LaVilla's Two Million Dollar Homeless Camp

July 30, 2007 39 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Four years after $2 million in incentives were approved for its construction, the Sax Seafood Bar Grill in LaVilla sits unfinished and occupied by the homeless.

Viewed as a projectthat wouldhelp bring life back to an area "formerly known asLaVilla", thisrestaurant is quickly becoming a worse blight on its surroundings than the vacant it replaced. Instead of employing 100 workers, serving seafood in a jazzy atmosphere, it looks like taxpayers are out $228,120.

Sax Seafood Bar & Grill Timeline


Jax Casual Dining is selected by the City to develop a long-vacant LaVilla site with a jazz-concept restaurant called LaVilla Bistro.


City Council approves a $2 million dollar incentive package for Jax Casual Dining, LLC to construct the new restaurant in LaVilla.


Project breaks ground after City issues final approval for the construction of a 6,000 square foot restaurant at 816 West Union Street.


There's been no visible sign of construction for a year and it sits overgrown with weeds.

The abandoned structure's parking lot is now a dumping ground.

Theunpaved parking lot is reverting back to its historic use: a forest. This is one of the first things visitors see when coming into downtown from I-95.

Despite the suburban site layout (thanks to DRC for approving that), it's a decent public funded structure thatshould have been occupied over a year ago.

What's the deal and where is our money?