Post Featured Image

Coucilmen Becton Attends Southside Business Men’s Club Meeting as Special Guest Speaker

Jacksonville, FL. (September 19, 2018) - District 11 Councilman Danny Becton was the Special Guest Speaker at the Southside Business Men’s Club luncheon on Thursday, September 19th.

The local organization hosts these meetings every Wednesday at the San Jose Country Club.

SBMC President Steve DeSorbo began the meeting by providing former Council Member Bill Bishop the floor to introduce Councilman Danny Becton. Bishop briefed the members at the luncheon on Councilman Becton’s time on City Council and his accomplishments and current responsibilities for 2018-2019, then welcomed him to the podium to present.

Councilman Becton began by sharing the most recent and upcoming news of City Council, as well as, discussing various growth happenings throughout District 11. He brought an array of presentation-sized poster illustrations of specific projects, such as the upcoming new Fire Station #63 progress, the recent rezoning approval of “The Palms”, a mixed-use development project off Gate Parkway and the biggest and perhaps most exciting news, an update on the redevelopment of the old Baymeadows Golf Course.

“The Baymeadows redevelopment of the old golf course is to be transformational to the Baymeadows area” explained CM Becton. “There are 5 major projects impacting this area that have been approved and are moving forward” he continued. “The first of these projects include the infill of 155 single family and 405 town homes to be built by the DR Horton company which is taking place right now. Beginning in the early part of 2019, the area includes the new Baymeadows Park project which is a $15 million-dollar mixed-use development that can be compared to its sister, Tapestry Park off of Southside and JTB. This project is the gem of what has been done and will be a focal point of enhancements for the surrounding communities to build on.”

Also, to be performed is approximately $1.5 million-dollar of upgrades to Baymeadows’s Road in transportation improvements to add an additional travel lane and turn-lane between Baymeadows Road East and Western Way. This roadway will get an additional traffic signal at Baymeadows Circle West and Baymeadows Road, which will be programmed along with the light at Western Way into a 3-phased traffic enhancement. This project is to handle and improve traffic movement on Baymeadows Road, by FDOT projections, up to 2040 capacities.

The area is also benefitting from the announced purchase and redevelopment of the old Inn of Baymeadows into a micro-community apartment complex named “The Lofts at Baymeadows” by a New England based company. This is exciting and timely as this former hotel has fallen into great disrepair and is an eyesore that needs some big investment dollars to rehabilitate it. Stratford Properties, the buyer, is expecting to do just that upon the purchase of the property in the fourth quarter of this year.

The final piece of the revitalization plan is having the neighborhoods take charge of their own revitalization future, in the consideration to form a Special Taxing District. This tool will give residents to opportunity to invest into their community by upgrading their private roads, improve their aging storm water management system and to add sidewalks, lightening and other amenities that will enhance the quality of life for everyone.

“These improvements within the Special Taxing District are designed to take advantage of all the new development that is occurring all around these neighborhoods”, CM Becton explained. “The neighborhoods will be able to tie into these projects to create a vibrant community whereby residents can walk and bike to all of the new businesses and restaurants that now will become part of the local community.” Becton added.

The Baymeadows redevelopment project of the former Baymeadows Golf Course development is a project Councilman Becton has been working on for over 14 years.

In conclusion of his talk, CM Becton announced the dates of his upcoming town halls scheduled for October and invited members to attend. After a few questions, Councilman Becton wrapped up his time at the podium and thanked the organization for inviting him to speak on behalf of the City of Jacksonville and District 11.

SBMC President Steve DeSorbo wrote on the organization’s website a weekly note following Councilman Becton’s visit.

He wrote:

District 11 Councilman Danny Becton paid a visit to our club last week as the guest speaker. Overall, Councilman Becton is working hard to revitalize the Baymeadows area through various initiatives. Additional fire stations and traffic light installments were successfully passed early in his term. Currently in the works is a Neighborhood Safety Bill to establish better connectivity between businesses. Councilman Becton is also chairing a special task force to address the short-term rental industry, aka AirB&B, which has exploded in growth over the last several years.”

According to the website, SBMC started in 1932 “to improve the working environment of the Southside of Jacksonville. Since then it has grown into a premier Jacksonville business organization and a Jacksonville civic club that, aside from being a volunteering club, also includes Jacksonville business networking, and many social events as well.”

To learn more about the Southside Business Men’s Club, how to get involved and its upcoming events, visit https://www.southsidebusinessmensclub.com

Written By: Tiziana Onstead, Executive Council Assistant, District 11