MainBranchLLC Loses an Investor? Robert Rip VanWinkel, the colorful downtown property owner, and a financial partner in the MainBranch LLC group dropped a bombshell this week. The MainBranch LLC is the investor group which is scheduled to purchase the old Haydon Burns Library for redevelopment. In a surprising discussion he informed a member of the MetroJacksonville.com editorial board that he has pulled out all financial stakes in the enterprise.
"I am sick of Downtown!" exclaimed the aging 6ft 4 Dutch investor."Its coming back, its coming back, they have been saying this for the past 15 years, and I am not seeing it.''I just got back from Europe and there the cities are busy and lively, and already developed, but here there is so much to do, it will not happen in my lifetime.'
'I have told those guys at the library that I am out, I'm done.'
'I'm getting out of downtown altogether."
MetroJacksonville.com was unable to verify whether or not this has indeed already happened, but Mr. Van Winkel was solid in his conviction.
Also unclear is whether or not Mr. Van Winkel now intends to sell the noted eyesore, The Parkview Inn.
Whether or not this will have any effect on the viability of the Haydon Burn's project is unknown, as the other principals, Mike Shad and others have shown no indications that they are backing out--in fact quite the opposite---announcing earlier this week that several tenants, mostly local, have signed letters of intent to lease space within the well known landmark.
MetroJacksonville's editorial board certainly supports this awesome project and hopes that this visionary development goes forward full steam.
Stay tuned for developing details.