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DIA to discuss Shipyards plans, vote on $114 million in incentives

The Shipyards site
The Shipyards site (Special to WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We should learn Wednesday if the proposed Shipyard project on the Northbank will move ahead.

The Downtown Investment Authority has called a special meeting to go over the plans, which include Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s vision of a Four Seasons and other amenities along the St. Johns River.

The plans have been out front, with renderings of the luxury hotel and other projects, for some time. There is one part of the proposal that calls for moving a portion of Metropolitan Park west toward downtown and developing a new park along the riverfront. The plans have been vague, but we are now seeing more of what could be in the works.

RELATED: Proposed Shipyards project clears first hurdle

The Shipyards plans call for a new riverfront park. What would that entail?
The Shipyards plans call for a new riverfront park. What would that entail?

If the state agrees, part of the old Kids Kampus site will move to a vacant lot in front of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The Jacksonville Fire Museum will be moved as well -- close to its original site when it was built in 1901.

Nearby, the USS Orleck could become a floating naval museum at one of the piers at the site.

Another part of the vacant land would become a playscape for children. A water feature would be added. The plans also call for a floating pool and a floating restaurant near the dock site.

The rendering shows something else: Redoing the Northbank Riverwalk. The proposal is to tie in the entire area from Metropolitan Park to the old Jacksonville Landing site, which is now called Riverfront Plaza.

There will be a cost to the city, first to move the fire museum -- about $6 million. But the upfront cost could run $25 million. At the end of the entire project, the city could allow for nearly $114 million in tax incentives and other costs.


About the Author:

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