RISE Doro demolition, ongoing stadium negotiations raise questions about future of downtown

As the demolition of the RISE Doro apartment building continues, Mayor Donna Deegan spoke on the possible future of the complex and where the negotiations for the Jaguars’ new stadium stand.

While the Stadium of the Future and the fire at the RISE Doro apartment complex may seem like two different subjects, these two are strongly related by one thing: location.

The Doro was set to be the first major outside development in the area that could potentially bring people into the sports complex.

Meanwhile, the renderings of the stadium are still a dream. But if it happens, it’s expected to be a boom for the area.

However, some residents do not believe this is the best.

“I think it’s bad. We are going to see how it works out. It’s like I am saying. It is going to run a lot of small businesses out of here, and they have been doing that for months and years. Stepping on all the smaller people,” Eastside resident Shawn Holland said.

Holland said that he feels like these developments are pushing residents out of the neighborhood.

“Not showing no love in the neighborhood you know,” Holland said.

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Deegan addressed Holland’s concerns Thursday and said they will focus on the Eastside neighborhood and make sure that does not happen.

The mayor also said negotiations continue and the community should have some answers in a few months about where all of this is going.

“I think it’s going to be important to try to come up with a framework by April or May and try to get bring that in for a landing before the fall. I think that’s going to be really important for us. I’ve said to you before that if we look at the history of Jacksonville, and there are some of us who have been here an awful long time, what we’ve seen is, the longer these things drag out, normally the more expensive they get, and the more they go off the rails,” Deegan told News4JAX.

But before that happens, we should know what direction the RISE Doro is going to go. Will it remain a burnt-out ruin or a new start for the area?

“I know there is desire by the builder to go back in and rebuild, however long that’s gonna take, I think will depend on how long it takes to get everything out of there. What can be salvaged? And then, frankly what the market looks like now,” Deegan said.

News4JAX reached out to Greg Blais, RISE Doro’s owner, who said right now they don’t have definite answers on the building’s future. However, he said they do hope to rebuild the apartment complex when able.

The Jaguars are still not commenting if the fire would have any impact on development in the entertainment district around the stadium.

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