Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Deal Would Put Corps on Waterfront

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Deal Would Put Corps on Waterfront

Article excerpt

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is orchestrating a deal to move the

downtown post office and the Army Corps of Engineers to a vacant

office building on Jacksonville's waterfront, her office said

yesterday.

The deal, if successful, would keep the corps' Florida

district headquarters downtown and give the U.S. Postal Service

a place to go when it loses its current home in the federal

courthouse in a couple of years.

Brown's chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, confirmed that the

Postal Service has been approached about buying the Daniel

building from the city. But he said it could be several weeks

before the deal -- if it can be worked out -- is formally

announced.

"That is exactly what we've been working on," Simmons said.

"But at this time there is nothing to report on yet. It's a

little bit too early to talk."

Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat, has been working for months

to find a new downtown home for the corps, which has outgrown

its offices and laboratories in the Charles Bennett Federal

Building.

She successfully lobbied against a corps move to the

University of North Florida, prompting a scramble to find a

suitable downtown alternative for the corps.

Meanwhile, the post office in the federal courthouse will

close when court functions move to a new courthouse on Hemming

Plaza in a couple of years.

Bob Olson, acting executive director of the Downtown

Development Authority, said the plan involves the Postal Service

occupying part of the Daniel building and leasing part of it to

the corps.

"The post office would like to go into the Daniel building

and take the corps with them," Olson said.

The Daniel building is on the riverfront between City Hall

and The Jacksonville Landing. The city acquired the former state

office building after state offices moved out in 1995. …

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