown proponent, and we were so excited the momentum that this project was building that is now going to be delayed,” Webb said.

The fire in RISE Doro apartments began Sunday evening and burned for days.

Thursday afternoon, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department crews were still pouring water on hot spots in the building.

RELATED | Apartment fire aftermath: Tenants who were days from moving into RISE Doro building must move elsewhere | Structural engineer ‘concerned’ over RISE Doro emergency demolition, believes investigative work could be compromised

Webb said the businesses and road closures are costing them thousands of dollars.

“I mean I don’t want to think on my feet on that but if you just think of were going to be paying employees not to work that adds up very quickly…” Webb said. “There was an Icemen game last night, Icemen won 5 to 2 I think, it was a great game so we missed out on the before and after of that.”

Webb also said when the fire happened they were in the middle of a rum production which is now stalled.

He said they don’t know if that rum was damaged by the smoke, but it’s something they won’t know until they’re allowed back in the building to check.

MORE | A brief history of RISE Doro apartments, the $67M downtown complex that caught fire before opening | Timeline: Luxury apartment complex in Downtown Jacksonville goes up in flames weeks before opening

Despite the financial losses, Webb said he’s not mad. He’s happy his employees will still get paid, his building is still standing and that JFRD worked as hard as they did.

“I mean they’re heroes. I don’t want to sound dramatic but they kept this fire from spreading,” Webb said.

Webb said if anyone wants to support his business as well as Intuition Ale Works, he’s asking people to go to the bars or restaurants that carry their products and buy them.

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