Board president says he’s frustrated by speculation that plan by Jaguars owner has already been chosen.
The three development groups vying to build JEA’s corporate headquarters have until March 11 to negotiate their best offers with the utility’s board of directors before it settles on a decision in early April.
For three hours Tuesday, the firms offered insights into their proposals, pitching their capabilities, assets and expertise in person during a special board meeting.
Two proposals would relocate the city’s public electric, water and wastewater utility company outside of Jacksonville’s urban core. Another positions JEA in the center of it.
Through Jacksonville 1-C Parcel One Holdings Co., Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan and The Cordish Companies seek to move JEA to their proposed mixed-use development near TIAA Bank Field.
JEA would anchor the first phase of that development in Lot J, west of the stadium, which also could include a hotel, entertainment venue and retail uses.
Jaguars President Mark Lamping said JEA would be the first partner for that project. He said moving JEA and its employees to the area would be a catalyst to the rest of Khan’s plans.
“Those jobs can leverage significant additional investment in the community,” Lamping said of Lot J.
Their presentation was followed by Kings Avenue Station P3 LLC, represented by Mike Balanky of Chase Properties. He wants JEA to move to a 1-acre site he controls at 1201 Kings Ave. near the Downtown Southbank.
“As far as I know, we’re the only company that controls our property,” he told board members.
Balanky said his site was pad-ready, doesn’t need to be rezoned, has no environmental issues and is close to established retail, dining, lodging and public transportation infrastructure.
His company also controls half of a 1,650-space parking garage on the property, alleviating the need to build a new structure.
Ryan Companies US Inc. proposes to keep JEA Downtown, moving it to a vacant, city-owned parcel at Adams and Pearl streets near the Duval County Courthouse. It had proposed two other sites, but said it now was now focused on just one.
“We believe our site at Block 48 is the best foot forward for JEA relative to an active, urban environment,” said Ryan Companies Southeast Regional President Doug Dieck.
The nine-story tower includes a separate parking garage.
Conservative construction timelines range from 25 to 31 months. Some sites require rezoning, acquisition and possible environmental remediation.
JEA’s procurement code shields firms from sharing key financial figures at this stage.
After the meeting, board Chair Alan Howard said those details would be made available after negotiations and final offers are made in March.
“We’ve not established a maximum budget,” Howard said. “The goal here is to get the best value for JEA, its customers and the community.”
The board expects to make a final decision during the week of April 8.
Four of the six board members - April Green, Camille Lee-Johnson, the Rev. Fred Newbill and Howard — were in attendance for the presentations.
Kelly Flanagan recused herself from all discussion. She is the chief financial officer of the Jaguars.
John Campion missed his second board meeting Tuesday because of an ongoing health issue.
After the meeting, Howard said he’s grown frustrated with a narrative suggesting the board already has chosen the Lot J site and that the bid process is just a formality.
“I think it disrespects this board and the staff at JEA and the consultants that have taken this very seriously,” said Howard.
“It’s been a very deliberate process,” he said.