Shad Khan talks of developing shipyard property

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Thursday he is interested in development of the riverfront shipyards property, which is near EverBank Field and is the most visible open space along the St. Johns River on downtown's Northbank, Channel 4 news partner the Financial News and Daily Record reported.

"I think it can be greatly enhanced" to bring economic vibrancy to downtown, he said, according to the Record.

Khan said his organization is talking with the city, which owns the 40-acre Northbank shipyards property. He did not specify the details of those talks.

Asked if he had ideas for the property, he said, "lots of ideas. Hundreds of ideas," according to the Record.

Khan didn't delve into details about the property or any plans, but said the site is "something we can really make a difference" in, according to the Record. "That is the face," he said, calling it a "very, very high-profile" property.

He declined to talk further about the talks with the city, saying the conversations are pending.

A city spokesman did issue this statement Thursday afternoon:

"Shad Khan has expressed interest in developing the Shipyards property. The discussion was preliminary. Any disposition of city-owned land will follow the City of Jacksonville disposition process. We are very focused on activating the resident and fan experience on our waterfront. The Jaguars are an important part of the city's economy and brand, and we look forward to hearing more about this concept as their plans develop."

The shipyards property is vacant land stretching from The Plaza at Berkman, near the old county courthouse property, to Metropolitan Park and the sports complex.

Several developers unsuccessfully attempted residential, office and retail projects on the site since it closed as a working shipyard.

Khan spoke with reporters Thursday after he accepted the 15th Annual Thompson S. Baker "Solid as a Rock" Award at the Junior Achievement of North Florida Hall of Fame event at EverBank Field.

To read the full story on the Financial News and Daily Record's website, click here.

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