USS Orleck could be on the move soon

The USS Orleck could soon be on the move after Jacksonville City Council considers emergency legislation to have the ship go to Pier One.

The war ship was supposed go to the pier, but was delayed because of the Berkman Plaza II demolition, the naval museum has concerns about accessibility at the shipyards behind the Fire Museum.

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“Frankly, we all have one mission, and that is to make downtown more attractive to our fellow citizens. Having a warship downtown is one series of attraction,” Dan Bean, president of the naval museum. “We’ll get there eventually but right now, let’s focus on making the ship look as pretty as we can.”

The ship is currently docked in front of the Hyatt, which Bean said has parking, access from the Riverwalk, and electricity. Infrastructure at Pier One has a ways to go before all of that is in place, Bean told Action News Jax.

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Pier One will eventually be the center of the city’s museum district, with the fire museum and eventual plans for MOSH. The city is expected to extend Catherine Street down to the river. Right now, it’s mostly an empty lot.

City Council will consider emergency legislation Tuesday. If everything is passed, the ship could be at its new home by February 2023 and the hope is that changes are made by then.

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“You don’t want to make it tough for volunteers, and you want to make it attractive for guests. It would be harder for us to do what we’re doing at Pier One, Eventually Pier One,we obviously hope will be a hot spot,” Bean said.

The city granted $250,000 for the museum to anchor the ship in place next to the pier.

Action News Jax reached out to the city for a timeline of when parking, walking access and Catherine Street will be extended. We will update this story when we hear back.

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