JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – JEA has narrowed its list of potential locations for the utility's new corporate headquarters.
The JEA board determined it would be cheaper to build at a new location rather than renovate the current tower downtown on West Church Street. JEA has been in the building, which was built in 1962, since 1989. JEA leaders said the building is too old and too big, and the cost to repair it is too high.
During a meeting on Jan. 22, board members learned that the top three sites include Lot J near TIAA Bank Field, where a $2.5 million development backed by Jaguars owner Shad Khan is proposed.
On Friday, Jaguars President Mark Lamping released the following statement on Lot J being selected as one of the three finalists for the location of JEA's new corporate headquarters:
As the anchor tenant for an entirely new development within the sports complex, JEA would pave the way for a true work-live-play urban destination. The newly imagined Shipyards is currently planned to feature access to residential, retail, hotel and entertainment options, which all play an essential role in recruiting and retaining top businesses and talent to downtown Jacksonville. With JEA establishing a presence, the potential upside to Lot J is amplified by the timing and implementation of other significant upgrades in the area, including the elevated lane removal and the vision the City of Jacksonville has set in motion to improve connectivity to the river and foster development south of Bay Street. We, along with our partner, The Cordish Companies, are confident in the proposal’s benefits to JEA employees, their customers and the City of Jacksonville.
"We all have just one opportunity to get this right for the present and future of Jacksonville, and the Jaguars believe the perfect opportunity will become reality with the JEA headquarters serving as the centerpiece of our Lot J proposal. We thank the review committee and the board of directors for their due diligence to date and look forward to public comment and additional discussions in the coming weeks.”
Another site being considered is the parking garage area on Kings Avenue in San Marco.
The third would be an area near the courthouse downtown, which was the original site for the new plan before board members opted to look at other areas.
Also on Friday, JEA released the plans by the three finalists.
The chairman said they will make more information available before Tuesday. A board meeting will be scheduled for the week of April 8 to evaluate and make a final selection, JEA said.
JEA board member resigns
Also at the board meeting on Jan. 22, it was announced one board member just resigned because his wife is becoming one of Jacksonville's newest City Council members.
The board chairman said Husein Cumber stepped down because his wife, Leanna, filed to run for City Council District 5. She is unopposed, so she will take that seat in July.
The chairman said Cumber felt it would be a conflict of interest for him to serve on the JEA board while his wife was a City Council member.
Board members also learned at Tuesday's meeting that the utility will test out a different rate plan to reward customers who use less electricity.