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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 24, 202005:20 AM EST

Jaguars already planning Phase II for Lot J development

Total investment in project next to TIAA Bank Field could hit $700 million.
by: Mike Mendenhall Associate Editor

Negotiators for Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan and the city have not drafted a final deal for his $450 million to $500 million Lot J development, but team leadership already is looking ahead to a possible Phase II.

Mark Lamping

Jaguars President Mark Lamping outlined the Phase II concept during an interview Jan. 21 to include two high-rise towers and a connecting parking garage that he said could be nearly $200 million on top of the investment in the first phase.

“Our hope was that Lot J would be a catalyst for other development. In fact, we’re already talking about the next phase of Lot J which would bring the total to around $700 million,” Lamping said.

One tower would be residential and the other would be corporate office space, according to Lamping. The three structures would sit at the site of the retention pond on the west end of Lot J near TIAA Bank Field. 

Phase II was not part of the Lot J announcement during the Jaguars’ State of the Franchise event in April. A site plan displayed in Lamping’s presentation shows a surface parking lot at the site of the retention pond.

Phase II of the Lot J development could rise on the space shown as a parking lot in this map from the State of the Jaguars presentation in April.

The city released a term sheet July 31 detailing Lot J’s proposed city-backed incentive package that planned for a surface lot with 700 parking spaces. 

Lamping said Phase II and its additional capital investment in the Sports Complex would likely bring a second round of talks with the city for incentives separate from the Lot J proposal that is being negotiated.

He said Jan. 21 that Khan’s negotiators have not discussed with the city a public contribution for a second phase. 

“We need to sit down with the city and determine what would be the appropriate level of participation from the city for that particular part of the development,” he said. “I certainly would expect that if there was another $200 million of development, that there would be a discussion with the city, and it would be for the city to determine whether they believe that they should participate or not.”

The proposed first phase of Lot J comprises a 300-unit residential tower, 200-room hotel, 120,000-square-foot Class A office tower and a Live! Entertainment District. 

Jacksonville I-C Parcel One Holding Company LLC, a joint venture of Jaguars subsidiary Gecko Investments LLC and the Baltimore, Maryland-based The Cordish Companies, is the project developer.

The Jaguars have not announced tenants or operators at Lot J, but Lamping said interest has come from local, regional and national companies.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Lot J development. The first phase includes a Live! Arena, a residential tower, hotel and an office tower.

City financing ‘closer’

Lamping said city and Jaguars negotiators are “closer than they’ve been” on reaching a deal for city financing.

Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration has proposed $233.3 million in total investment for the city. That includes $208 million toward the development cost for the Live! Entertainment District, infrastructure improvements and a development grant.

The deal also would offer a $25 million Recaptured Enhanced Value grant,  which is a partial property tax rebate.

Lamping calls the terms released in July an initial framework for a final deal. The development agreement with the city must be approved by the Downtown Investment Authority and City Council.

Lamping said he has not had substantive discussions with any Council member about the Lot J incentive proposal.

“I occasionally run into members of the City Council, principally around the Jaguars games, and the topic of discussion usually finds its way toward what’s happening with Lot J. And every response I’ve heard from members of City Council is that they’re very interested in seeing the details,” Lamping said. 

Lot J is west of Daily's Place and TIAA Bank Field.

Environmental testing and resilience

Lamping said the Jaguars and its developers have spent more than $1 million on Lot J as of Jan. 21 for project planning and environmental testing.

Project planners will take into account storm surge resilience when designing Lot J structures and the site plan, Lamping said. 

Developers also have been reviewing St. Johns River water level reports and measures like analyzing the elevation of the Lot J site and placement of building mechanical systems, he said.

The DIA granted Jacksonville I-C Parcel One a 60-day limited license in October to access the city-owned property for environmental testing.

Lamping said preliminary reports on the subsurface conditions and possible soil contamination are complete. Lamping said Nov. 15 that developers expected to find a slurry wall —  a reinforced concrete wall used to stabilize soft earth near high water tables — and gantries buried at the site.

A public records request for those preliminary reports was not completed by Jan. 22.

Lamping said it’s not clear how environmental remediation will impact Lot J’s development cost, but he believes the environmental work can be dealt with “very effectively.”

“We’re comfortable that we can deal with all the necessary remediation within the structure of the agreement between ourselves and the city,” Lamping said.

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