DIA receives single bid for 1-acre private development at Riverfront Plaza

The city agency’s CEO says a scoring committee will hear the proposal from American Lions during a public presentation April 26.

The DIA is seeking a developer for the area to the right of the JAX statue, shown in this rendering as a glass high-rise building.
The DIA is seeking a developer for the area to the right of the JAX statue, shown in this rendering as a glass high-rise building.
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Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer said the city received one bid in its search for a private developer to build a mid-rise or high-rise tower next to a planned 7-acre park at the former Jacksonville Landing site.

Boyer told the DIA board April 20 that the bid came from American Lions, but had no additional information.

The request for proposals to redevelop the 1-acre parcel was issued by the city in March and closed at 2 p.m. April 20. 

The RFP says the DIA is looking for a mixed-use, minimum seven-story building to complement the adjacent park being designed by Perkins & Will Inc. at what the city renamed Riverfront Plaza. 

Boyer said after the meeting she was told American Lions is based in New York City. 

A Nov. 23, 2021, news release distributed by Cision PR Newswire describes American Lions LLC as a joint venture between Fetner Properties and the Lions Group which individually own and manage residential properties throughout New York City. 

The partnership focuses on “large-scale” development projects in Long Island City, New York, according to the news release.

Boyer said the DIA scheduled a public presentation for the bid April 26 on the eighth floor of the Ed Ball Building at 214 N. Hogan St. Downtown. 

The DIA will issue and release a public notice with more details on the public meeting.

DIA board members Jim Citrano and Todd Froats, Boyer and Deputy City Administrator Charles Moreland will score the proposal. 

The full DIA board will consider the scoring committee’s recommendation and could award the bid to American Lions or reject it and reissue the RFP. 

The DIA’s term sheet for the Riverfront Plaza private parcel says it would prefer a tower of at least 15 stories parallel to the Main Street Bridge and perpendicular to the St. Johns River.

The DIA will require 30% of the length of the building facing Independent Drive to have ground-floor retail. 

The building also will be required to have a destination restaurant and bar space. 

The term sheet calls retail a crucial component for the site. The adjoining park will feature a sculpture designed by Orlando-based international artist Jefrë Manuel.  

The DIA terms promote hotel and office uses but do not eliminate the possibility of multifamily residential and for-sale condominiums. 

The DIA says any hotel pitched for Riverfront Plaza should be at least a four-star flag as determined by Forbes magazine or travel group AAA. 

Office space should be Class A and “ideal for a corporate headquarters,” according to the draft terms.



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