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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville is another step closer to moving the Sulzbacher Center from downtown to the Northside.
On Tuesday, the Jacksonville City Council gave a thumbs up to rezoning a property on the Northside in order to build a new homeless shelter.
A 100-unit apartment complex for men is planned for the Northside site, which is currently a vacant lot, located off of Interstate 95 and Lem Turner Road.
The plan is in its first phase.
“So, basically, what that means is some very exciting times ahead. We have been looking for many years, actually, to move out of downtown,” said Sulzbacher Center President and CEO Cindy Funkhouser. “Once, we built the Sulzbacher Village for women and families and moved all of our women and families out of downtown and into permanent housing.”
There have been some community concerns about this, but they are being given a guarantee that this is going to be a center — not only for housing — but also where people will be trained. The plan is to eventually build a workforce training center, as well.
Not far from the Northside property is Sulzbacher Village, where women and families are housed. There’s a workforce center for them there, as well. So the game plan for the new center is similar.
It could take three to four years for this to come about. But there is a concern right now that money is going to have to be raised in order to build the new center. Sulzbacher will be using grants from the federal government, local government and private investors.
The plan is to have the new center built in two stages: the apartments and offices for all Sulzbacher staff in phase one and then the workforce training center in phase two. The overall cost is about $46 million.