Gov. Ron DeSantis presents $5.5M grant for railway at Jacksonville's Cecil Commerce Center

The Cecil Commerce Center will soon include a 3-mile railway connector, Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference Tuesday morning.

DeSantis presented a $5.5 million grant to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry for the project at Cecil Airport, saying the line will provide job and development opportunities.

“In fact, I know they've already been talking both at the local level and state with some companies that are eyeing this, and this would be enough for them to want to come,” DeSantis said. “So stay tuned. I think you're going to see some good announcements in the not too distant future.”

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The Cecil Commerce Center is a 17,000-acre city-owned property housing industrial and commercial businesses such as Cecil Airport, FedEx and Amazon.

The dual rail line will connect the center to the main railway north of Interstate 10 and will bring an estimated 500 manufacturing and logistics jobs, DeSantis said.

The grant comes from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which has previously awarded funds to the city and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. The city had to submit a proposal to be reviewed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida before being chosen by the governor.

City officials in attendance included Curry, City Council President Terrance Freeman, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters and City Council member Randy White.

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DeSantis said Tuesday the center’s convenient location to the interstate, as well as Cecil Airport, Cecil Spaceport and JaxPort made it a “prime location for companies that need to move their products anywhere in the country.” Businesses could then also draw “new talent” from local colleges.

“We believe that this is a great use of the job growth grant fund,” DeSantis said. “This is going to make a big difference in terms of the manufacturing and other business footprint here in the state of Florida and in Northeast Florida in particular.”

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Governor Ron DeSantis issues grant for Cecil Commerce Center railway