Britt Festivals has purchased two properties in Jacksonville with an eye to eventually adding parking for concertgoers.
The properties are 410 S. First St. and an adjacent vacant lot at the corner of West Fir and Laurel streets. The deeds were recorded this week, Britt said in an announcement today.
Britt's master plan, approved under a conditional use permit by the city of Jacksonville, includes the purchase of these properties, if they became available, for additional patron parking.
Longtime Britt supporter Anne Brooke Hawkins, along with her late husband, Mike Hawkins, granted Britt purchase rights to the vacant lot in 2000. Brooke Hawkins said in the announcement that they wanted "to help assure that appropriate parking and green space were available."
Both properties are currently zoned for residential use, and any changes will be subject to approval by the city of Jacksonville. Britt officials said they look forward to working with city and county officials to "alleviate some of the parking challenges in Jacksonville."
For now, the First Street property, which includes a home, will be a rental property, and the rental income will make the property self-sustaining for Britt, officials said.
Britt paid $324,000 for the home on First Street and $92,780 for the vacant lot. The properties were paid for by a combination of funds from Britt's building fund, which was set up in 1996 to pay for strategic property purchases and capital improvements, and a mortgage of $171,000, Britt officials said.
These purchases make Britt a property owner for the first time. Britt operates the Britt Park under a long-term lease with Jackson County.