The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association received a big boost on Friday morning, August 24, 2012 at Jacksonville City Hall when the effort to bring the retired USS Charles F. Adams home was touted during a presentation by the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Team.
A team of IBM experts, funded by a grant from the major technology service company as a part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, gave their oral report at 10 a.m., at the Lynwood Roberts Room in City Hall. The team has been in Jacksonville for three weeks meeting with various organizations, including the Jacksonville Historic Ship Association. When reviewing their recommendations, the only project specifically mentioned after being shown on a progress chart for revitalization was the proposed Naval Ship Museum.
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, some City Council and Chamber of Commerce members, business leaders and media members were among approximately 100 attendees at the hour-long visual presentation and discussion.
The team, made up all of IBM staff members in various disciplines from outside of Jacksonville and around the world, was asked to assess Jacksonville’s strengths.
“Natural assets like the river and the tie-in with the military,” said Betsy Greytok, an Austin, Texas, resident and Counsel for IBM’s Systems and Technology Group (STG). These two attributes are personified by the Naval Ship Museum project.
The results of the plan are being passed along in an action plan to Mayor Brown. The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a worldwide initiative to distribute $50 million worth of services and technical assistance to 100 cities through 2013. The overall suggestion was for a strong focus on the need for mixed-use redevelopment and also support for the mayor’s plan for a Downtown Investment Authority, authorized earlier this month through a unanimous City Council vote.