Deal reached on $450 million development near TIAA Bank Field

Agreement reached to turn area into entertainment, housing, business venue

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Mayor Lenny Curry announced Wednesday the city has reached an agreement with a developer affiliated with Jaguars owner Shad Khan to turn Lot J and surrounding property west of TIAA Bank Field into an entertainment, commercial and residential complex.

Curry said Khan's Iguana Development has partnered with a national developer that has created similar project near other major-league venues around the country. The mayor said it will result in more than $450 million of investment near the sports complex. Because it calls for incentives and tax breaks, the project must be approved by the Downtown Investment Authority and Jacksonville City Council.

Curry is confident it will pass.

"The City of Jacksonville, as it often does for downtown development, will be a financial partner through incentives that are tied to infrastructure construction, completion-based grants and tax rebates known as rev grants,” Curry said in advance of Wednesday afternoon's news conference.

Curry said this will be a mixed-use development with a live entertainment complex, a hotel and restaurant, plus residential space and an office building.

According to the term sheet, which was released Thursday, the city will foot 50% of the cost to develop the live entertainment district -- up to $50 million.

There would also be a partial tax rebate for 20 years on the luxury high rise residential tower, boutique hotel and office tower. The cost of those will be $128 million, $76.5 million and $67 million, respectively.

The city will also provide $92.8 million in infrastructure improvements.

Breaking that down, it's $33.3 million for site improvements, $6.3 million for environmental remediation, $33.9 million for structured parking -- about 600 spaces -- and $8.3 million for another 700 spaces on a surface lot.

The DIA is expected to begin looking over the deal and the city’s commitment to infrastructure upgrades and the cost at its next meeting.  

READ: Term sheet for Lot J development project

Curry said the changes will all tie in with the plans to remove the Hart Expressway ramp that runs between the sports complex and riverfront.

“As we look forward, this development and the removal of the elevated expressway will add to our capacity to develop the downtown’s riverfront and will position Jacksonville,” Curry said.

Jaguars President Mark Lamping released a statement calling this "the most significant step in our mission to reinvent how we work, live and gather in Downtown Jacksonville."

"Shad has for years been the biggest believer and advocate of what's possible for our downtown, and it's very clear that Mayor Curry shares the same vision. Our joint proposal with The Cordish Companies, one of the top developers in the country, is one that will make an impact on our community that will be positive, overdue and lasting," Lamping said.

There was a mixed reaction to the fact the city is moving ahead with the plan. Most like the idea of an entertainment complex, while others questioned why it can't be built elsewhere.

WATCH: Mixed reaction to Lot J plan

There's no word on how soon the project could break ground or when it would be completed.

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