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Jax Daily Record Monday, Sep. 13, 202105:10 AM EST

Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s Four Seasons proposal headed to City Council

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The Downtown Investment Authority filed a bill Sept. 8 for nearly $114 million in incentives for the riverfront development.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Jacksonville City Council is expected to introduce legislation Sept. 14 for a nearly $114 million incentives deal with Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan for his plan to build a Four Seasons Hotel and Residences and an office building at the former Kids Kampus site along the Downtown riverfront. 

Documents provided by Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer show a bill supporting Khan’s project was filed Sept. 8. 

She said Sept. 10 it should be introduced at the next Council meeting.

In June, Khan and Jaguars President Mark Lamping announced an estimated $321 million development plan for the property south of TIAA Bank Field.

The agreement would be between the city and Khan company Iguana Investments Florida LLC.

On July 7, the DIA board approved what became the framework for the legislation. 

The bill commits Khan to a minimum $301,057,548 development. Iguana says the project will have a 176-room Four Seasons with 25 for-sale luxury condominiums, a full-service spa and restaurant and a 157,027-square-foot, six-story, Class A office building. 

A map of the development area is included in city documents.

If approved, Iguana will receive 4.77 acres of the city-owned Kids Kampus property for $100.

According to the DIA, the property was appraised at $12.45 million.

The taxpayer incentives package would comprise a 20-year, 75% Recapture Enhanced Value Grant up to $47,683,955 for the hotel and a $25,834,887 project completion grant. 

The legislation includes up to $13,373,100 for city Metropolitan Park Marina improvements; a marina support building; an events lawn; and a maximum $3.9 million to build the adjacent Northbank Riverwalk.

The DIA estimated in its term sheet it will cost the city $8.72 million to relocate the Marine Fire Station, dock and historic Fire Museum on the property.

The remaining $2 million comes from easements granted to the developer and projected loss of land value from leasing the office building parcel.

The city will retain ownership of the 1.05-acre office parcel and lease it to Iguana for $36,000 per year for 40 years. 

Grant hurdle

Before the deal can proceed on the Kids Kampus site the DIA must resolve a restriction on the land from a 36-year-old, $1.5 million Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant meant to preserve the property and nearby submerged land for access to the St. Johns River.

Boyer said July 7 she committed the DIA to negotiate with state officials and resolve the grant restrictions by October.

The development would include a renovated marina.

DIA documents show Iguana expects to close on the Kids Kampus land between January and April. The deal can be terminated if the grant issue is not resolved.

Iguana could choose to pay off the grant debt, which state officials told DIA has compounded over time to $21 million.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is creating a Downtown riverfront parks master plan that includes using 10.3 acres on the adjacent Shipyards west of Hogans Creek as a replacement for the Kids Kampus.

The DIA supports that plan in concept and with a $60,000 appropriation. 

Optional development

As part of the deal, the city wants the Jaguars to build a 6,500-square-foot marina support building and an events lawn and make marina and riverwalk improvements.

The city would pay for it but the developer would be responsible for cost overruns. 

In addition to the amount of private investment, the bill sets other minimum requirements. 

A map of the development on the Jaguars website.

The Four Seasons cannot have fewer than 170 rooms or 23 Class A condos; the office building cannot be less than 141,300 square feet; and the marina building must be at least 6,000 square feet with 1 acre of event lawn space.

As part of the deal, Khan would commit through Iguana $200,000 annually for 20 years to help the city maintain and program Metropolitan Park.

Maintenance for the marina facilities would be partially funded by a 2% room surcharge at the Four Seasons, according to the legislation.

The bill also sets aside 4.96 acres of the Kids Kampus for Iguana to build a second phase with a right of first offer.

Khan plans a partnership with Baptist Health for a 42,000-square-foot orthopedic sports medicine campus, 15,000 square feet of street-level retail, a more than 200-space parking structure and possible residential for the second phase.

Lamping has said the second phase won’t happen right away.

Council could approve the bill by the end of October. If there are no delays, DIA documents show expected completion in December 2025.

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