Khan’s company to buy Seahorse Oceanfront Inn, Lemon Bar

The Jacksonville Jaguars owner says Iguana Investments Florida has a letter of intent to buy the family-owned Neptune Beach properties.

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Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s investment company says it has a letter of intent to buy the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn, Lemon Bar and nearby properties in Neptune Beach.

In a news release Oct. 14, Iguana Investments Florida LLC said it started talks in March with the property owners, Kathy Cole, her son Will Cole and daughter Emma Cole, about the hotel and bar at 120 Atlantic Blvd. in the Beaches Town Center.

The news release does not disclose the purchase price or timeline for Iguana to close on the sale.

Khan said in the release that plans for the property are in development, but the investment “will be consistent with what exists today – a boutique beach hotel, restaurant, parking and other public amenities.”

“I have great faith in the future of Jacksonville, from downtown to the beaches and all the neighborhoods in between,” Khan said.

“I’ve always appreciated the unique vibe of the Beaches Town Center community and it means a lot to me to play a small role in the community’s continued growth, just as we are with the development of Jacksonville’s downtown riverfront.”

Photo by Dan Macdonald: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan's investment company says it will buy the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn and Lemon Bar in Neptune Beach at 120 Atlantic Blvd.
Photo by Dan Macdonald: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan's investment company says it will buy the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn and Lemon Bar in Neptune Beach at 120 Atlantic Blvd.

The inn and bar are next to the dunes in Neptune Beach with ocean views.

According to the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn website, the hotel and bar have been family-owned since 1997.

Duval County property records show the site on 1.22 acres is owned by Seahorse NB LLC, which is controlled by the Coles.

The company also owns the adjacent 0.43-acre surface parking lot at 103 Atlantic Blvd., according to property records.

According to the release, the Coles wanted to transfer ownership and operations of the properties “to a party with the appropriate financial resources and commitment to ensuring a promising future for the popular Beaches Town Center destination.”

“This is a bittersweet day for our family,” Kathy Cole said in the release.

“We poured much of our heart and soul into the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn over the past many years, and we’ve certainly enjoyed the journey knowing the properties have meant so much to the Jacksonville community,” she said.

File photo: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
File photo: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

“Now it’s time to pass the torch, and we’re really happy to see these properties going into the right hands with Shad Khan and Iguana Investments. I have no doubt they will do the right thing for the viability and success of the property well into the future,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Jaguars said Oct. 14 that Iguana did not have any further comments on the letter of intent at this time.

“None of this would be possible without the faith of Kathy Cole and her children Will and Emma," Khan said. "They’ve all been instrumental in bringing life to Neptune Beach, and I thank them for their confidence in the ability of our Iguana group to help realize their goals and a promising future for our entire region.”

Previously, Khan’s real estate development focus has been in Downtown Jacksonville. Iguana is expected to break ground by the end of 2022 on its nearly $380 million Four Seasons hotel and residences and office building project on the Northbank riverfront near TIAA Bank Field.

The Jaguars’ $120 million practice and training facility is under construction northwest of the stadium — a partnership with the city which shares the construction cost.

In April, Iguana said it plans to buy the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair Association’s 14.1-acre fairgrounds northwest of TIAA Bank Field.

Khan’s company was unable to secure City Council support in early 2021 for a $245.3 million incentive package to build a $450 million entertainment, retail, residential and hotel project at parking Lot J.