1st community meeting held to discuss Jaguars’ plans to develop Shipyards

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Courtesy of HKS and Iguana Investments

Renderings and site maps of the proposed development on The Shipyards property, football training facility and site maps

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.

PHOTOS: What Jaguars’ latest Shipyards development may look like

“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.

ArlingtonTuesday, June 15Regency Square Branch Library9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32225
Nassau CountyWednesday, June 16Fernandina Beach Branch Library25 N. 4th St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
San MarcoWednesday, June 16Lakewood United Methodist Church6133 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32217
Town CenterThursday, June 17Southeast Regional Library10599 Deerwood Park Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256
SouthsideThursday, June 17Pablo Creek Regional Library13295 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246
Clay CountyThursday, June 17The Lake Asbury Community Association Building / Community Center282 Branscomb Road, Lake Asbury, FL 32043
Jax BeachesMonday, June 21Beaches Branch Library600 3rd St., Neptune Beach, FL 32266
WhitehouseMonday, June 21West Branch Library1425 Chaffee Road S., Jacksonville, FL 32221
RiversideMonday, June 21Willow Branch Public Library2875 Park St., Jacksonville, FL 32205
MandarinTuesday, June 22South Mandarin Library12125 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32223
St. JohnsTuesday, June 22Bartram Trail Branch Library60 David Pond Blvd., Fruit Cove, FL 32259
NorthsideTuesday, June 22Bradham and Brooks Branch Library1755 Edgewood Ave. W., Jacksonville, FL 32208
WestsideWednesday, June 23Charles Webb Wesconnett Library6887 103rd St., Jacksonville, FL 32210
DowntownThursday, June 24TIAA Bank Field - Upper East Club1 TIAA Bank Field Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.