Four Seasons coming to Jacksonville’s Riverfront

Four Seasons coming to Jacksonville’s Riverfront
Rendering of aerial view from events lawn and park. Renderings courtesy of HKS Architects.

The Jacksonville City Council gave unanimous approal for plans to build a world-class, Five-Star hotel brand in Jacksonville’s sports complex, on portions of the former Shipyards and Metropolitan Park Kids Campus sites.

The $321 million-dollar proposal will include a Four Seasons Hotel and Residences along with office and retail space, an improved marina and expanded Riverwalk.

The city is including about $114 in incentives for the deal.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s Iguana Investments has committed to a minimum $301,057,548 development including a 176-room Four Season Hotel with 25 condominiums for sale. Iguana will own the land and hotel.

The 1.05 acres of land for office space will be owned by the city and leased to the developers. The lease is $36,000 for 40 years.

The city will pay about $8.2 million to relocate the Fire Museum, the dock, and the Marine Fire Station currently on the property.

Jaguars President Mark Lamping thanked council members, the Mayor’s office, and the Downtown Investment Authority for their support. He said everyone worked closely together to finalize the deal.

“There is a whole group of people who did most of the work,” he said. “We have an incredible staff within the Jaguars who on top of what they normally do they did all the work (along) with the attorneys. I couldn’t have been more impressed with the job DIA did. The City Council asked a tremendous amount of questions and I think the process led to what we have seen the past couple of weeks.”

The process was far smoother than the earlier attempt by the Jaguars to win an incentive deal for Lot J, which was rejected by the City Council. One criticism of Lot J is that the plan did not include participation by the Downtown Investment Authority or any meetings with council members before a deal was announced.

“I made a mistake with Lot J,” Lamping said. “We didn’t tell our story as forcefully as we could have.” He said with the Shipyards project they spent a lot more time taking their case to the public and going through the DIA and that made the difference.   

Rendering of aerial view from Marina. Renderings courtesy of HKS Architects.
Rendering of aerial view from Marina. Renderings courtesy of HKS Architects.

Lamping says the project will be great for the future of Jacksonville he hopes will be a catalyst for more development projects.

“I think it shows a tremendous amount of confidence in this community. I think it shows a great commitment from [Jaguars owner Shad Khan], I think it provided evidence that this type of process and dialogue works and I think we got to a great end,” he said. 

Lamping said they hope to see dirt start moving on the project by mid-2022. 

According to the incentives deal, the Five-star hotel is required to open by the end of 2025.

By Kevin J. Meerschaert
Resident Community News

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