City’s deal with Lot J developer includes $233.3 million in incentives

The $450 million project would bring an entertainment venue, office, residential and a hotel next to TIAA Bank Field.

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The city is proposing $233.3 million in taxpayer-backed incentives for Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s Lot J project at TIAA Bank Field.

A term sheet released by the city Thursday outlines the deal. It states the city would finance nearly half the $450 million development through tax rebates, a Recaptured Enhanced Value grant, a development grant and infrastructure improvements.

The term sheet lists the developer as Jacksonville I-C Parcel One Holding Company LLC. The company is a joint venture of Gecko Investments LLC, an affiliate of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and The Cordish Companies.

Under the terms of the deal, the developer would receive:

• Up to $50 million, 50% of the development cost, for a Live! District entertainment venue.

• A $25 million REV grant, which is a  partial property tax rebate.

• $92.8 million in infrastructure improvements.

• A $65.5 million development grant.

Plans for the development detailed in the term sheet comprise a 300-unit residential tower, 200-room boutique hotel, 120,000-square-foot Class A office tower and a Live! Entertainment District.

An artist's rendering of the Lot J development released by the city Wednesday.
An artist's rendering of the Lot J development released by the city Wednesday.

The Lot J property is owned by the city and any development agreement must be approved by the Downtown Investment Authority and City Council.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city would retain ownership of the Live! District. It would be operated by Cordish, the company that developed similar properties in Philadelphia and St. Louis.

The deal also includes a land transfer. The city wants to give the property to the developer where the luxury high-rise residential tower(s), boutique hotel, office tower and the mid-rise residential building(s) will sit. The term sheet did not list a value for the property.

According to the agreement, the property transfer would occur immediately before construction.

The deal also includes details about parking for the project, which would remain under city ownership.

The agreement says that 1,300 parking spaces will be created within the Lot J development. That’s similar to the number there now. 

A surface lot with 700 spaces will be built above the stormwater retention pond west of Lot J. An additional 600 parking spaces would be shared among the hotel, residential and office towers and/or street parking.

The developer would operate the parking facilities, as well as TIAA Bank lots M, N and P. The cost of parking would be required to remain at market rate.

Revenue from parking at Lot J would be split — the city receiving all money “up to historic levels” while the developers would receive any new parking revenue.

A map of the Lot J development released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in April.
A map of the Lot J development released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in April.

The deal says the developer would be responsible for all costs during construction, but does allow leeway to substitute or modify elements of the project based on market conditions. 

For example, the office tower and/or the boutique hotel could be replaced with an additional 300-unit residential tower or the 300-unit luxury high-rise residential tower could be replaced by mid-rise buildings.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced Wednesday in a video address that negotiators for Khan and the city had reached a deal.

Curry did not make himself available for questions Wednesday, but a spokeswoman said he will take questions about the deal Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the Jaguars said team President Mark Lamping and Khan were traveling Wednesday and not available for questions. She provided a written statement from Lamping.

“We’ve never been closer to realizing a new Downtown Jacksonville than we are today. While today’s news is not the final step, it’s by far the most significant step in our mission to reinvent how we work, live and gather in Downtown Jacksonville,” Lamping wrote. 

“Shad has for years been the biggest believer and advocate of what’s possible for our downtown, and it’s very clear that Mayor Curry shares the same vision. Our joint proposal with The Cordish Companies, one of the top developers in the country, is one that will make an impact on our community that will be positive, overdue and lasting. It cannot happen without Mayor Curry’s support and leadership, and we will continue to work with the Mayor and his staff toward an agreement that will signal a new era for downtown and our entire region.” 

A city aerial photo of Lot J west of Daily's Place.
A city aerial photo of Lot J west of Daily's Place.