Khan: Shipyards project will produce benefits ‘that will exceed any expenditures’ made by city

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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. – Jaguars owner Shad Khan says his plans to redevelop The Shipyards in Downtown Jacksonville are gaining support from the city.

The proposal would bring a Four Season Hotel to the downtown banks of the St. Johns River. There are also plans for a football performance center next to TIAA Bank Field, an office building, a sports medicine complex and other improvements to the city-owned marina.

The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, with 176 rooms and 25 residential units, would open in early 2025, if the plans are approved.

In a statement (in full at end of article) issued Monday afternoon, Khan and his development company Iguana Investments said the cost will exceed $300 million for the hotel and office building. He said the city’s only upfront cost will be to move the fire museum, marine fire station and the docks near Metro Park, which could run about $20 million. The city would end up paying more at the completion of the project with grants and tax subsidies totaling more than $114 million.

LINK: Supplemental financial summary for Shipyards project

“In short, the project will produce benefits that will exceed any expenditures made by the City. That’s good news for all of us, today and deep into the future,” Khan writes.

Jaguars President Mark Lamping led the conversation at a community meeting Monday evening about The Shipyards project and wanted people to have their questions answered.

“I’m so happy that we chose to do this. I enjoy hearing from supporters and I enjoy hearing from people who give us constructive criticism,” Lamping said.

Community members spoke out with praise and concerns, one of which was buildings taking over city park space.

“I do have concerns about putting the hotel on park property,” one person said.

Lamping explained: “In addition to the 14 acres of park space, it creates an equal or larger park in size.”

People were pleased with that answer.

“They’re going to support whatever the city decides to do with Metro Park so far, and what they’re trying to do is to not infringe on that, so that’s nice,” JJ Hammond said. “One way to make Jacksonville a destination, not a pass-through, is to support these projects.”

Jacksonville resident and Jaguars season ticket holder Ted Powell is optimistic about the project.

“We appreciate the way the Jaguars have responded to some of the mistakes they made with Lot J, and they’re holding the community meetings and they’re doing more listening,” Powell said.

The Downtown Investment Authority has been working with Khan on developing a plan and plans to go over a draft of it on Friday during a committee meeting. The full board would then take it up in July before going to the City Council for final approval.

About the Authors:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.