‘We overshot the mark:’ Jax Beach mayor wants to hear public opinion on Latham Plaza’s future

The ongoing redevelopment plans for Latham Plaza in Jacksonville Beach are getting closer to being finalized.

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Action News Jax attended the Jax Chamber Beaches Division Luncheon, where Jax Beach Mayor Christine Hoffman gave members some details about the redesign.

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For years, the people of Jacksonville Beach and city leaders have been going back and forth with the ideas of what Latham Plaza could be. The mayor said she is excited to hear the public opinion on the redesign.

Jacksonville Beach city leaders have plans in place to give Latham Plaza a huge makeover that will bring even more people downtown.

“It’s a big area. It’s prominently placed in our downtown,” Mayor Hoffman said. “We want it to be active as much as it can be.”

Related Story: Jax Beach residents sound off on Latham Plaza redevelopment project

The original plan was to change the space into an entertainment venue with a water fountain and playground, which reduced the space for vendors. Now, the redesign plans call for a water fountain, an entertainment spot, and an area for kids to play. The amenities proposed include public Wi-Fi, better drainage, and a sound system throughout the park.

“The first round of the new design, we overshot the mark,” Mayor Hoffman said. “So, we want to pull back and look at what were the motivations behind the redesign.”

The mayor said she understands people have their ideas of what the plaza should be.

Related Story: Development at Latham Plaza continues to be a hot topic in Jacksonville Beach

“So, we got a lot of feedback from the community event plans, promoters, city council, and our community redevelopment agency, Mayor Hoffman said. “We’re going to go back to take a really good look at that. We want to make sure we are doing something the community and the ones using that facility are excited about.”

Mayor Hoffman said her goal is to enhance the space and to use it for more than just special events.

She also adds the agency is working to find balance.

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There will be another meeting next week to discuss the new design of the Latham Plaza project.

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