Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Thursday he is interested in development of the riverfront Shipyards property, which is near EverBank Field and is the most visible open space along the St. Johns River on Downtown’s Northbank.
“I think it can be greatly enhanced” to bring economic vibrancy to Downtown, he said.
Khan said his organization is talking with the City, which owns the 40-acre Northbank Shipyards property. He did not specify the details of those talks.
Asked if he had ideas for the property, he said, “lots of ideas. Hundreds of ideas.”
Khan didn’t delve into details about the property or any plans, but said the site is “something we can really make a difference” in.
“That is the face,” he said, calling it a “very, very high-profile” property.
He declined to talk further about the talks with the City, saying the conversations are pending.
The Shipyards property is vacant land stretching from The Plaza at Berkman, near the old county courthouse property, to Metropolitan Park and the sports complex.
Several developers unsuccessfully attempted residential, office and retail projects on the site since it closed as a working shipyard.
Khan spoke with reporters Thursday after he accepted the 15th Annual Thompson S. Baker “Solid as a Rock” Award at the Junior Achievement of North Florida Hall of Fame event at EverBank Field.
Khan has made inroads into Downtown investment already. In April, his Stache Investments Corp. financed the acquisition by a private group of the Laura Street Trio and former Barnett Bank Building Downtown.
“I think for me, it’s really about committing to a community,” Khan said.
He said that deal was one of many investments and initiatives he supports in the community, including his pledge to meet with selected creators in the One Spark festival and possibly invest.
Khan said he supports growth in the community, including investments in local business, but prefers to do some of it quietly.
“There are many touch points to make a difference,” he said.
“Shad Khan has expressed interest in developing the Shipyards property. The discussion was preliminary,” said David DeCamp, director of communications for Mayor Alvin Brown.
“Any disposition of City-owned land will follow the City of Jacksonville disposition process. We are very focused on activating the resident and fan experience on our waterfront,” he said.
“The Jaguars are an important part of the city’s economy and brand, and we look forward to hearing more about this concept as their plans develop,” DeCamp said.