City closer to adding a unique tourist attraction

City closer to adding a unique tourist attraction

Financing the remaining hurdle to bring the USS Charles Adams home

Another hurdle has been leaped.

Earlier this year The Resident reported that the success of bringing the guided missile destroyer USS Charles F. Adams to Jacksonville was dependent on jumping several hurdles, including financing, an exit strategy and the approval of City Council to relocate the proposed permanent berth from the Southbank to the Northbank.
An exit strategy was completed and approved in late 2012 to guarantee removal of the ship from Jacksonville at no cost to taxpayers if it did not live up to expectations.
On Aug. 13, 2013, City Council unanimously approved the proposed modification to City Ordinance 2010-675-E, which will allow the use of approximately three of the 23 total acres at the former Jacksonville Shipyards property for a long-term berth. This location is south of East Bay Street across from the Maxwell House Coffee plant.

Thus remains the single most critical hurdle: financing.
“We have approximately $1.5 million in guarantees toward a line of credit and are working on securing the remaining $3.4 million in funding to guarantee the ship repairs and berth preparations,” said Daniel Bean, president of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA).

The nonprofit group driving this effort was formed in 2008 and is made up of volunteers; Bean’s “day job” is executive partner with the law firm Holland & Knight. So far they’ve been able to raise over half a million dollars in cash, but need approximately $3.4 million to bring the revenue-generating tourist attraction back to Jacksonville, where she was home ported for 21 years.

“We’re hoping to find investors,” Bean stated. “I know it’s a lot to ask a company or an individual to make that initial investment, but I’m very confident that the return on the investment will be there.”

Bringing the USS Adams to Jacksonville will excite, inspire, educate and entertain the general public, and create a venue dedicated to the mission, memory and sailors of the Adams Class destroyers, according to the JHNSA mission statement.

“Jacksonville gets 25,000 visitors for military reunions every year. We think we can triple that number because the Adams is one of 23 ships in that class and each ship has a reunion group; there are over 300,000 Adams sailors and we’ll be able to draw a lot of those folks to Jacksonville,” he said.

Bean believes that the project could create 28 jobs and bring 150,000 visitors to the city each year. With an average expenditure of $26 per person, the economic impact would amount to close to $4 million. “We believe it will be self-sustaining and operate in the black in year two, making over $500,000, and then making over a million in years three and four.”
The dream was to have the USS Adams open to the public this past Veterans Day.

“Our target now is to have the ship here and open November 2014,” Bean said. “People needed to feel comfortable that the ship will be here and now we’re beyond that; they know it’s coming.”

The JHNSA looks forward to working with anyone who can help “Bring Home the USS Adams.” For more information on the project or make an online donation, visit
By Kate A. Hallock – Resident Community News

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