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The JaxONE Innovation District is being billed as a jobs factory and incubator for creative thinkers.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Apr. 4, 201712:00 PM EST

JaxONE plan reveals details of Shipyards 'jobs factory'

by: David Cawton Associate Editor

The second of three proposals to develop Jacksonville’s long-blemished Shipyards property was formally introduced to the public today.

The sealed plans to redevelop 70 acres along Downtown’s Northbank were submitted to the Downtown Investment Authority for review in March.

The JaxONE Innovation District is being billed as the nation’s first jobs factory and incubator for creative thinkers with the vision of sustainability, according to developers.

The proposal, a partnership between Mission One Global Holdings, EMJ Corp., and Wess Holdings LLC., calls for a mix of office space, retail, residential, green space and hotel rooms.

Like the two competing proposals, JaxONE also makes room for the USS Charles F. Adams.

John Newman, Mission One Global chairman, said Monday the development is about creating sustainability in Jacksonville, and not just development for the sake of doing it.

“Jacksonville doesn’t currently have a sustainability model; when something new comes along, other things suffer,” Newman said. “If you put up a new shiny office building, what happens to the rest of the office buildings that are already under capacity?”

Newman points to the decline of Regency Square Mall and the rise of St. Johns Town Center as an example. He says other mistakes have been made as well.

“Look at what’s happened to the Jacksonville Landing,” he said.

Compared to the other proposals, Newman says this is the only one that asks “why” rather than “what.”

“It’s layered. Everything builds upon the last step, and we’re always asking ‘why’ at every point. ‘Why do we need this? Why will this create jobs?’” he said.

Newman describes the Jobs Factory as a complete, patented process that helps potential entrepreneurs seed their ideas to fruition.

He says businesses will go through a proprietary “C2C” or “Concept to Completion” process that will determine if their business or idea is viable for Jacksonville.

“We’re also going to be there to assist in funding those endeavors and they come to life,” he added.

He says JaxONE will be a place where creative thinkers can live, work and innovate, “cross-pollinating ideas” and will evolve as the market dictates.

Besides JaxONE, two other proposals are under review.

At the March 8 “State of The Franchise” event at EverBank Field, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan introduced his latest vision for the Shipyards and Metropolitan Park.

His plan would include a mix of residential, retail and entertainment that would connect the sports complex with the Shipyards.

Khan first proposed an ambitious mixed-use development for the vacant land. Although it was originally approved by the Downtown Investment Authority, it was eventually shelved, after negotiations with the city failed.

Elements of that plan, including a covered amphitheater and practice facility, were folded into the most recent round of renovations at EverBank Field.

Then there’s Texas-based developer Presidium Group, which is proposing to build what would become Florida’s tallest building.

Their plan includes a 1,000-foot observation deck, aquarium and art museum.

Since departing from Khan’s proposal in 2016, the Downtown Investment Authority has reworked requirements for redevelopment to include plans for Met Park, across from EverBank Field.

All three plans are being reviewed by the Downtown Investment Authority, with a decision expected in the next few weeks.

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