LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Jacksonville Downtown Development Authority unanimously approved the idea of the Orleck becoming a floating naval museum near their old Shipyards site, bringing the ship one step closer to potentially moving to Florida.
The passed resolution allows them to enter a one-year development and licensing agreement with the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association to relocate the Orleck, with two 5-year renewal options if the nonprofit meets the terms of the agreement.
“To be able to go to a town that is a naval base, that has a tie to the U.S. Navy," Ron Williams, Executive Director of the Orleck said. “They have active duty, retired navy who can volunteer on the ship and be a part of it. It’s not necessarily the location, it’s the ship itself. People who served on it and people who need to experience it are what it’s all about. I just want to thank those in the community for their support over time. Just remember we are not gone yet, you can still come and visit.”
The next step is a vote before the Jacksonville City Council. The mayor’s office told local media in Florida they support the idea and expect the City Council to give the thumbs up.
The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association estimates 173,000 visitors to the Orleck per year, potentially bringing in millions of dollars in direct revenue.