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Jaguars President Mark Lamping

Shad Khan's plan for Shipyards would likely include USS Adams

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Plans for the redeveloped Shipyards Downtown by the Jacksonville Jaguars likely will include space for the USS Charles F. Adams Naval Ship Museum.

“If we go forward with the Shipyards, there’s no question we would love to have the Adams be part of it,” said Jaguars President Mark Lamping.

City Council committees are reviewing legislation to authorize the Downtown Investment Authority to execute a development agreement between the city and the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association Inc. to moor the ship along a pier at the city-owned Shipyards and operate a naval museum.

Lamping said Tuesday the Jaguars have met with Adams supporters at least six times about the project to move the Cold War-era guided missile destroyer to the property.

The Jaguars envision plans to redevelop the vacant 40-acre Northbank Riverfront property as a mixed-use housing and retail project to include public space, entertainment and tourist attractions. “The Adams fits all the boxes,” he said.

Lamping spoke Tuesday to members of the Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce in Nassau County.

He said after his presentation that Jaguars owner Shad Khan continues due diligence on the Shipyards property and, pending that review, could submit a development proposal to the city around the Sept. 7 start of the regular season.

Or sooner.

Khan said last week a Shipyards proposal could be submitted in a few weeks. The regular season starts in five weeks.

Lamping said the Jaguars expect to have a plan to take to the city that outlines the structure of the agreement.

“If the city believes in it, then it’s off to the races,” he said.

The mixed-use development would be designed to support people living Downtown, working Downtown and visiting Downtown, he said, “and doing it in a way that provides great support to the sports complex.”

The Shipyards property is near EverBank Field, the home of the Jaguars, and Khan has expressed a need to act quickly on the development.

“The property has been sitting there way too long. Shad expects a certain tempo to get things done,” Lamping said.

Pending due diligence and resolution of environmental issues on the property, which housed a working shipyards until it closed in 1992, the Jaguars expect to make the proposal.

And if it’s submitted, the franchise expects to complete it.

“If Shad is going to put his name on it, it’s going to get done,” Lamping said.

Lamping said the Jaguars have not chosen an architect or developer for the project.

An Orlando architect made a presentation last week at an Orlando builders’ conference of his renderings for the Shipyards. Lamping said that architect, and others, have offered designs to the Jaguars of their visions. “All have been unsolicited proposals,” he said.

Lamping said the Jaguars have been working closely with one group — a developer/architect/land planner — on an internal design, “but we have not retained anyone.” He declined to identify that group, but said it did not include the Orlando architect.

That internal design was included in a Jaguars presentation but not shared with the public in any detail.

Lamping said in June if the Jaguars pursued development, they envision serving as the master developer for a project to include rental apartments, entertainment, retail and a marina. It would include a park-like setting that includes a multipurpose facility that could be used by the Jaguars or, for example, visiting teams to the TaxSlayer Bowl that need a practice facility.

Lamping said Tuesday there’s not a lack of ideas for the Shipyards.

“One thing we found is there are a lot of people who have a lot of great ideas for the Shipyards and don’t have money to get them completed,” he said, which is why they approach the Jaguars as the master developer.

He said the chosen design could include elements of a lot of proposals.

David DeCamp, a spokesman for Mayor Alvin Brown, said Tuesday said once a proposal is received, the Mayor’s Office, Downtown Investment Authority and City Council would be involved. “Until more details are known, there is no specific timeframe,” he said.

For the 2014-15 city budget, Brown has proposed $1.25 million for remediation of the Shipyards property. The city Procurement Division issued a Request for Proposals on Friday for environmental consulting, testing and operations and maintenance services for the Jacksonville Shipyards. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. Aug. 20.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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