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Proposed Shipyards project clears first hurdle, gets initial DIA approval

A Downtown Investment Authority committee gave initial approval for a new Four Seasons luxury hotel along with other projects put forward by Khan.
A Downtown Investment Authority committee gave initial approval for a new Four Seasons luxury hotel along with other projects put forward by Khan.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Shipyards project proposed by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan made it over its first hurdle on Friday.

A Downtown Investment Authority committee gave initial approval for a new Four Seasons luxury hotel along with other projects put forward by Khan.

It’s a $300 million investment for Khan and requires the city to pay some upfront costs.

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

The project could change the face of the riverfront in more than one way.

As the committee gave a thumbs up, News4Jax learned a lot more about what could actually happen with Metropolitan Park.

There are now plans to move the old Kids Kampus to a vacant strip across from Maxwell House that used to be part of the Shipyards.

Nearby is the area where the USS Orleck would be housed as well making the whole development along the St. Johns River a new park.

Under the plan, the city would move the old Kids Kampus park and allow the Four Seasons hotel to be built on the current park site. They would also move the fire boathouse and the fire museum, plus pay for an upgraded marina and dock the price tag that eventually could cost $25 million.

Khan has agreed to commit $4 million to Metro Park to make upgrades.

“We would have to relocate the fire museum very quickly. We would have to do some of the work on this new park very quickly some of it might be a few years away when we spend the money to renovate the marina. It probably wouldn’t be next year, it would be two years down the line,” said DIA CEO Lori Boyer.

It was a unanimous vote Friday. All the members were excited about the plans for the new luxury hotel.

The Jaguars president said there is still a ways to go. He wants to see the city council approve the plans and have the project done by the end of 2025.

“We are anxious to get started for so many reasons. We’ve been in the bullpen warming up for some time. We really want to get in the game,” Jaguars President Mark Lamping said.

Friday’s vote was just the first step. It will go to the full DIA board next month, but it is expected to pass.

The real battle will be with the City Council and that will come up at a later date.

A study by the Downtown Investment Authority found the city could actually make a small profit for its investment. For every dollar spent, the city could make slightly more than a dollar, a study showed.


About the Author:

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