Downtown Investment Authority selects Shad Khan’s master plan for Shipyards

Downtown Investment Authority selects Shad Khan’s master plan for Shipyards
Aerial view of the Northbank properties which would be used in the redevelopment plan proposed by Iguana Investments.

In his cover letter to the City of Jacksonville, Shahid Khan, president of Iguana Investments Florida and owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, said he wants to move his proposed project from “world-class vision to a world-class reality.”

“We believe the City’s vision and Iguana’s vision for the redevelopment of this property are perfectly aligned: mixed-use, world class design, and international capital implementing an iconic mixed-use development on downtown’s catalytic riverfront site.

“No proposer is more vested in the success of the redevelopment of this riverfront property than Iguana. Iguana’s affiliates, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Bold Events, lease the stadium, amphitheater and covered flex field adjacent to the property,” he said in his letter.

With three proposals to redevelop the City-owned property known as The Shipyards under consideration, Khan’s proposal was ultimately the winner, unanimously selected by the Downtown Investment Authority at its April 18 meeting. This is the second time Khan’s company has won the pitch. In 2015, the DIA also selected Iguana Investments but it never resulted in a development contract. That earlier bid did not include Metropolitan Park, which was added to the proposal for a total of 70 acres.

Rendering shows possible mooring space for the USS Charles Adams

Rendering shows possible mooring space for the USS Charles Adams

According to Khan’s proposal, Metro Park would be the site of a five-star hotel with up to 250 rooms. A new park, Veterans Park, would be constructed in the middle of the 70-acre parcel, where Hogan’s Creek meets the St. Johns River.

The proposal stated implementation of the master plan will require more than $500 million in private investment, but did not provide any figures for the total potential cost of the development, which would include condominiums, apartments, office, retail, and restaurant space in addition to the hotel, and a private marina.

Portions of the property would be reserved for public use and remain as city property, to be developed with other funds. Those uses include attractions, such as an aquarium, mooring space for the USS Charles Adams, public parks, parking, and improvements for Hogan’s Creek Greenway, Bay Street and A. Philip Randolph Boulevard.

A tentative schedule included in the proposal would put construction of Phase I beginning in 2019. Phase I includes the residential units, hotel, office, retail, and restaurant, including parking and associated public space.

Iguana Investment’s proposal requires the City to bear the burden of environmental cleanup necessary to prepare the Shipyards for development, improve certain Bay Street infrastructure, relocate Metropolitan Park, construct mooring for the USS Adams, among other requirements.

Next step will be negotiation of the City’s share of the costs, which will result in a development agreement for City Council vote.


By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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