JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars made their public pitch in a news conference. Now they’re taking their dreams on the road throughout the Jacksonville area.
The first of 14 more than a dozen community meetings scheduled this month to discuss the Jaguars’ $441 million plans to develop the Shipyards was held Tuesday evening.
The meetings will be held in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties, and the first one took place at Regency Square Branch Library in Arlington. Each meeting is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m.
“It really seems, as a community, we’ve gone through a lot in 18 months, but I think we have an opportunity to come out of it stronger than ever. I think we’re at a tipping point. There’s a lot of momentum,” Jaguars President Mark Lamping said Tuesday.
Local leaders like City Council members also attended Tuesday’s meeting. People in attendance asked questions and offered their opinions.
“This project needs people. Large numbers of people downtown to make it successful,” said J.J. Hammond, with AquaJax. “So we need a project. We need to make Jacksonville a destination, not a pass-through.”
Jaguars owner Shad Khan proposed more than $93 million in tax incentives from the city of Jacksonville for a Four Seasons Hotel and Residences. Marina facilities and an office building along the St. Johns River near TIAA Bank Field are also proposed. Those figures are on a draft term sheet with the Downtown Investment Authority.
The team also wants a 50-50 partnership with the city on a $120 million performance center, training facility and a practice field.
“I don’t know the Four Seasons thing, don’t know if Shad’s been down there when they’ve burnt some coffee. Don’t know how that’ll play into things,” said one person who attended the meeting.
Another person at the meeting said: “I know you said it was tied up in DIA. Who’s in the way of getting this done?”
In the community meetings, Lamping said, they want public interaction.
“Most importantly to give you the opportunity to comment,” Lamping said. “If there are things we can do to improve these plans to serve the needs of the community, it’s a great opportunity to express those to us.”
A final proposal will need approval from both the DIA and the Jacksonville City Council.
Below is the full community meeting schedule. People don’t have to attend a meeting to participate. By visiting 1stdowntownjacksonville.com, people can share their thoughts on downtown Jacksonville’s future.
|Arlington||Tuesday, June 15||Regency Square Branch Library||9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32225|
|Nassau County||Wednesday, June 16||Fernandina Beach Branch Library||25 N. 4th St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034|
|San Marco||Wednesday, June 16||Lakewood United Methodist Church||6133 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32217|
|Town Center||Thursday, June 17||Southeast Regional Library||10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256|
|Southside||Thursday, June 17||Pablo Creek Regional Library||13295 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246|
|Clay County||Thursday, June 17||The Lake Asbury Community Association Building / Community Center||282 Branscomb Road, Lake Asbury, FL 32043|
|Jax Beaches||Monday, June 21||Beaches Branch Library||600 3rd St., Neptune Beach, FL 32266|
|Whitehouse||Monday, June 21||West Branch Library||1425 Chaffee Road S., Jacksonville, FL 32221|
|Riverside||Monday, June 21||Willow Branch Public Library||2875 Park St., Jacksonville, FL 32205|
|Mandarin||Tuesday, June 22||South Mandarin Library||12125 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32223|
|St. Johns||Tuesday, June 22||Bartram Trail Branch Library||60 David Pond Blvd., Fruit Cove, FL 32259|
|Northside||Tuesday, June 22||Bradham and Brooks Branch Library||1755 Edgewood Ave. W., Jacksonville, FL 32208|
|Westside||Wednesday, June 23||Charles Webb Wesconnett Library||6887 103rd St., Jacksonville, FL 32210|
|Downtown||Thursday, June 24||TIAA Bank Field - Upper East Club||1 TIAA Bank Field Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202|