City of Jacksonville could sell Jaguars owner Shad Khan more property for Shipyards development

Negotiations underway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Another move to develop the old Shipyards site and bring in a luxury hotel, condominiums and an office complex: The city of Jacksonville is now prepared to sell Jaguars owner Shad Khan even more property for the development.

Earlier this month, News4JAX reported that Khan closed on land, which was owned by the city, to build what will more than likely be a Four Season Hotel. Now, the city is working to sell him even more property that’ll be right next to the hotel.

While no earth has been moved and no groundbreaking has been set, it’s expected some movement to development the Shipyards site will be seen in the coming months.

Shad Khan’s company Iguana Investments will be paying $370 million to develop the site by building the hotel and other amenities. The city is making an investment, as well, with tax breaks and moving out Kids Kampus and making changes to the marina. Khan has already closed on the land deal for the hotel and owns that property. Now, his reach could expand. Instead of leasing more land from the city to build an office complex, he wants to buy it -- just like he did with the property for the hotel.

“It will have more economic benefit for the city if we do a sale of the property,” said Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer.

Meaning, even with tax breaks, the city will still make money on the property.

Negotiations for that sale are underway. Khan could pay about $3.2 million for about an acre of land located next to the hotel site.

I asked Boyer why the city plans to sell the property outright and whether there are any agreements in place to make sure Khan doesn’t sell it.

“There will be restrictions on it that would be how it would be developed, what the commencement date was, what the completion date was,” Boyer said. “All of that will be there.”

When I tried talking toKhan a little more than a week ago, I wanted to find out about future developments, but Khan only talked in generalities.

“I want to see Jacksonville live up to its potential. It’s huge. We have not scratched the surface,” Khan said June 13.

I wanted to talk to the Jaguars on Wednesday about buying the site for the office complex, but their president, Mark Lamping, was not available.

Before the city agrees to the sale, it has to find out if anyone else is interested in buying the land. It could take about a month, but it’s not expected there will be other offerings.

Groundbreaking for the hotel and office complex isn’t expected to happen until the end of the year, but in a month or so, the area could be fenced off in preparation for construction.

The target date for completion of the Shipyards development is 2025.

Editor’s note: News4JAX originally reported in this article that the DIA was taking bids for the area of the property where Khan wants to build a Four Seasons hotel, but he already owns that portion.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.