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Local Company Proposes to Buy, Complete, Lease Back New Duval County Courthouse

12:19 AM, Feb 8, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In 2000 voters approved the Better Jacksonville Plan, which included $190 million dollars for a new county courthouse.

Now that project is six years behind schedule, and at this point is costing taxpayers more than $346 million.

With a May 2012 completion date still on the books, would the city consider handing over the keys?

Jacksonville resident Bob Parsons thought he'd ask.

As the Director of Thoroughbred Capital Partners, Parsons emailed the mayor to float the idea of buying the courthouse and leasing it back to the city.

In a phone interview, Parsons said any talk of a price tag is premature.

We asked city council member John Crescimbeni if there is a number the city would bite at.

"Would I have an interest in saving money on the courthouse? Absolutely, and so would the mayor, as he's demonstrated in recent weeks," he said.

Mayor Alvin Brown just announced plans to slash $4 million from the courthouse budget.

He told First Coast News he hasn't yet had time to consider Parsons' offer to buy it.

"This is a conversation, in my opinion, that should have happened a year or two years ago," he said.  

In the end, Crescembeni said it's likely too little too late to consider.

"If someone else owns the building, in the end, we don't have anything! We don't own the asset," he said.













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