JaxONE's plan to develop Shipyards centers around jobs

Proposal made up of 2 components: Innovation District, Jobs Factory

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The group JaxONE on Tuesday presented the latest plan, which is centered around jobs, to develop the Jacksonville Shipyards downtown. 

Representatives from Mission One Global Holdings, EMJ Corporation and Wess Holdings LLC pitched the second of three proposals for the 70-acre riverfront property that has sat vacant for more than 17 years.

"We want to collaborate and we want the market to drive our development progress," said Dr. John Newman, chairman of Mission One Holdings, 

Their proposal is made of two components:

  1. The Innovation District: It will include housing and hotels, office and retail spaces, the USS Adams warship museum and Metro Park, which will be in a new centralized location.
  2. The Jobs Factory: An urban lab that will connect innovators with mentors to fast-track new business and create jobs.

JaxONE believes the Jobs Factory will make it a sustainable plan. 

The renderings of the JaxONE Innovation District also present a modern look to architecture and housing -- another facet of the formula for long-term success. 

IMAGES: JaxONE Innovation District renderings

Jason Walker, EMJ Corporation

Main roof top

"We're not going to make the same mistake of just building pretty buildings and taking somebody from some place else out of this lease or location and coming to the new things because, at the end of the day, it may be good as a business model, but it's bad for the city," Newman said. 

The environmental issues of the Shipyards were also brought up during the presentation. JaxONE hopes the city will enter in a public-private partnership to help chip in and clean up the area.

The developers said their plan is a win-win for the Jacksonville economy and it's residents -- if the community is open to taking a new path.

"We have to think in a way that we've not thought of. We have to get out of our comfort zone and that's just painful," said Jason Walker, vice president of innovation at EMJ Corporation.

The project will cost about $350 million and has three- to five-year timeline. 

Jacksonville Jaguars' owner Shad Khan's Iguana Investments and the Presidium Group are the other two investors who have recently put proposals on the table to developing the Shipyards.

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