JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s been a volatile week for the proposed Lot J project.
Some City Council members are at odds with each other and the mayor’s office over the planned entertainment complex at the stadium downtown.
Currently, the City Council is set to move forward on the legislation, which could be voted on by the end of December. More reviews and questions are expected soon about the city’s role in the $450 million project, which will be split between the Jaguars development team and the city.
The developer in the deal would be Jacksonville I-C Parcel One Holding Company LLC, a joint venture of Gecko Investments LLC, an affiliate of the Jacksonville Jaguars owned by Shad Khan, and The Cordish Companies.
Even though The Cordish Companies doesn’t have a contract with the city yet, Zed Smith, the chief operating officer for Cordish, said he has met with local construction companies about the project. he said the plan is for at least 25% of the hired contractors to be minority-owned companies.
Those are details that still need to be spelled out before the City Council approves or rejects the plan.
Some businesses near the stadium are hoping to get answers as to how the Lot J development will help them.
Titia Jacksonville, who owns a neighborhood bar and restaurant near the stadium, had questions about why the city is spending money on just one development and not the entire community. Jackson said she never got any help for her business.
That was discussed this week at a City Council meeting focused on Lot J.
When the question was put to Smith, he said the entire area near the stadium will benefit as well as downtown.
“As these developments come online, it just increases the pot,” Smith told the City Council. “In every city, there is that concern that we are going to cannibalize the local market. That has never happened.”
Smith said they will be building residential space downtown so there will be more people in the area. He also said he would meet with local businesses to discuss the concerns.
Mayor Lenny Curry recently weighed in on the Council’s latest actions.
“We decided over 20 years ago we wanted to be an NFL city. We worked hard to get that team, and we’re going to have to keep working our butts off to keep them here for the foreseeable future,” Curry told News4Jax on Wednesday.
Curry added that he hopes the council’s final decision will come by the end of December.
A special council meeting on LOT J is set for Dec. 3, and the council could take a vote at its Dec. 8 meeting, but much of that is still up in the air.