JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – City leaders asked to decide whether to invest taxpayer money in a $445 million development Jaguars' owner Shad Khan’s company wants to build in a parking lot of TIAA Bank Field now have some financial details on the project.
The city of Jacksonville released a 14-page economic and fiscal impact analysis of the proposed Lot J development that was conducted by Johnson Consulting on behalf of Khan’s development team.
City Council pulled the measure from consideration earlier this month because the proposal lacked specific information, including details about a parking garage which was supposed to help generate revenue for the city.
The consulting firm says the project will attract residents, shoppers, travelers and jobs to the Northbank area of downtown. According to the study, the annual economic impact of the proposed development is estimated to include $179 million of total spending by year five.
“It’s big; it’s bold; it’s visionary. It’s nothing like we’ve ever seen in downtown in decades,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said. "It’ll follow the process right now, which is how it’s supposed to play out. It’ll go through committees. They’ll analyze it. The council auditors will look at it and they’ll make a decision.”
City Councilman Matt Carlucci said having this financial analysis helps, but he still wants to know more about the viability and sustainability of the plan.
“I’d like to have some background info on the construction costs and, if we save money, who gets that? The taxpayer or the Jaguars get that? I would hope the taxpayers do," Carlucci said. "And if we put that money up, what kind of guarantee are we getting that the Jaguars are going to stay here in Jacksonville?”
The city said it is normal for an outside agency to conduct an analysis of its own when a private developer is involved.
We also obtained a letter sent to the city’s chief of administrative offices with several other questions from Carlucci, including what other loan options were pursued.