Another Shad Khan downtown Jacksonville development proposal hits a roadblock

National Park Service rejects swap of Shipyards for Metro Park property

News4Jax Reporter Brittany Muller joins us with more on the developments hold up.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Another development proposal by Jaguars owner Shad Khan has hit a complication. Khan wants to replace Metropolitan Park with a hotel and mixed-use property and proposed the Shipyards property as a replacement for the park.

But according to a message from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Park Service denied the proposal, saying the Shipyards land “will not be considered as replacement property for Metro Park.”

The need for land to replace Metro Park goes back to a $1.7 million grant and agreement the city of Jacksonville made with the Department of Environmental Protection in 1981.

In return for the $1.7 million grant, the city agreed it would not sell the riverfront Metropolitan Park without a comparable replacement.

But all hope for the mixed-use development is not lost.

The Downtown Investment Authority is stepping in and plans to meet with Khan on Thursday about what other options he may have to continue.

DIA CEO Lori Boyer told News4Jax news partner the Jacksonville Daily Record that she wants to become more involved in the negotiations with the park service.

“My understanding of the National Park Service standards is they want to see not just an appraised piece of land, but they want to see how you’re going to use it and that it is of an equivalent value — not appraised value but real recreational value,” Boyer told the Record.

Under the current proposal, Khan would build a Four Seasons hotel and a mixed-use development, which would include a destination site medical facility, where the park sits along the Northbank.

RELATED: Khan envisions Four Seasons for Jacksonville’s Metro Park site

He would be the sole developer, according to Jaguars President Mark Lamping. A source told News4Jax in November 2020, taxpayers might also pay $100 million to support the development.

Read more about the development and the issues here.

News4Jax has contacted the mayor’s office and the DIA for comment. We have not heard back yet.

About the Author:

Multi-media journalist with a special interest in Georgia issues.