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Construction on Shipyards project could start in June 2022 if approved

‘We’re going to keep fighting and moving to develop downtown,’ Jacksonville mayor says

Construction on Shipyards project could start in June 2022 if approved
Construction on Shipyards project could start in June 2022 if approved

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More information is coming out about the proposed Shipyards project being laid out by Jaguars owner Shad Khan and his development company, Iguana Investments.

During the past week, the Jaguars have been out at community meetings, selling their plan to develop The Shipyards site in downtown Jacksonville. The plan is to build a Four Season Hotel and Residences, plus an office complex for the team and others.

If the plan is approved, Jacksonville would have some upfront costs that could range from $6 million to $20 million. Those costs involve moving the fire museum and upgrading the city boat docks and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department fireboat building.

Khan and his development company would pay out over $300 million for the luxury hotel and other developments, and once the project is complete and 20 years afterward, the city could be responsible for over $114 million in tax incentives.

News4Jax on Tuesday asked Jacksonville Mayor Curry to weigh in on the development. We asked him: Why give a tax break to a company that will make a profit from the site?

“I haven’t seen anyone that’s going to make a fortune,” Curry said. “Certainly developers need a return on their investment. Look, we live in a competitive economy right now. We live in a competitive world. Cities that are doing well are attracting companies, attracting jobs through the incentive process.”

Lori Boyer, head of the Downtown Investment Authority, said that right now, this property is not generating any taxes, so that would make this a win for the city. That is why Curry said he wants to move ahead.

“Maybe a different mayor would say no incentives,” Curry said. “That’s not me. But, again, it’s got to go through the process. The public, their voices are going to be heard, and we’re going to keep fighting and moving to develop downtown.”

A DIA committee will begin discussing this on Friday. The full DIA board will vote next month. If approved, other developers will have 30 days to weigh in if they have a similar project. If nothing else comes into play, we could see this go to the full City Council later this year and the deal could close by January. Construction could start in June 2022 and be completed by 2025.

VIEW: DIA Retail Enhancement and Property Disposition Committee June 25 meeting agenda

There are several more community meetings about this plan. The final one will be Thursday night at TIAA Bank Field.

About the Author:

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