Jaguars get green light for Shipyards mixed-use project

NFL American football franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars has been boosted with the news that the city council has unanimously approved its $415m (£304.3m/€358.7m) scheme for a mixed-use development on land adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.

The project will include a $301m contribution from the Jaguars through the company of the team’s owner Shad Khan, Iguana Investments, plus a $114m contribution from the City of Jacksonville.

Located at the site of the old Jacksonville Shipyards, the development will include a five-star hotel, and mixed-use condos, as well as medical and retail buildings. “It shows a tremendous amount of confidence in this community,” Jaguars president Mark Lamping said, according to Action News Jax. “It shows commitment from the owner of the football team.”

Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority approved the plans in July, but a Council vote was delayed last month so members could get more information. Lamping added: “We spent a lot of time talking with the community, we listened to concerns, we responded to those concerns.”

Yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) announcement came after the Jaguars in January said their wider-ranging Lot J project was “dead” after the Council rejected the team’s deal for that project. In what was seen as a surprise decision on the project, Lot J was effectively ended at a Council meeting, with the deal unable to overcome criticism that it required too much taxpayers’ money.

Following the collapse of Lot J, Lamping said that Khan was prepared to move on and focus on developing the Shipyards. He added yesterday: “You’re never going to win every time. But you have an opportunity to learn lessons and I think the outcome here is great for the community and great for downtown.”

Lamping said the Jaguars will continue to refine design plans with the hope construction work could commence at the Shipyards within the next year.

Image: Jacksonville Jaguars & Iguana Investments