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The Shipyards Jacksonville
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Apr. 12, 201712:00 PM EST

Shipyards: Plans reveal deal could exceed $1 billion

DIA to select winning plan later this month
by: David Cawton Associate Editor

Plans to develop the 70-acre Shipyards property along Jacksonville’s Northbank were unsealed Tuesday, revealing three proposals that range up to more than $1 billion in private investment.

The groups introduced their visions for the land, which includes Metropolitan Park, last month. The Shipyards property formerly was a working shipyard.

Those proposals suggest private investment for the projects that start at $350 million.

All three bids require some form of public-private partnership to develop the city-owned property.

Developers are asking the city to pick up the tab for infrastructure improvements, maintain the remaining public spaces and provide a place for the USS Charles F. Adams on the St. Johns River.

Each project includes office buildings, residential and hotel towers, restaurants and outdoor public space. They include attractions such as 1,000-foot observation tower to what’s being billed as America’s First Jobs Factory.

The Shipyards Jacksonville

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s plan, The Shipyards Jacksonville, includes a mix of private and public ownership with an emphasis on connecting the Sports and Entertainment District to the Urban Core.

According to the proposal, Khan’s development company, Iguana Investments of Florida, wants to create about 35 acres of mixed-use development, with the other half reserved for open outdoor space.

While Iguana plans to invest $500 million to $600 million, the city would be responsible for the environmental cleanup of the former Shipyards site and improving and constructing infrastructure along Bay Street and A. Philip Randolph Boulevard.

The plan also includes lowering one section of the Hart Expressway to blend into Bay Street and create a two-mile pedestrian bridge that leads to Adams and Duval streets.

While it doesn’t give a specific purchase offer for the city-owned land, Iguana says it will pay “fair market value for the property,” which would be negotiated later.

This is the second round for Khan, who previously offered a proposal for the land in 2015.

Sea Glass at The Shipyards

Texas-based Presidium Group wants to make Jacksonville home to the largest structure in Florida by building the 1,000-foot Sea Glass.

Developers say it includes a 7,000-square-foot observation deck and two restaurants at the top.

The vision, named Sea Glass at The Shipyards, offers more overall development on the property than Khan’s plan. Only about 8 acres account for open outdoor space.

The concept claims to take inspiration from the maritime and military history of Jacksonville and would include a new fine arts museum and aquarium in addition to mixed-use development along the waterfront.

Sea Glass comes with the heftiest price tag among the proposals, with a $1 billion estimated private investment.

According to the proposal, Presidium plans to pay the city $20 million for the land.

Jacksonville would be expected to clean up the site, pay for infrastructure improvements along Bay Street, extend the Riverwalk and the Skyway systems, and build mooring space for the USS Adams.

JaxONE Innovation District

The third proposal, JaxOne Innovation District, is a joint venture between Wess Holdings LLC., EMJ Corp. Inc., and Mission One Global Holdings.

The foundation of the project is being called the Jacksonville Jobs Factory, a space where aspiring entrepreneurs can collaborate, live and eventually run various businesses. Renderings show a man-made beach area along the river, and expansive space for outdoor activities.

After the initial phase is completed, the group says the next steps would evolve depending on the needs of Jacksonville’s economy and urban landscape.

Developers say their solution offers a plan driven by sustainability.

JaxOne has the smallest price tag of the three submissions, with private investment estimated about $350 million.

The group offers to lease the land from the city for $100,000 a year for 50 years, with the option to extend the lease for two 20-year terms.

Developers say they’ll also contribute $2 million for environmental cleanup of the property.

The Downtown Investment Authority is reviewing the proposals, and is expected to select one by April 18. From there the city would begin negotiations toward a deal.

City Council members would decide if the project can move forward.

The Shipyards Jacksonville


Iguana Investments of Florida LLC

Private investment

$372 million to $624 million

Plan highlights

Five-star hotel, Veteran’s Park, retail, offices, and Hogan’s Creek Greenway


3 – 5 years (Completion around 2022)

Land purchase

No price listed other than Iguana would pay “fair market value”

Sea glass At The Shipyards


Presidium Group

Private investment

$1 billion +

Plan highlights

1,000-foot Sea Glass tower, aquarium and fine arts museum, retail, residential, office space and public park space


8 years (Completion around 2024)

Land purchase

$20 million

JaxOne Innovation District


Wess Holdings, LLC

EMJ Corp Inc.

Mission One Global Holdings

Private investment

$350 million

Plan highlights

Jacksonville Jobs Factory, water park and park land


Phase one to be completed by 2019, with additional phases finished by 2022

Land purchase

$100,000 lease each year for 50 years, plus $2 million for environmental cleanup

[email protected]


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