We first brought you the news 2 days ago that Mayor Peyton and Toney Sleiman would be meeting to find an answer to the question of did Sleiman have a right to buy the parking lot east of the main street bridge. Those negotiations spilled over into today and it now appears the answer is yes. Also in attendance at these meetings were Bruce Barcelo, Mike Hightower (Duval County Republican Chairman), Sleiman’s attorney Mitch Leggler and Ron Barton of the JEDC.
Peyton and Sleiman have scheduled a press conference for 2pm today to announce that Sleiman will be allowed to purchase the east lot for fair market value. In addition to the east lot, Sleiman will also receive the 375 parking spaces in Cameron Kuhn’s project next to the Humana building. Both parties agree this will free the city from it’s 20 year old parking obligation to The Landing.
Sleiman plans on having 1000+ parking spaces in the structure he will build on the east lot. Mitch Leggler, said the main conditions Sleiman had to agree to was that the parking garage would be completely encased within the building and that the bottom floor would contain office and retail space. “You will never know it is a parking garage from the outside”, Leggler said.
When asked specifically about his plans for the east lot site, other than the enclosed parking garage, Sleiman said it was somewhat up in the air for now. He did mention apartments and affordable condominiums as a strong possibility.
Councilwoman Suzanne Jenkins, whose district includes a large part of downtown, said she was “thrilled that we have resolution on this so we can move forward” and “The winner in this is the city.”
Be sure to come back for video coverage of this story later this evening.