Riverside, Brooklyn businesses hopeful a JSO move to Florida Blue building will give them a boost

Riverside, Brooklyn businesses hopeful a JSO move to Florida Blue building will give them a boost

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) is in the process of relocating numerous employees from their current downtown offices at the Police Memorial Building to the Florida Blue building situated in Riverside. Negotiations for leasing the office space have commenced, indicating a potential shift in the operational hub of JSO.

Presently, approximately 750 employees report to work at JSO’s downtown headquarters on a daily basis. Upon finalizing the new location, all these personnel are expected to transition to the new premises. This move signifies a significant organizational change for JSO, consolidating its operations into a different geographic area.

Local business owners in the vicinity of the Florida Blue building are anticipating the potential impact of this relocation. Jose Marin, proprietor of Arepa Please, a South American restaurant nearby, expressed optimism about the prospect of attracting JSO employees as customers. Marin recounted the challenges faced during the pandemic, emphasizing the gradual return of business activity in the area.

Dean Nixon, owner of Plenti restaurant, echoed similar sentiments, welcoming the possibility of increased foot traffic from JSO personnel. Nixon highlighted the diverse menu offerings of his establishment, aligning with the preferences of potential new patrons.

However, for some businesses downtown, particularly a deli, the news of JSO’s relocation raises concerns about the future. Despite hopes for a downtown resurgence over the years, these establishments have not witnessed the anticipated growth. Losing the JSO customer base could further exacerbate the challenges faced by these businesses.

JSO justifies the relocation citing financial considerations, as constructing a new Police Memorial Building would incur significant costs, estimated at around $470 million. The lease option presents a more financially viable alternative, especially given the reduced leasing costs following the pandemic-induced economic downturn.

While the decision to relocate JSO’s offices signifies a strategic move for the organization, its impact on the local business landscape and downtown area remains to be seen. The timing and specifics of the office move are yet to be determined, leaving both JSO employees and neighboring businesses in a state of anticipation.