From the Britt Director – Donna Briggs
We’re very excited about the purchase Britt has just made of two properties in Jacksonville. The properties are at 410 S. First Street, and the adjacent vacant lot at Lot 1, Block 52, and they are next to the Britt Park on the Fir Street side. This purchase makes Britt property owners for the first time, and we’re excited to invest in our home community. These purchases fulfill long-term plans of the Britt Master Plan, and they will help us provide benefits for Britt, our patrons and our neighbors. I thought I’d address a few questions about the purchase:
What will Britt do with this property?
Our Master Plan, which was approved under the Conditional Use Permit by the City of Jacksonville, calls for the properties to be used for patron parking. The properties are currently zoned for residential use, and any changes will, of course, require approvals by the City of Jacksonville. It will take some time before we have concrete plans in place.
How did you pay for the purchase?
The purchase was made through the combination of funds from Britt’s restricted building fund, which was created in 1996 to fund property purchases and capital improvements, and a mortgage.
Will Britt keep the house on the 410 S. First Street property, or knock it down?
In the near future, we will be renting the house, working through a property management company. We’re working on some updating in the house to prepare for that. The rental income from the house will make the property self-sustaining.
Beyond the immediate future, we will explore various options for the house, as it will best fit into the needs of the organization, and the plans for the property as a whole.
Will you be building new structures on the property?
Currently, we don’t have any plans to build any new structures. If the property does become parking space (pending approval), significant landscaping and terracing will have to be done to create flat spaces. All of that will be done in a way to compliment the natural beauty of the hillside.
How will Britt pay for the improvements?
Britt will work with the City of Jacksonville and Jackson County to explore a myriad of planning and funding options.
Will Britt use membership contributions to pay off the mortgage?
No. In addition to the rental income mentioned above, Britt will pay the mortgage through earned income, or designated gifts only. No contributed revenue will go toward the mortgage unless it is designated by the donor.
As the Holiday season approaches, there is always so much activity and year-end business to attend to that it is easy to forget to thank our neighbors. So, as the year draws to a close, I want to take this opportunity to thank the community of Jacksonville for their support of Britt Festivals over the past 50 years. Great music, good friends and our spectacular outdoor setting located in your beautiful community make Britt all that it is and will be. May this holiday season bring to you and your family nothing but health and happiness.