Shipyards ideas heating up as Khan's plan surfaces

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The shipyards on the downtown Jacksonville Northbank have been sitting empty for years. But they're quickly becoming some of the hottest property in the River City.

All kinds of ideas have surfaced on what developers want to put there, but so far nothing has happened.

New ideas surfaced Tuesday -- drawings from an Orlando developer working with Jaguars owner Shad Khan to redo the site as a gateway to the stadium.

News4Jax is not showing the architect's renderings because they are part of a dispute. The architect says they were stolen and published without permission. The Jaguars staff knows nothing about that and says it's just one plan by Khan that is being considered.

"He has expressed interest if no one steps up to develop that area, that he is interested," Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards said. "There has been some concepts and renderings proposed that are just ideas at this time, and that is where it stands at this time."

Khan is not alone. There are other plans to move the USS Adams to the shipyards location as part of a floating museum.

One group would like to see a huge tower built that would become an attraction itself.

There is also a strong push to bring an aquarium to the site.

Those are just some of the ideas that have been presented, and in some cases they could all work on the site.

Councilman Johnny Gaffney, who represents the area, said he sees multiple uses.

Mayor Alvin Brown has taken this week off, but his staff issued a statement on the development and where the city goes from here.

"Mayor Brown has made redeveloping the Shipyards a top priority ... and we look forward to receiving and reviewing any formal proposal to activate the Shipyards," the statement reads.

There is still money in the mayor's budget set aside for clean up and development of the shipyards site as well as the rest of the Northbank.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.